Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lost and Found

Now that I have two big design walls, and new prints and stripes in my stash, as well as lots of recently purchased solids, I am all ready to make something new and different. My first stop for inspiration is Flickr where there are so many gorgeous quilts to consider.
But then if I made something like these, they might look like these, not like my work. How can I make new work using all these fabrics and have it look like me?
Grinding halt.
 I would go back to the drawing board, but instead I went back to my sketchbooks, kinda the same thing.
You'd think I would know what kind of work I make, but my mind is all full of stuff I have absorbed from books and online and I got lost in them.
So I have to re-educate my head with the thinking that got me to make my own designs.
Here's what I found:
1. My work was and will be dependent on the fabric I dye. It is unique to me, and that's why I did it and that's what makes my work look like mine.
2. My best work is simple, but elegant which I have reduced to calling SBE. If these look fused, you are right they are. But I want to piece now, because I can. So I still look at these and think that designs like these can be translated into pieced quilts, and on a larger scale too.

3. I most enjoy just diving in with no plan and putting shapes together and designing on the fly. The continual surprise of where the quilt takes me is invigorating. So it is not necessary to lie awake all night trying to come up with a plan or a design nugget for the next day. I know from experience that I get sidetracked from that plan the minute I put two pieces of fabric together.

I also have designed large works by drawing and planning and I must leave that door open, but realistically those designs come like a shot in the dark and the drawing, composition and action to make it happen are like an act of God. I just follow along.

So what about using my prints and stripes? Who can say? But I am not going to worry about how to use them, as if they DEMAND attention right this very minute.
I think I'll just cut a bit of fabric up and see where it takes me.

Posted by Picasa


  1. You little "Cut-Up" you. If you use the fabrics in the same kind of designs you normally do, that's going to surprize even you! Go for it! Take one of your drawn designs and do it with the stripy fabrics! What fun!!

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog this morning. I am not a trained art person but I love to create distinct quilts. I went to a workshop with Gwen Marston several years ago and she won me over with solids. I find it hard to go back to prints. I am in a lull right now but eager to get in the middle of my fabrics and create too.

  3. I really lie reading about your thoughts and design process. I'll look forward to seeing what comes of it.

  4. Funny you should post this today. I am just starting my own journey as an art quilter and have not yet established my own style. I am inspired by your latest quilt as you go works. Just yesterday I was reviewing your blog and looking at other QAYG works and asking myself "but how do I make this mine?"

  5. Mel, Of the 4 July quilts, I think the one you did for "the dogs" came closest to YOUR STYLE than the other three.JMHO

  6. Yay! I love, love, love when you're in the quilting mode! It will be so fun to watch what develops!

  7. I totally relate! I am far less experienced in quilts than you, but I'm finding that I do have my own methods, which do not include following anyone else's pattern! I'm currently working on a tie-dye art quilt for a class, and just wrote up a description of my process for the class. My conclusion: to each his own, and be true to yourself! Pithy for this early in the day, huh? ;->

  8. What ever you do it is going to be fantastic! Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

  9. I don't know about you--but I know that in order to stay "original" I have to stay away from quilting blogs and Flicker. I can copy anything I see and why waste time and fabric making a copy of something that already exists?

    Technique? Yes, I'll give that a look see. But finished work--No. That stripe quilt with the polka dots you have on today's post--I had to look and then stop myself before I started making a drawing. I may make a placemat from that idea but NEVER a quilt. It's not me. It's whoever made that.

    I think that making any design in your sketchbook with piecing instead of fusing is going to be interesting, different and a struggle. Go for it.

  10. Whatever you do, it's lovely!

  11. Melody,
    My college room mate from over 20 years ago can tell when she sees my work because she can see me in it. I cannot, but she assures me that I have a very strong style. Your work is the same - very intense and very you. I think it is good to not really know what you style is - it means you are not trained to it like a dog on a leash. Do what makes you happy and you will be in there, bright and clear and shining - like always!

  12. SBE - great description of you gorgesous creations!

  13. I am sure what ever you decide to do Melody, you will do a fabulous job. You have a great eye for color and design. Just go for it!! And you will be happy.--Hugs--Sandie

  14. Anonymous11:40 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. So glad you are always asking the same question I do....How can I make it mine. I love looking at other peoples work but....need to find my own voice. You explain it so well.

  16. Ah, yes. You reminded us all that we need to be true to our own processes and aesthetics even as we add to our arsenal of techniques by drinking in the ideas of others. Thank you for the lesson. :-)


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