Sunday, April 23, 2017

It's all about learning.

Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...
WE all hate waste!  I'm as bad as anyone else. I really don't like cutting into special fabric I've saving for ages,  the piece of fabric I just take out and stroke once in awhile. I'm so afraid I'm going to waste it; And so , it might sit there for years And  even start to get that thrift store smell!

And then, when my heirs are dealing with my estate, they will think "why on earth did mother  hang onto this all these years and never use it"?

I see this frequently in workshops, people will use the cheapest fabric. And I will say "why? when you have this beautiful bit of burnt orange in your stash, that would be perfect".
But, they say,  I would hate to waste it!  I'm saving my good stuff."
And  yet they have spent a lot of money coming to the workshop! And Will probably be going out to dinner that night, maybe even having a couple of glasses of water to recover!

Something else  I see:  a design blocked out on the wall..but the pieces aren't cut out rather they are folded up bits of fabric, sometimes the whole yard folded it up into  lumpy wodge... and we're trying to decide if it looks right! I don't know about you, but I don't really like lumpy wodges in my quilts!

How do I know all of this??   I've done it myself, a thousand times!

Do not disturb: I'm fixing to think about learning.....

Another situation that happens:  you have a design  - it is not quite right but you plough on any way, and you try a lot of different fabrics. You sew it all together, and then pull it apart again, you rearrange every section, you're cut out a big big chunk, you add a great deal of black in the hopes that somehow that will put it altogether ...and still its not working. Now many designs can be fixed and improved and this is usually best done at the design stage. But there are some that are just hopeless from the beginning.....  so have you wasted your time?  No! Not if you think about it in terms of learning.  You probably learned more from from that unfixable piece then you ever did from the one that went smoothly from start to finish. It's a case of altering our mindset so that we're not product orientated but rather learning oriented. It's better  to think it's not about what I can fix, rather it's about what I can learn.

Learning new skills is one of the most wonderful things that we can do-but it does come at a cost. We must use some of those precious pieces of fabric, we must use our time and our energy -  but aren't they worth it. Isn't it the amount of time and money and effort  expended worth the new skill and the new knowledge that we have required?

There are times when I feel I'm looking at things the wrong way...

Think about it which would you rather have?
A pile of the dozen quilts Nice but not special - they that all went together very easily without much effort on your part… or, perhaps only a few samples, but the knowledge  of how to manipulate colours and shapes and pieces of fabric in the way that creates something new and wonderful and allows you to express how you feel about some special experience? And, of course, what not to do!

Waiting...for it all to come together.....
Ask yourself which Really feels better: making something without thinking about it and not really learning anything new but having a finished product.. or  developing new skills and knowledge,  feeling yourself growing, becoming more "talented" (ha! yes! talent is perspiration expended not luck!!) and more knowledgeable.

It's important to look at things a little differently, and consider what is really important.  Material goods, or personal growth.   It really is all about the learning.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  and do please write in the Comments and tell me your learning stories.....

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

At the beach, looking for compositions!

I am at the beach with a few friends for  a few days...and thinking about my upcoming

In the class, I show many different ways to create modern quilt designs from an abstract point of view...but as I look around the landscape here, I'm seeing loads of modern quilt design possibilities....

Modern quilts are lovely (well, the best ones!) because of all the negative space they include.   And with our very busy lives these days, I think negative space is a must for all of us!!!

There is so much information, "fake" of course!, coming at us, so much consternation, stimulation, hurry and flurry that we need to create quiet, calm and peace.  And, what better place than art work?

As I look through my photos, I can see that space and clarity, light and air with perhaps a small focal area or strip of color is exactly what I'm needing right now.

In this age of extreme busyness, let us create art that gives us time and space to breathe and contemplate....

WE really don't need to overcomplicate things!   I must admit that I cringe when I see quilts with everything, including the kitchen sink, added, embellished, stitched, pieced, appliqued, glued over the top... receiving awards and "Best of Show" ribbons!!!!  More is not more, we really do all need time to think!

Am I on the wrong track here, d'you think?
  Is my reaction to the chaos around us inappropriate?  Or is it part of a necessary balancing act?

let me know!!!  Meanwhile...I'm off for a walk on the beach...and then, I think,
  a nice simple cup of tea!!  
If you have been, thanks for reading!  Elizabeth