Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Shifting Focus

While cleaning out the garage yesterday, I found a few empty Rubbermaids and since it was suddenly so hot again, I lost my enthusiasm for the task and came inside...with the empties.
I knew just what to do and began filling them with my quilt fabric.
I am switching out the fabric shelves and filling them with yarn.
It was great to have my fabric at my fingertips and to see exactly what I had in inventory without having to dig through Rubbermaids, but the same can be said for my yarn, which requires pulling out the boxes and digging until I find the perfect skein.

The quilting part of this program has ended in a lovely season finale and it is time to bring out the fall/winter replacement series. While I am previewing the yarn, I don't think this will be the daily subject of this blog.
In the garage were many large unpainted canvases, as well as a big box of medium sized ones, and methinks it is time I challenged myself to get back to painting on a larger scale. What I know to be true, is that in order for me to get anything done, I must shift focus, which often means a dramatic change in the studio.

The quilting fabric is going into the closet, where the yarn once was, and so it is not too far away (like the garage) and could be accessed in an instant, but don't hold your breath.

My thinking as I put away my workshop materials is that I have ended that part of my life and have no regrets. I have made hundreds of quilts and really have said all that I wanted to say in quilting, ad infinitum. 29 years worth. One can't just keep making quilts just to pile in the closet.
And believe it or not quilting was a distraction from my initial goal of being a painter. So if not now, when?
I know I can improve and expand my vision if I work at it daily, which is I now have the luxury of doing.
And then I will be knitting too. As well as teaching knitting, if I am lucky enough to have people sign up for the offered classes.
So I remind you to copy the url's of the sidebar links and save them somewhere so you can easily access them.
And thank you for being my muse and I hope you'll remain or revisit to see what happens next.


  1. I'll miss your inspirational blogs about your quilts and related activities! But also wish you much happiness exploring your renewed focus. Thank you for sharing all, for now and in the future.

    X from the Netherlands

  2. As usual, you are a constant source of inspiration, no matter what you are up to! I haven't painted in years, and have hardly begun quilting, but I understand the need to switch gears and go in new directions! I'm making tiny motions myself toward teaching my methods of dyeing, but I'm not ready yet to put away my tie-dye passion, and who knows what I'll be doing a year from now! But chances are, I'll be checking your blog to see what you're up to! So just keep bloggin...

  3. Congratulations on stepping out to follow your own muse. It's not easy for us to lose your quilt inspiration, but I'm sure that we'll learn from your process of painting and be able to transfer that. Now off to clean my space so I can create. You're an inspiration!

  4. Oh, NO!!! I'm going to miss your inspirational quilting but I certainly understand being "burned out" on something that you once loved. It's time you gave yourself a break (if not permanently) and see how you feel later. I think you'll always be "connected" to quilting but like you said, there's no sense in making more to just hang in a closet. Make yourself happy and do what pleases YOU :) We'll all be here to enjoy and encourage you and whatever you do.

  5. Wow - big news, and I wish you well! Glad to hear that you will still be blogging - on reflection, I think that what I look forward to most in your blogs is not your quilts, but the creative process that you share with us, which is there in quilting, cooking, knitting, painting...and also, I love your humor, and your honesty. Can't wait to see what is on your horizon! Best, Chris

  6. Boy, I didn't see that coming!!! Good for you. I am continually changing my focus. My "main thing" is fiber, mostly art quilts but I spend a good bit of time on photography, watercolor(new) and sketching. I also think about going back to painting and I my. One thing I did learn is that we all are changing even when we think we aren't. My focus is like a bobbing weaving pointer; always going forward but firing hither and yon. I will continue my daily Melody fix! I have come to think of you as a friend.

  7. I'm looking forward to your new adventures in painting and knitting.

  8. I will miss your quilt inspiration but look forward to whatever you do next! Thank you for all the color, pattern, and sharing!

  9. Thanks for sharing, Melody! You are an inspiration--good luck with your new direction.

  10. Good for you for knowing when enough is enough. How fortunatete you are to have so many gifts! So when one isn't pleasing you can switch gears. But your blog is always inspirational, so I'll look forward to continuing reading about whatever you're up to!

  11. A person has a finite amount of time and you should spend it letting your soul be as big and expansive and beautiful as it can be. Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration. Thank you for inspiring me to learn to knit, to play with dye. For giving me so much to look forward to when I retire. You're a treasure.

  12. Mel,

    Could you possibly leave the links for the "helpful stuff" for awhile? If you're going to delete all that, I'd really like to get a copy of most of it. Now that my husband is out of a job, he sort of hogs the computer. I use it in small snatches of time.

    Have fun with painting! And thanks also for your willingness to share your knowledge. I look forward to seeing your next paintings!

    Kristin in SC

  13. as i read and veiw your blog i see a creative colorist and if you paint or cook or garden or weed or feed fishes, dye fabric or yarns or sew or knit (that is a foreign language to me as i barely got past crochet 101) or quilt you are still pushing your boundaries in to uncharter waters and i will enjoy what you cook up.
    life's a canvas and you are your own paint!sonja just made that up ! apply where needed!

  14. Following your muse is an adventurous thing and I understand that perfectly!
    Thank you for your contributions in the future as well as the inspiration and advice given freely in the past. I will still follow your blog as you are an inspiration to all!

  15. Luck to you and your brushes!

  16. Sounds like a great change. I look forward to reading about your new direction. Cheers!

  17. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Go Melody! You are an inspiration in whatever you do! Cheers!

  18. It's taken me a while to come to terms with this little "change" of yours, but I know a gal must do what she must do. You are truly talented at making quilts... art quilts, and I'll miss the source of inspiration, but I'm sure you will be back! At the very least I'll enjoy watching you develop your painting skills further. Who knows, maybe you will even inspire me to pick up a brush! As always, thank you for your honesty. I'm enjoying watching your future unfold, even if it doesn't involve quilts!

  19. Melody It takes guts to do what you are doing. I'm also trying to decide what to do with my quilting. In some ways it feels so silly and self-centered but.... I need to have some sort of creative outlet.

  20. Working as I do with a softer Scottish colour palette, I have wallowed in your glorious quilts. Thank you, Melody. And now looking forward to your paintings!

  21. I've always loved your work, and the knitting is just an extension of it! (ummmm, BTW, I'd be willing to take some of that fabric off your hands, just to make room for more yarn!!)

    Shoot, I'll even send you some yarn!


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com