Monday, August 26, 2013

New Work - Thistles

When I rearranged my studio, I took down almost all the pieces that were hanging on my design wall in various stages of completion.  By the time I finished cleaning up, I decided only two pieces were to remain.  A few days ago, I stitched the binding onto one of them.

I've been looking at this quilt for (gulp!) more than two years. For what it's worth, that's how long it also takes to get an MBA or to build the Eiffel Tower. 

It started as an experiment; I wanted to try out Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) on colored fabric and also determine how easy it was to cut out sections of an image from the whole. After that was done, the cloth with the image transfer sat around for a while.  What to do next?

Months later it appeared that the ugly fabric I'd created while learning how to screen print was a good match for the TAP picture. While doing the printing I wasn't even thinking of the TAP image but here it was, a perfect fit.  Snip, snip, sew sew, and a small top was born....

... only to gather dust on my design wall.

Still, I really liked the little piece and couldn't put it away, even when I was cleaning up.

I managed to find time just this past week to finish it up.  I did some simple quilting and still had leftover fabric for the binding.  At long last, Thistles is complete.

When I showed the finished piece to my youngest daughter she said, "FINALLY, Mom."

Yeah, it took me a while.  On the other hand, I'm glad I waited until I felt I was ready to move onto the next step.  None of this was complex or difficult, but it's fun to look back on this process in retrospect.  I learned a few things:

 -- sometimes, experiments are worth keeping. At times I had considered purging both the TAP image and the screen printed fabric from my stash because they didn't turn out exactly as I'd envisioned them in my head;
 -- sometimes, you have to wait until you hear what's next and you have to be open-minded enough to listen.  I had actually considered pairing the screen printed cloth with the image a few times, but consciously kept dismissing the idea as stupid.  My subconscious knew better.
 -- sometimes, if there's something intangible asking you to keep thinking about a quilt, that's okay.  Taking your time is just fine.


Natalya Aikens said...

Happy to see this finished! Love how bold it is!

Norma Schlager said...

It's a wonderful piece. I like the sharp contrasts and the way your eye moves around discovering new things. It was worth the wait.