Monday, August 19, 2019

Quilts take so much time to make!!!

I don't know about you but I find it practically impossible to fit in all the fun things I want to do!
every day I see a new inspiration for a quilt, or a painting....and there's no time to do them all!

I certainly envy those quilters who make the quilt tops and then have them sandwiched and quilting and finished by someone else...but I think for most people that's not very affordable.

My answer to that has been to make several tops - maybe a half dozen or so, or even ten...and then select only the one or two best to actually quilt.

so these were the best of a whole series of "window" quilts that I made:

it began with the one above....but then I got into more color and less realism...abstracting the idea of the window frame...sometimes with the horizontal bar across the middle ...sometimes without...

 So why did I select the ones I did to finish them?  Well I chose the ones with the most impact, the ones that looked the freshest and most interesting after weeks of them hanging around in the studio.
I'm sure you all have bought some art work and then found after a week or two you're tired of it and it fades into the background and you don't even see it any more....
well quilt tops like that are the ones you don't finish!!!

I still like most of  these...looking back at them...
well the first one is pretty boring!!! but often the starting point is prosaic and boring...

I was just talking to a friend last night about how that happens with begin in quite a pedestrian way to tell the story...and then as you get into it the excitement takes over (or should if you're working it!!)...and then you discard the nondescript beginning!!

so please do write and tell me how you cope with the shortage of time...and the need to make lots of work!!!   it's so great to hear from you.

And, if you have been, thanks for reading!!!   Elizabeth


marj k said...

Sometimes it takes on a life of its own and you just have to keep at it until it stops telling you what to do........ and sometimes it just dies ....... and I ignore it until while cleaning up the workroom I come across it again and then sometimes it speaks again...... and sometimes never. Those are the ones that get chopped up and reworked into charity quilts. It is hard to stay motivated but it does seem that reading something or seeing an art exhibit or sometimes movies will prompt a person to get something out and give it another go.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Hi Marj - and thank you for writing!
yes those quilts that die!! but you know they can be "dyed"!!! I did that with one and it really sprang to life - overdid the whole thing....
I find it best not to have the pressure of "having to " enter this or that show......I got into enough to prove to myself that I could do it, but beyond that it became a huge hassle - and expense.
Now I can just make the work that I want to make...and if it's not going right, discard it as you say or rework it into a charity quilt, or a little pillow...I have a number of these in the car...or just a tiny quilt for a gift.

mjs said...

No, I'm too mean to make lots of tops and then only quilt a few. Fabric costs a fortune and the choice is quite limited in New Zealand, not to mention the poor access to other quilting needs. Instead, I use international challenges for inspiration and then I agonise over each bit of fabric so one larger piece may take 4 months to complete. However those challenges are also getting prohibitively expensive too. Of course there are some pieces which still don't work out very well so at the minute they just hang around and annoy me.

Elizabeth Barton said...

I too have found contests and challenges to be too expensive ....I remember getting into Visions and having to pay 4 lots of shipping !!...and then they printed the image of the quilt upside down in the catalogue! Did send me a nice bunch of flowers in apology though!!!
So sorry your fabric is so fabric from a quilting store would be fairly expensive here, but cotton goods from the thrift store are not and can be dyed or painted and quite a few folk do that. Also at garage sales you’ll often see fabricdiscards....and just letting the words spread “give me your cotton!”...will work. I know a lady who knits wonderful mittens and hats and scarves ....all from donated yarn! She never buys she can sell the works very reasonably...there’s a lot of waste in the USA.

Now good paper for painting is if the painting is a failure, I gesso over it and re use it!!!
I would get rid of the annoying pieces that didn’t work!!! Thanks for writing mjs! Elizabeth