Sunday, February 13, 2005

Starting some small works

Here's what the studio table looks like before I begin. All of these scraps are already fused leftovers from larger works. I figure I will make a few small pieces to get back in the zone of working smaller, after having made several large works in a row last month.

The only parameters are that I stay within the 11" x14" range in order to enter the Keiko and Friends exhibit. However the finished piece needn't stay rectangular and needn't be that large either.

The deadline has thankfully been extended to February 18 th which gives me days to work without feeling rushed.


I usually don't like to critique my own work on the blog, preferring to let you Dear Reader make up your own mind, but in this instance I am trying to show the progression that took place as my enthusiams outweighed my patience. This piece has some nice fabrics, and that extra touch of fused cheesecloth (blue stuff), but looks forced and not as cohesive as I would like.


I was all excited by the fancy fabric with the stamped dots, from bubble wrap, that I dug up and just had to use. In combination with the negative fabrics left from cutting out dots, and the neat colors in the strip fused fabrics, I thought I was onto something. But then it all looks too contrived... What I am aiming for is that elusive "it all just falls together like butter" look. Easier said than done.

#3 By the time I got to this piece I was running on empty, and not happy with the first two pieces, I just grabbed up stuff that was already in units and plunked them down together and Voila! It worked! Ain't that something? This piece has fine color, balance of design elements, and a jaunty directional quality. Hmmph. It has the 'thing' that I was looking for in the other work. I am happy.

To finish all these pieces: They are fused to batting and the batting is cut slightly smaller than the top on all four sides. The edges of the top overlap and will be fused to the backing fabric which will then seal the edges and be trimmed to match the shape of the top. The pieces are then quilted and after the threads are trimmed, then the edges are finished with a zigzag stitch, and there will be no binding. This finish is different than I use on most of my other work and is one that I learned from Marcia Derse years ago. It is especially appropriate for the very loose qualities of this kind of improvisational quilt.


  1. Love the third one! I especially enjoy your pieces when they have irregular edges.
    How do you get the irregular edges finished ? I've tried sewing a facing on the back, then turning the outside in, but mine look all lumpy and yours look so neat....

  2. Thanks for the view of your studio with the piles of fused fabric! I don't feel so bad about how mine looks! I lust after the tile floor. Love the third quilt, too. I enjoyed your crtiquing process.

  3. LOL - now I don't feel so bad about the picture of my table. Of course, YOURS has fabric on it and mine has no room for fabric.
    Re: your third and happiest piece -- try turning it upside down and see what you think. For me, it works even better that way.

  4. I caught these photos earlier on your blog before you had posted all the text. I looked at those first two small works and thought, "Hmmm, I wonder exactly what's going on there." But, of course, we're all in agreement, the third has punch. I do like the cheese cloth though and I hope you'll find another use for it. I also noticed the zigzag when I looked earlier and really appreciated the details about how you finished these pieces.

  5. So I've been thinking about this blog for a couple of days, and wonder if its really about working at making art. With writing people journal or blog etc. to do the daily exercise or "working out" part of the artmaking. It's a kind of keeping fit, keeping ready for when the real art, inspiration, muse happens. Were pieces 1 & 2 the "working out" while the subconcious and muse were conversing on a different plain? It's obvious that the third time was charming, and that you had relaxed and stopped thinking directly about how to make it good. Is that when the subconscious and the muse come out to play?

  6. Quite worthwhile material, thanks for your post.


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