31 August 2008

Early Morning Club, Week Seven

I started the Early Morning Club as a way to create lots of pieces and meet my crap quota. Each morning I get up and spend 30 minutes or less composing a 6" x 9" finished vertical piece. Here are the pieces from the past week.

Monday, August 25th

Today's piece uses an improvisational piecing method I call fragments. Basically, I cut pieces without a rotary cutter and sew them using an uneven seam allowance. I construct various fragments using these improvisational methods and lay them out until I get a pleasing composition. I then add additional pieces as needed to get the size I want. Here, I chose fabrics and colors reminiscent of weathered stone and wood.

Tuesday, August 26th

Here is another fragments piece. In this one, a photorealistic stone fabric serves as the focus. I like the monochromatic palette.

Wednesday, August 27th


My drive to work runs through Pennsylvania farmlands. Some days I revel in the scenic beauty as I drive, but most days my mind wanders. Tuesday morning, I caught a glimpse of silver silos glinting in the sunlight in the distance behind rich cropland. Perhaps it was the light, or perhaps my mind was clear and I was centered in the moment, but the image of the two silos on the hill stuck with me the rest of the day. Wednesday's piece is my attempt to capture my memory of the silo scene. I added the corner of the red barn for interest and balanced it with the rust highlights in the fields ahead.

Saturday night, I drove out to take a photo of the silos so you can see what inspired me. The light is different--I took the photo in the evening but saw the silos in the morning--but you can see how they rise up from the landscape like silver towers.


Thursday, August 28th

Another fragment piece, this one inspired by the changing landscape as autumn approaches. The light is turning golden and hints of the harvest are reflected in the rich colors.

Friday, August 29th


This fragment uses just a few fabrics. An African fabric I purchased at the Hershey Quilt Show is the focus. I bought a yard, which made me laugh at the time because nothing I've made in the past month and a half has been larger than 6" x 9". But I loved it so into the stash it went. I inserted strips in the African fabric so that the motifs seemed to weave in and out of the inset pieces.

Saturday, August 30th

I have to admit, this piece could've used a good pressing before I turned and quilted it! Ah, but beyond that, I wanted to make fragments that looked interwoven. I chose an expanded palette of colors--blue, rust, brown, and green--but just two colors for each fabric. I'm learning that in a small piece like this that too many fabrics and/or colors can be distracting and ineffective.

Sunday, August 31st


I couldn't get moving this morning. I woke early, but was feeling a bit under the weather, so I lounged around for a bit before crawling back into bed for a little more rest. As I lay there, I thought about the piece I would make and had images of fragments turning into tree silhouettes. But, more importantly, as I lay there, I realized what techniques I would need to use to create these tree fragments. The idea was so inspiring that it actually got me out of bed. This piece reminds me of my rune series from a couple weeks ago. It also is the first piece I have designed that has a border.

General Thoughts

I love making fragments. I think that every piece I made this week took longer than my allotted 30 minutes. That's because making fragments are so mesmerizing that I almost instantly enter flow. I enjoy improvisational piecing because each fabric selection, each cut, each seam sewn requires decision making so I become completely absorbed in it. And as I create fragments and place them next to each other it becomes a puzzle to solve. What pieces fit next to each other? What do I need to add to enhance and balance the design? How I will I piece this section?

1 comment:

La MaƱosa said...

Wow, these are just beautiful! I love what you are doing with colors and shaping. I think this is a great idea and I'm so impressed with all of the projects you have come up with. My favorites from this particular week are definitely Wednesday and Friday. I love the gentle hills and the different colors that lead up to the silos on the Wednesday piece and the colors are fantastic on the one from Friday.