21 September 2008

Early Morning Club, Week Ten

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 15th
A busy week ahead meant that Monday morning found me lounging in bed for a bit rather than getting up right away as I normally do. As I snuggled deeper under the covers I had a vision of random strips of the solid fabrics. So I got up and that's what I created. Random stripes are easy and fun to sew. I cut without a ruler and sew them together without trying to use an accurate quarter-inch seam. I really enjoy this palette of solid fabrics--they are bright, cheerful, and work together well.

Tuesday, September 16th
I wanted to play with interesting and high-contrast combinations in this piece. I chose yellow/teal and turquoise/red because they are not color combinations that I would normally use. I freehand cut ragged shapes of each and arranged them in an alternating pattern. Ragged running stitches hold the shapes in place. I like this piece a lot. I think it is bold and graphic, but still has a humble simplicity from its frayed, ragged edges and uneven hand stitching.

Wednesday, September 17th
When I was a child, I loved playing with colors and shapes. It was a love I had forgotten about until I discovered quilting in 2000. This piece reminds me of my childhood. I'd draw and color a shape and then draw and color another next to it, creating a mosaic. Here, I've free-cut squares and rectangles, arranged them on the raw muslin, and stitched them in place. I worked on balancing the color and shape distribution so that it looks random, but still helps the eye move around the piece.

Thursday, September 18th
I really love this piece. It's similar to the fragment pieces I've worked on. Unlike the fragments, where I used a restricted color palette, I've used ten different colors in this piece, which is both more enjoyable and more challenging. I work by intuition, trying different color combinations and color placements until something works. Looking at this piece, I can see that I tried to balance the distribution so that the eye moves around the piece and created pathways of color for a cohesive design. But that happened inutitively. As I'm working on a piece, I ask myself general questions like"Does this work?" and "How can I make it better?" rather than consciously asking myself technical questions about balance and composition.

Friday, September 19th
I selected the softer colors from my solid palette--the orange and turqouise, coral and yellow, orange and pink--for this playful piece. I freecut circles and squares of varying sizes and overlapped them. I spent a fair bit of time just playing. My initial designs were more regular--I repeated the same configurations of shapes--but the longer I played the more I broke away from that regular grid. And then I just had to add that large red circle as a zinger. I think this would make a sweet wallhanging for a nursery.

Saturday, September 20th
I really, really like this piece. It was very fun to make and I think that it matches my vision. Again, I worked with very high-contrast color combinations and made random striped columns. I think this would make a fantastic bed quilt.

Sunday, September 21st
Technical difficulties made this piece not match my vision. I had wanted to create a bullseye and embellish it with lots of running stitch embroidery. But the technical choices I made in creating the bullseye made it impossible to do. I cut and glued all the circles together and then went to embroider. Oops! There was no way I could get my needle through nine layers of fabric and glue. So I had to machine quilt. But because I glued, rather than fused, my edges frayed and the layers shifted as I was machine quilting, leading to puckers and more fraying than I envisioned. So I quilted as quickly as I could and called it finished. Regardless of the difficulties, I really like the idea and may play with it some more.

General Thoughts

This past week was the busiest one I have faced since beginning this project. Lots of work and family reponsibilities kept me hopping. I found myself sleeping in later than usual because I needed to rest, but still managed to find time to get all seven pieces done. Whew. But this week has forced me to reevaluate my priorities and decide which ones are truly important. Let's just say I decided that big laundry piles and unswept floors will be more common in the future.

This was also the first week in which I decided to stay with a certain theme--in this case, to use that palette of solid color fabrics--throughout the entire week. I liked that. Usually, I would let each day's whim take me where it would, but this week I decided to keep working in the same series. I found that to be challenging and enjoyable because it forced me to think about the same fabrics in different ways. And looking back over the week's pieces, I find I like seeing the cohesion that working in series offers.


DKerr said...

Your pieces this week, especially Thursdays, remind me of the Gee's Bend quilts. I wonder how the Saturday piece would scale.... gives me some ideas! :)

Kimberly said...


I thought the same re: Gee's Bend quilts. I've seen the quilts before but am hoping to get to see them again in Philly this fall.

I think the Saturday piece would scale very well. It would be bold and graphic.

Let me know if you try anything!