Sunday, March 13, 2016
Book Sale, the importance of road signs and 5 reasons for not finishing everything.
If you ever thought of buying either of my books....they are for sale - one day only I'm afraid! - on the C&T website.
If I didn't already have a copy of each one, I'd be buying them - they've got them reduced so much.
update: alas...the sale is over now....but you can always go elsewhere!!
Both are distillations (plus lots of pictures) of my real and virtual workshops!
And if you run into me having a nice cup of tea anywhere, I'll be happy to sign them for you!
So, what have I been up to?
I went up South Carolina, a very pretty drive from here through early spring countryside...getting lost several times (no GPS and definitely no smart phone - I like being untraceable!) since Georgia prides itself on saving money on road signs: "if we just put one at every other crossroads then we'll save half the cost"!!! An evening lecture and a short workshop for a very nice quilt guild.
Now, back home, I'm working on some new abstract pieces. I think it's important to work in series because, really, that's the only way you get better at something - keep on doing it over and over. Yes it can get tedious at times, but if you keep your first attempts and then compare them to those 20 or 30 or even 50 quilts later, you will see significant improvement. But if you make 50 different types of quilts, one for each technique you try out, or each possible subject then, while your technical skills are probably better, your ability to be creative in a fresh and inspiring way is not likely to have developed much. Also your sense of really knowing the subject and being able to communicate something different, as the result of long study, to the viewer won't be any stronger.
You do need to dig in deep!
A practical reason for working in series is that you don't have to keep on reinventing things. If your series requires you, for example, to make lots of arashi shibori - like Jan Myers-Newbury, then you'll get better and better and eventually amazing (as she is) with it.
I started out making abstract quilts then deviated into the cityscapes - they were so much fun and I had so many images and memories of the "old home town" (2,000 years in my case, so really old). But now I want to see if I can be fresh and creative (well, creative at least!) with abstract design.
I've given myself a few parameters within which to work: size, shape, type of image, kinds of fabrics, and I do at least 3 value studies per sketch before I begin. I like a few road signs to know where I'm going (as mentioned before!). I plan on making 6 tops and putting them away to "mature" as I go. Several reasons for this:
1. When I take them out of storage, I will be able to look at them and critique them with "fresh eyes"
2. If I have several I won't feel inclined to have to finish ALL of them
3. Stopping to baste, quilt and finish does slow down the creativity - the energy of "but what if I try this (or that) variation
4. It actually cuts down on some of the agony over getting it just right, feeling that there is something slightly wrong but you don't know what. And I'm all for cutting down on agony!
5. There's a great satisfaction in seeing the treasures pile up in the closet!!
6. When I have 6 to choose from - which to finish? - it's easier to discard the one, two or even three that simply are very humdrum.
How about you? Anyone else work like this??
And now, time for that cuppa...if you have been, thanks for reading! Elizabeth