Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quilter's Block

Wow, haven't had this happen in awhile. I have no idea what I want to do on this quilt. Funny, all this time I thought it was emotions that have kept me from quilting my "Starry Starry Night" but I think it's really because I just didn't know what to do with it! Writer's Block meet Quilter's Block -- you are kissing cousins.

It's really a "nothing" sort of quilt. Oh I do think it's pretty, but not really anything special. Just memories, and I realize that in itself makes it special...but from a quilting view point there's nothing special about this quilt.

I did get it loaded last night - oh, notice that the border has changed since my original photo taken December 2003 I posted yesterday...so somewhere in the past year or so I decided to redo the borders. That in itself was some positive progress in working through the emotions of this quilt. I made small strips out of the rectangles I took off then joined them together for a scrappy narrow border. I still have more leftovers, can't decide if they will be a scrappy binding or what...but that's a decision to be made later -- goodness! I need ideas on how to quilt this quilt!

The top actually measures 70 x 82 - I would have like to made it bigger but could no longer get the beautiful black batik. Believe me, I searched! That outer border is pieced from 2 x 4's that were left over from the blocks! It worked. Lots of seams, but it lays flat! Which in and of itself is a small miracle.

Well, today I managed to use my trusty mono-thread to stitch in the ditch along the bright narrow border and around each star to stabilize the quilt. By the way, it really wasn't that emotional for me. I turned on my iPod full of praise and worship songs and focused on the blessings of today as well as the memories of yesterday, without dwelling on the "sad" part.

I have quilted three out of the four borders (and yes, I turned the quilt) and have one more to go before I tackle the interior. By the way, I did the ba-bump feathers -- if you're familiar with Jamie Wallen's teaching this is a take off of one of his feathers...photos to follow later for those of you clueless to my expression of "ba-bump". Just imagine a feather that really looks like a molar at the end and you'll get a visual. It's a narrow border so I marked a soft wavy line for my spine (with chalk) and ba-bumped away (grin).

Oh, and did I mention that I'm using Hobbs Tuscany Wool batting?! I love that batting - even here in hot humid Houston it's the best to sleep under. It's as light as a feather and breathable. Most of my personal quilts have the Tuscany Wool in them. This special quilt is no exception.

So, as I'm turning the quilt and thinking of all sorts of things to do I notice that I just love the way the wool makes the fabric seem softer somehow...and I'm thinking, do I want a dense quilt? I love dense quilting...but am thinking I want more "poof" in this quilt, feel more of the wool...hum...that's my problem. I don't remember how to do light custom. My thoughts for this quilt ran more towards a chance to play around with different design elements and somehow connect them with loops and swirls...sorta like how the night sky is full of constellations and yet are all connected...but then there's the draw of the poof. It's soooo soft..

So that's where I'm at...do I want to do light and fluffy or dense and interesting at the risk of being flat? Running the risk, actually, of just making a mess of this quilt. And this is just considering the black background! Goodness I don't know yet what I want to do in the stars. I thought about multiple thread changes and do Jamie's Flurry of Angels - very appropriate for the memories associated with this quilt...and yet, I sorta just want to leave the stars unquilted...or maybe treat this like a sampler and make every star different. oh the decisions! Oh the pressure (grin) I really wanted to work on it this weekend (as publicly declared) and try to finish up a long overdue project...but I'm tempted to take it off the frame and save it for another time (I think that's also called procrastination).

Maybe if I slept on it I'll wake up inspired. I hope it doesn't keep me awake thinking of it! And people wonder sometimes why it takes so long to get their quilts back to them....I remember hanging one quilt top in my studio for 36 hours just studying the quilt and trying to decide what to do (of course I was working on another one, a panto, while trying to decide how to custom quilt the hanging one). It's not easy. Creativity, I believe, is a gift from God...but sometimes I can't seem to plug in immediately. I've had folks tell me that they aren't creative...I tend to argue that thought - my point being...if we believe in a Creator, the One who put it all together with unspeakable amount of creativity, and if we take to heart that we are created in HIS image, then it goes without saying that we have the gift of creativity from Him -- oh, I can't make something out of nothing like God - I must start with something -- for example fabric -- but I can use the materials He's provided and the spark of imagination He provides to come up with something considered creative....therefore, with this reasoning, we all are creative because we have inherited that trait from our Creator God in whose image we are created. Makes sense don't ya think?

Hum..now if I can just quit trying so hard and let His creativity flow through me I'm sure I can finish this quilt...it may not be traditional or a show stopper, but I'm sure it will be creative...maybe like " a quilt that only the maker could love" -- but after all, who am I doing this for? Me and my Creator, and I think He'll like it. Daddy's are like that, so I'm sure my heavenly Father is too -- He delights in His children.

With that said...I can't wait until time to turn on my machine tomorrow after worship service and family lunch to see where the creative spirit leads. I'm sure it will be interesting to say the least -- maybe some lessons learned on what not to do on a customer quilt (grin) who knows what tomorrow will bring! But I know who holds my tomorrows!!

1 comment:

Denise in PA said...

Dear Karen, I have a tear in my eye reading your story - thank you for sharing it. Whatever you do, I know it will be right and beautiful!