Wednesday, April 5, 2017
At the beach, looking for compositions!
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
Posted by Elizabeth Barton at 5:57 AM
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I could not agree more about some of the Best of Show awards going to quilts that you say have everything but the kitchen sink in them. Great to hear an authority on design saying it.
I agree, too! I'm looking for peace and quiet right now. To me, it's not a quilt if it is encrusted with hundreds of crystals, and is so over-quilted that it could stand on its own. I'm looking forward to seeing what quilts come from your beautiful photos.
I agree also. Besides tranquility in viewing, simplicity in creating can be so restorative. Thanks for the timely reminder -- I'm trying to purge my studio too!
Thank you all for commenting: Irene, Abelian and Elsie...
Let us all have calm and peace....if I come up with anything wonderful...I'll be sure to post it! Elizabeth
I was looking at pictures from Quiltcon just yesterday, and noticing that while the piecing may often be simple, the quilting often isn't! I am just trying to develop my free-motion on a domestic machine skills, so I thought the heavily-quilted by longarm quilts were simply not attainable, therefore I didn't peruse them much. However, looking at the photos yesterday, I was reacting poorly to some of the intricate work I saw. It can seem labored to me (although beautiful quilting can truly enhance a quilt). There needs to be better balance.
I agree with you Rebecca, I really feel that the quilting should match the spirit of the piece. If you are making a quilt about the beauty of calm and silence and open space then you probably would want your quilting to reflect that too. However it is possible that the makers saw the empty space as a place to show off their incredible quilting skills. In former times whole class quilts, Frequently all white, were a place where the maker could indulge herself in glorious examples of her expertise! So I guess it comes down to why are you are making it. The important thing is to have in your own mind what your intention is and try and make the whole piece about that intention, a unified and harmonious piece. As an aside, I do think that if you do have a longarm machine it must be awfully tempting to quilt the heck out of the the top!
Gorgeous photos. And born in England in the '40s I am a sucker for beaches --- they were the place that, if you were lucky, you spent a week or so in the summer, even if it rained everyday and the tide left only pebbles, except at its lowest point. I just look at those expanses and want to "paddle" for miles.
I read somewhere that the three most effective ways to make an impact in a show are to work very large, very bright or in extreme detail. But leaving the subject of "shows" aside, I do think that the smaller the piece --- I am currently embroidering at sizes under 8 1/2 by 11)--- the more detail it "can" (though not necessarily "should") handle.
"The important thing is to have in your own mind what your intention is and try and make the whole piece about that intention, a unified and harmonious piece."
YES - this exactly.
my memories of the seaside in childhood are similar, Pat - it rained so much all the snails came out and we had snail races - at Scarborough!
yes the judges have a difficult task and I'm sure the more "noticeable" pieces tend to get more attention!!! but we MUST make work for ourselves - especially textiles which are a very hard sell....
and, Leigh, thank you for agreeing!!!
When I stand back to look at a piece, I should not notice one aspect, to the exclusion of others. Heavy intricate quilting, or bling, or any aspect that draws that attention, probably means the whole composition isn't well balanced. On the other hand, I can imagine stepping close to a quilt or a painting or a flower in the garden, and taking delight in a particular detail. And then stepping back to enjoy how that detail adds to the whole.
Thanks as always for the post.
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