Friday, January 1, 2010

Reviewing 2009

I thought I’d look back over last year and see if I could see any direction to my pieces, anything I wanted to change – or stick with – in 201.! 
I finished about 15 quilts…some were started in the previous year of course and about half of them were very small.  I’ve been working smaller for a number of reasons:
the challenge! 
the chance to work out ideas in smaller studies
the idea of grouping smaller pieces together to hang
shipping costs…
And that has been interesting and worthwhile.  So I will do more small!
I’ve mainly continued with the industrial landscapes:
what pretty smoke full

steelyardfrieze 300five mills rampant 300

flora and ferra k300

These four were all based on the Hamilton, Ontario steelworks.
The one that’s least interesting to me was the Five Mills Rampant where I made the mill section into a block and repeated it reversing the values…close up this was fascinating, but at a distance it looks a bit too decorative.  I am pleased with the other three…black and white always looks so crisp and definite!  it’s good to have something definite!  Oh what pretty smoke (the yellow and turquoise one) really conveyed the different levels of meaning – there’s an Art Deco feel..when smoke was used as a rather romantic element…the title is based on the very ironic Oh What a Lovely War  play about the terrible events of the first world war….smoke of course is devastating to our lungs…struggling with asthma as a child brought that home very clearly.   I do love the space of Steelyard Frieze (pink sky, black water)…I want to add more space in my quilts.
Then I took a look at my current home town (Athens, GA) and discovered a lovely abandoned factory – this lead to 3 pieces:
cement works 300
tracy st silos

a nice factory will keep me happy for months!!

After that I decided to make 4 more pieces in the 18 by 24 size that Dominie Nash and I chose for work that we would hang together at the UK Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK next summer.
bluebeard's castle colliery Copy of karen dec 09 012 karen dec 09 023
I like the vertical orientation better – I also still find my eyes drawn to the plain black and white one!!
When I.m travelling a lot in the summer, I always like to have something to stitch away on…I love the look of hand stitching and really want to do a lot more – here’s a detail from my second piece on the Ferrybridge Power Station:
karen dec 09 009
I’ve got to figure out quite how I’m going to finish and present this piece…also I need others in similar vein if I’m going to enter it anywhere!!

karen sept 09 010

I made two more pieces in the black and white half timbering series that I worked on a great deal last year…getting looser and looser with the curves on the black timbers: on each of them I did a great deal of stitching…
fuge for PB

And finally I sewed full circle and revisited an old “window” block idea upon which I had made about 20 quilts back in the 90s:

It’s been an interesting year!  I think I have managed to stay fairly focussed  but I’ve also used different palettes and formats.   As a whole I don’t think they look too bad!  some have been accepted to shows, one of the best was rejected – what can I say!!  Three have been sold – hooray! I’d always much rather my work was out there giving people enjoyment than folded up safely in my “quilt store”.
I want to continue with these ideas, but try being bolder and looser!  I do love those with the stitching on….so must remember that – stitching and Big Shapes…and bold colors with High contrast.  
It’s good to review…take a look and see what you’ve done…and then plan ahead.
So, if you have been, thanks for reading…in 2009…and I hope you’ll continue to read AND comment – oh yes! please do comment – in 2010.  Elizabeth

what pretty smoke! turquoise,orange,yellow 36w,43h
steel yard frieze pink, black grey 68w,35h
five mills rampant red,black white purple gold 57", 25"h
flora and ferra black,white 24w,45h
Cement Works blue, gold, black 42” sq
Red Abandon red 46w,65h
Bluebeard's Castle black purple yellow 18w,25h
Colliery black, white 18w,24h
Tracy St Silos black,white 19w,25h
No Grey b/w/r 38w 53h
Fields green 44.5w,34h
Intertwined black/white 25'w,25"h
Battersea green, pink, yellow 18w,24h
steel reflections black,white,grey 24w,18h
Fugue for PB orange purple 35w50h


Jackie said...

What a good idea to really look back and tally one's work! I did it before I even finished reading your posting. Not as bad as I'd thought, but I can do better. I'd been side-tracked a lot in '09 and want to be more productive in '10. I already have a new one on the wall, so I'm beginning well. It still isn't a perfect design but better than it was and action is important so I'll work with it! Enough dithering! Thank you again for impetus and Happy New Year! May 2010 be a delight.

Unknown said...

A very impressive catalogue of work for one year!

I might just give a retrospective a shot! Might inspire me for 2010!

Thanks for your blog! Really inspirational!
Sally in Hobart

Norma Schlager said...

What an incredible body of work for one year! I saw your piece at QN and loved it and also enjoyed reading what you had to say as a guest blogger on Subversive Stitch Blog

Wayne Kollinger said...

Elizabeth I was delighted to happen upon on your blog. I plan to check it out often.

Of all the quilts that you show in "Reviewing 2009" my favorite is Flora and ferra. There are several reasons for this.

Most of them come down to contrast: the sharp contrast between black and white, the contrast between the natural and the industrial, the contrast between the fine lines of the tree and the heavy bulk of the bulidings. I also see a contrast between residential and industrial but I'm not sure is that was intentional.(Was it?)

Flora and ferra has some of the feel of a woodcut.

Of all the quilts you show here this one seems to be the one that is most about something. A comparison of worlds.

I'm wondering what you have in mind for us in the new year.