Wednesday, March 23, 2016
One a Day....
Some people appear to have both the fortitude and the time to spend hours in their studios. Alas, I'm not one of them......my time is very broken up not only by calls on it from outside (as it were) but also by a restless internal clock that only seems to work for about 20 minutes!
So, often I worry that I will never get anything finished....however I've discovered a way to do it.
It struck me that if you're moving forward, even very slowly, eventually you WILL get there...law of nature. If you're not moving forward, you won't. Simple physics!
So the rule is: One a Day.
When I'm in the first sketching phase of working out a new piece, I make sure I do one sketch a day - now it's great if I do more, but one a day is the rule. In a month that means I would have around 30 sketches up on the wall from which to choose - and usually there's more..because, of course when you've done one and you're looking at it.. you think, hmm now I've done it that way round, but what if I tried it this way round. Or, would it work better as a square than a rectangle?
Gradually over the month - or whatever the period of time is - I realise that some sketches are a lot more compelling than others, so then the duds get dropped into recycling...the rough diamonds (yes! I'm an optimist!) move onto the value stage.
In the value stage each of the sketches has to be worked in at least 3 different value studies, I don't let myself be satisfied with just one. And the goal for the day....the value studies for one sketch.
Now I've a wall full of value sketches, I keep popping in and out of the sewing room - some have life, others, don't - off with their heads!!! and gradually the keepers emerge.
The fabric is chosen...now, I don't know about you, but pulling out all that fabric is the easiest part of the whole affair!!! One could do that for ever!!! Once I've got my fabric chosen, and arranged by VALUE (yes value not colour!), then I can see if I'm missing anything, or any stand out as being horribly wrong.
The cutting stage: again the rule is: one piece cut out per day, even if I'm dead on my feet and the house is filthy and the guests are coming down the driveway!!! Get ONE piece cut out and pinned in place!
If the quilt has 50-60 pieces...then in 2 months all will be cut out - more or less...sometimes I just cut a chunk approx the right size and then refine it later.
The Sewing together stage is also One per Day, today's ONE is sitting behind me right now on the sewing machine awaiting its personal 15 minutes of fame!
And it won't take two months...because as they're sewn together they become a bigger chunk! so at worst it will be done in one month...and sometimes you just get galloping along and everything is fitting together right...but if it's one of those sew a seam and take it out and resew it days...well at least one will be done and I'll be inching nearer the goal of the completed quilt top.
I like to make a few tops and let them mature in peace in the cupboard...when I take them out I'll see them with fresh eyes and decide which should be quilted and finished.
One a day! it works....
now I must get today's seam done then I can have a nice cuppa tea......
If you have been, thanks for reading!
And do write with your work strategies...I'd love to know!!! Elizabeth
PS My brand new class for academyofquilting.com starts at the end of next week; it's called More Abstract Art for Quiltmakers....in my next post I'll write more about it.