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, September 22nd
Homespuns, plaids, and vintage fabrics. Improvisational piecing in strips and squares. I like the color scheme. Not much more to say than that. It doesn't excite me. But it does feel cozy.
Tuesday, September 23rd
This piece is cozy. I would love to wrap myself up in it. It reminds me of Saturday's piece from last week, which I also thought would make a great bed quilt. So this is a design that I really need to work with on a larger scale.
Wednesday, September 24thFor whatever reason, this piece reminds me of books in a library. I love the colors. They are from a new palette of solids that I selected. Piecing it was fun, but it feels a little spare, like it needs something more. Perhaps additional texture from quilting or embroidery would add interest.
Thursday, September 25th
Eh. This piece doesn't excite me. I love the teal and brown vintage print, but other than that, there just isn't much to say.
Friday, September 26th
I only started to like this piece after I added the embroidery. It took a while to realize that embroidery was what it needed--and I didn't get to it until Sunday morning when I sat on the couch watching football (soccer). Before then, it seemed lifeless. The large, empty patches of color felt devoid of energy and interest. But adding the embroidery gave it personality. It feels like a scrap from an older piece, worn and frayed with time.
Saturday, September 27th
Saturday was a fun (but long) day that capped the end of a fulfilling (but exhausting) week. As I crashed on the couch, watching the replay of Liverpool's victory over local rivals Everton, I debated whether I would actually get a piece done or not. But then I realized that every piece didn't need to be a great attempt at art, but that it only needed to be an attempt. So I hauled myself up off the couch and headed to my studio. There I decided that I would spend no more than 10 minutes designing a piece using only the scraps that littered my workspace.
This is the result. It reminds me of some of the pieces I created back in July and August, but seems more fluid. Each little unit has its own character and personality. They look like little artifacts, which they are, given that they were created from scraps.
Sunday, September 28th
I wanted a very warm and cozy palette of plaids and solids to surround me. I really enjoy making this improvisational pieced quilts because of the challenge of finding balance and helping the eye move around the composition. But this piece appeals to me on a simpler level: I want to wrap myself up in it and take a nap. (Many of the pieces I designed this week had that effect on me. Perhaps I need more sleep.)
Whew! I thought last week was challenging, but this week proved to be even busier. So, I have to admit my motivation and enthusiasm was low and I relied on will power to get me going. But I created seven pieces and consider that a win.
The theme for this past week was utility. I wanted to explore utilitarian fabrics: humble homespun plaids, vintage fabric, and coordinating solids. It took me a few days to really begin to appreciate the design possibilities available with these humble fabrics. And even now, I think I see them as more suited to utilitarian quilts, rather than art quilts, but perhaps that is just due to my own lack of vision.
What do you think about utilitarian fabrics, such as these? Do you think they lend themselves to art or are better suited for cozy quilts?
(I think part of the reason this week was so challenging--other than being crazy busy--was that my chosen fabrics just didn't inspire me. After last week, I thought that having a theme to each week would provide more coherence, but I am rethinking that. If a theme presents itself and excites me, then I will go with it. But I won't just choose a random theme for the sake of it.)
A couple things I wanted to try this week didn't make it in. I had an idea for a piece using yo-yo's, but didn't have time to make it. I also wanted to use buttons as embellishment on a piece or two, but no piece ended up calling for them.
However, the idea of using homespuns and solids and making a large freeform-pieced quilt seems cozy to me. And as always, I am loving the personal quality that embroidery adds. As I mentioned, Friday's piece did not work for me until I added the embroidery. In fact, I would've like to have added embroidery to Saturday's piece as well, if I had the time.
And time is something I need to consider. I began this project in the lazy summertime, when work requires less and we try to take as much time off as we can. Now that fall has arrived, my schedule will be much busier until the spring. I need to accept that there will be days when I can only commit a few minutes to my piece, as I did Saturday. Every piece doesn't need to be great art; instead, each piece just needs to be.