Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a painter who wasn't doing much of anything creative because she got burned out on painting. She didn't know anything about the world of art quilts because, although she had a sewing machine, she really didn't sew. So she did an occasional sketch and not much else. Then one day she decided she wanted a new bedspread on her bed, but she couldn't find anything she liked in the stores. So she decided, lack of experience notwithstanding, "Hey! I know! I'll make a quilt!" She checked a book out of the library, skimmed it, tossed it in a corner and drew a design on graph paper. She went and bought some fabric and thread. She drew a bunch of squares and triangles on the back of the fabric using a yard stick and a blue ball point pen and cut them out with paper scissors. (I know, scary!) Then she started sewing them together and Oooohhhh....Aaaahhhhh....Magic! Look at how the pattern changes where the squares and triangles meet! Cool! She was hooked. She spent the next few years making fairly traditional machine-pieced, hand-quilted bed quilts. Not many of them though, because that hand-quilting thing is slooooooow, at least for our heroine. I'm pleased to report that she DID at least have sense enough to buy a rotary cutter before making the next one. Then one day, no one is quite sure how, after years of looking at quilting magazines and books, the neurons in her brain made a little leap sideways and thought "Hhmmm. People are using this cutting and sewing thing to make stuff for the walls too, aren't they? I bet I could do that." And not long after that, another set of firing neurons sparked the thought "Y'know I could finish more stuff if I'd learn to do that machine quilting thing." And thus did our Painter turned Traditional Quilter turned Art Quilter set off on her current adventure. The End. Sort of. Except.... I (Yes, OF COURSE, the person in the story was me. You knew that!) have a shrinking stack of more-or-less traditional bed quilt tops around here from where they piled up in the days when I finished tops exponentially faster than I could quilt them. And now and then I get this inexplicable urge to finish one of them. At the moment, I have an idea for an art quilt rattling around in my brain, but I can't yet SEE it clearly enough to do much about it. So rather than do something like, oh you know...clean the house or something, I decided to pull down one of those bed quilt tops and work on it. The one I chose is a Boston Commons quilt that I made when I got this idea that I wanted a pastel floral quilt. I have NO IDEA why I wanted a pastel floral quilt because I am SO not a pastel floral sort of person. But I did. So I made this, although when I show it to most people I get the reaction "THAT'S pastel???" But for me, yes, that's pastel. And when the top was finished it was...nice. (yawn) But it didn't look finished to me. It needed something. What was it?? Oh yeah! I decided it needed some applique in some portions of the border areas. Did I mention I don't DO traditional-y floral applique?? Even in my fully traditional quilting era, I was most definitely a piecer, not an appliquer. And now I fuse. So, I decided to fuse some broderie perse flowers. What the hell, it's my quilt, right? And that should be simple and fast enough. Iron on some fusible, cut out some flowers, press 'em to the quilt. Easy peasy, done in no time, right? HA!! I'd forgotten what a PAIN IN THE ASS it is working on something this big!!!! It's too big for my design wall. So instead I throw it on the floor or on a bed, pin on some flowers, leaves, stems, etc., stand back, look, no, that's not quite right, unpin, shift, repin, stand back, look, better...but not IT, repeat a couple more times, THEN go fuse one small section, then start the whole process again. It's pretty much making me insane. What was supposed to be a relaxing- but-productive interlude between one creative project and another is turning into something of a nightmare. So this may or may not get done before I go back to working on something else. The shoes were WAY more fun! At this point, I'm wondering if CLEANING THE HOUSE would be way more fun!! Naaahhhh.....

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