Friday, January 07, 2005

The Passion of the Design Process

Where did the day go?!!

Although I got a late start, I was in the studio working all day and even when my husband came home early, nearly fainting from hunger, I got dinner on the table and gulped it down in thirty minutes, in my haste to return to the quilt design on my table.

Lucky for this design that he came home when he did. I had not shown him my project earlier and when he looked at it, he confirmed my worse fears. A brief if panicky discussion followed and then the resolution became obvious. I needed to change a few things, unfusing carefully and replacing judiciously, and when I finished two hours later, I am even more thrilled with the results. Hurray! I am back in the zone!!!

I think it is soooooo boring to describe a work in progress, but I will say that I am making a "decorative" pictorial quilt, 32x28" and have used a modicum of self control in that I have kept the background colors to the blue family. Progress!
And more importantly, I made a kinda cool discovery: As you know, I whine alot about working in a series, and you will note that even on my website where I have a few pages of work in series, they are not all that series-like. Perhaps, in name only.

Well, the thing is, if I ONLY worked in series I wouldn't be inclined to veer off into the kind of work I am doing today or what I made yesterday. And that would be limiting, which is antithetical to creativity, if you ask me.
Gosh, I do hope I remember this next time I start that familiar whine. Chances are I won't, but it helps to say it here, Dear Reader, where you might gently remind me.

While I am snowbound in the studio, I have the good fortune to have several books on tape to listen to, since my local NPR station was doing the Attorney General hearings, yawn.
Yesterday was Ann Rule's, Green River, Running Red, about the worst serial killer in the history of this country, a charming tale of rape, murder and sickening torture. Delightful.
Then today I started Peter Mayle's A Good Year, which is a Brit in Provence, with a chateau, a romance and a vineyard, plus assorted delicious descriptions of Provencal cuisine and wine.
Can it get better than this?

You bet. I got a letter today from a very popular quilting magazine asking if I would be interested in writing a 700-1000 word article on...of all things, COLOR!!
Moi? Por supuesto! Claro que si! Como no?
I have been dying to break into this particular magazine* and reach its gazillion readers, but never quite had the opening, until now.
Let's see, can I write that many words about something like color? Duh, the real question is can I keep it under 1000? Blabbermouth that I am. Pontificator Extraordinaire, Miss Know it All, or as my darling husband likes to call me Ms. Wausau. The reference here is to an old tv commercial for Wausau insurance, in which the spelling bee contestant spells Wausau and then goes on to spill her guts about everything there is to know about Wausau insurance. I'm like that. Really, I can't help it.

But back to the passion of the design process, which was what I planned to blog about ten minutes ago...
Faithful readers will agree that I have been distracted of late by YARN and KNITTING and SHOPPING, and was far away from being in the quilting frame of mind, to coin a phrase. But once I got in there and had a tiny taste of success, it grew into something else:
It's been a long time baby, since I have wanted to keep working, even when my feet hurt and it's dark outside. When work is going well there is nothing, and I MEAN nothing like it. It's a heady, wonderful high. And when it isn't, it's 'where's the potato chips?' A euphemism for eating my heart out, worried that I've lost my edge, and can't make art anymore.

Note: Frieda sent me a birthday card entitled "Little Miss Drama". What was she referring to, other than the tremendous ups and downs of this artistic life?

Wouldn't you know that this creative spurt would happen right when I have to pack up and leave to teach next week? I am supposed to be preparing class handouts, a slide presentation ( half finished, or half started, you decide) and washing and ironing the kit fabrics...yipes, and packing my clothes!! (what will I wear?) but instead I am focused on a project that won't be finished in one day, or two or ...
Sorry, I'm whining again.
I will stop now, and try and calm down, as it is only minutes from my bedtime and I haven't had my daily dose of Law and Order. I think I'll knit for a while.
*I haven't responded to the magazine offer yet, coming as it did after 5pm on a Friday. So until I have discussed it with them, I will delay naming the exact magazine, so as not to jinx the deal. I know you understand, wink wink, nudge,nudge.


  1. Don't worry about the handouts, bring the passion! I can't wait to meet you next week. I am traveling from WV to meet the woman of COLOR, because I think that is who I need to become, too. Wanting desparately to paint, quilt, live, (something) in color. So don't worry about the handouts, tell us this wonderful, ecstatic tale of art. I know the rush. It IS thrilling isn't it? And by the way what am I going to wear?! Love your blog...and NPR...and Law & Order...and Jerry O. I think we'll have great fun getting to know each other. Your new student and color groupie.


  2. Great exciting news about more articles and pictures from you in more magazines! Hooray. I can't wait to hear which one... is it QNM? I've been toying with not re upping my subscription and you just may influence the decision. You sneaky color diva! Deborah

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