Monday, May 23, 2016

Island Management: An Art Quilt


Island Management


If I tell you I've been neglecting everyone and everything for a few days, would you forgive me? I'm sorry if I owe you an email or reply. Soon, I promise. There's a story with a not-so-happy ending, too, if you want to read on, and I'm the only one to blame. Ready?

On Saturday night, I made up my mind to join an organization called SAQA. That is, Studio Art Quilt Associates. I've been visiting the site for some months, but hadn't made the decision if it was right for me. I'd joined several organizations these past 2 years, but not renewed my memberships to those. I was still trying to figure out where I fit into the quilting world. From the very beginning of my quilting journey, I was making art quilts. It's just taken me the best part of 2 years to recognize it. 

Investigating the site, I found there was a very small window for submitting a small art quilt for a benefit to be held in the fall. There was another with a date much further out, but both looked interesting. Each was asking for a different size quilt. One 12"x12" and one 10" x 7". What did my brain do? Yup. It told me I needed a 10" x 10", and I made one.


Immediately, I knew I wanted to use my new stash of Moda Grunge. Grunge bridges that gap for me between hand dyed and commercial fabrics. It blends well with both, but is as good on its own. I drew up a simple design that involved improv cutting and piecing, and Sunday morning set to work in the studio.


The first piece I made nearly did me in. I had an awful time getting it to look as wonky as I wanted. Once you get used to doing something you intend to look polished, it's very hard to go backwards.


Thankfully, that happened to also be the largest and most complicated piecing, and the others that followed were much easier. By late afternoon, I had the pieces ready to take home and applique. I was looking forward to some slow stitching.


The pieces were attached, and I decided to not cut away the the foundation. I usually trim the extra layers to help with hand quilting, but in this case it wasn't necessary. I used both Perle cotton no. 8, and also hand quilting thread.


Sunday turned busy, and I had to carve out time late in the day to bind it. I opted for a very narrow binding, and turned the layer to the back where I mitred and stitched it on. I added a D sleeve for hanging, and was really pleased I had it done. A picture was taken, and the light cooperated. I was filling out the form online, and checking all the details. That's when I noticed a picture and caption in the sidebar with the dimension given as 12" x 12". I felt as though I couldn't breathe. Geez! Mine was a perfect 10" x 10". I'd trimmed it down exactly.


So, the voice of reason in the chair next to mine asked if it was something I could just 'add a border to'. Nope. Then he asked if I had time to make something else. Yup. Not happily, but, yes, I had the time. It was my mistake. It wasn't my first, and surely won't be my last, but darn it all, I will be far more careful the next time around. 

The new one is underway, but only thanks to the notebooks I save. Ideas and drawings helped inspire me, and get started back up when I felt dried out and a bit depressed. I can tell you they do have real value. So get out your pens and paper, or a way to organize any idea that comes through your thoughts. It may be just the muse you are looking for.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Fiber Tuesday--where I was featured!

44 comments:

  1. Well, now you have an addition to your body of work that meets not only your muse's creativity, but also your size. Check twice, finish right size. I feel for you, Julie - but you turned out a great art quilt.

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    1. Thanks so much, Angie. It was a valuable lesson, and I learned a lot in spite of the oopsie. Oh, yeah, and now I get to keep it to enjoy it, too. There's always an upside, isn't there?

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  2. It is so beautiful, thank you for the inspiration!
    Myrto

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  3. Hi Julie! This is fantastic! I hope you make the second one in time. x Teje

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    1. Thanks, Teje. The second one is together and hand stitched already. Now to add some bling and shells today. Another day of sunshine so the girls and I may take over the porch and some shade to finish it.

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  4. What a pretty quilt and block, and fabrics. I love abstract, but have been too afraid to attempt making one :)

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    1. Start with a doodle, and plan your seams. That's been my hang up in the beginning. Or just play with laying circles on top of each other, and stitch through them all. One basic shape is more fun to play with than you can imagine, and it's all you need to get hooked on abstract work.

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  5. It's a beautiful piece. Though it's frustrating to get to the end and realize it's not the right size for the intended use.

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    1. Back when I made mainly garments, I would always start with the zipper. That's where I knew I would get caught if it went south, and needed to make adjustments. This ending really had me fooled, but there was still joy in the making. And, I think, too, it's a lovely piece regardless of the size.

      Thank you.

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  6. It is a beautiful piece that will find a home. Good luck getting the second one done.

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    1. As I stitched, Cindy, I kept thinking how much I enjoyed it myself. I guess I got a second chance with this one myself! It may hang where I can look at it a while before moving on.

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  7. Ahhh! When you said "What did my brain do?" I was like NOOOOO!!! So glad you have a voice of reason in the chair next to yours, as I (usually ha) do next to mine. I, too, absolutely love Moda Grunge. Need more.

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    1. I think when we have so many things, people, numbers, dates, etc., on our plate, it's not hard to make a mistake or two. It's worth repeating: Check it twice. Write it down.

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  8. It's a beautiful quilt, though, Julie - is the Alzheimer's group still collecting mini-quilts for auction? That might be a good home for it if so....

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    2. Sarah, I searched the FB site, online auction site, etc., and I think it's been disbanded as of 12/2013. They were auctioning mini quilts for Alzheimer's research, but there are a lot of dead links now. Thank you.

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  9. It's lovely Julie, but what a blow to have discovered it was the wrong size! Such horror! But when you have the other one done, you will have "two for the price of one" as it were. Good luck with the second one!

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    1. Thank you, Marly. Horror was an excellent word to describe how I felt, but the second one is well underway. A lesson well learned on my part.

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  10. It is beautiful even if it is the wrong size; so frustrating for you.

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    1. Yes, but I'll also admit that while I was making it, I was falling for it. When I realized I wasn't sending it away, there was the tiniest glimmer of, "Ahhhh...I get to keep it. That's okay."

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  11. It could have happened to me! I made a lot of mistakes in my life and I still do! But I am sure you have another masterpiece soon!! Look forward to see it.

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    1. Thanks, Maartje. I think the mistakes I've made--and like you it's been many, have made me the person I am. There's almost always a silver lining if you look for it.

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  12. That stinks. At least you have time to make something else; and good thing you have your notebooks for inspiration. I also write all my ideas down and usually I'm able to use one of those ideas when I'm in a pinch. Your 10 x 10 mini is lovely, even if you can't submit it. :/

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    1. I'm glad I have good company, Sarah. For the longest time I grabbed whatever was handy to write my ideas on. Receipts, cards, even Kleenex in a pinch. The problem is I would lose them. Now I probably have half a dozen or more composition books laying around the house and studio. One in the car. One in my backpack. Etc. It was hysterical the last time I flew because I was pulling out my colored pencils and comp book, and the 20 something girl across the aisle whipped out her adult coloring book and a giant box of 64 Crayolas. She said it helped her with the anxiety of flying. We were two adults sitting on an airplane coloring. ; )

      The challenge lately has been figuring out in which book I wrote down an idea. It's probably time to get a little more organized.

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  13. It is a great art quilt and there will someday be a need for 10 x 10! claire aka knitnkwilt.wordpress.com

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  14. You did a great job Julie! I think there is a reason why that all happened - maybe it was a chance for you to rehearse or maybe there's a call for 10 x 10 quilts somewhere out there, you just haven't heard about it yet ;))

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  15. Looks like you had a lot of fun playing!

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  16. It's a beautiful piece Julie: I'm sure the second one will be just as lovely.

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  17. That does sound like a gut-wrenching oversight, but what a great idea to have a notebook/journal on hand with ideas and inspiration. I absolutely love your 10 x 10 improv piece. As a fan of Grunge fabrics I can't help but love it. Also, the hand quilting gives such great texture and movement. I hope your next piece is coming along well for you. I can't wait to see it!

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  18. Thank you my friend for your participation at the Show and Tell Monday !! And the inspiration you give us .Kram/hug Bambi

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  20. Fabulous quilt but I feel your pain about the size. I just try so hard to get it the right size and end up 1/2 inch too small at one end.

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  21. Ouch! Looking on the bright side, you get one to give away and one to keep, and it is very lovely so that's a good thing. Can't beat Moda Grunge in my book. Thanks for sharing on AHIQ.

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  22. That is a great piece! Sorry for the mis-size. Hope you enjoy the construction of your new piece just as much as this one. Oh, and I do like keeping my ideas in a journal. :-)

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    1. It's funny how I didn't want to do another similar in a larger size. I like this one, but once it was done I wanted to do something completely different. We're both lucky to have journals to stock up those ideas, Sharon. Thanks!

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  23. So eye catching, what a killer to discover the sizing error. No reason why your next one won't be even more wonderful though, and what great practice this was - Chris :D

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  24. I've done that before. Bummer. I think it looks wonderful though. I really love the big stitching.

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  25. Well, if the 10x10 version is looking for a home.....just sayin! :) It looks fabulous, and I'm sure the new one will be just as fantastic. I love grunge too - it definitely fills that gap between a solid and a not print. I hope you're having a fantastically fun sewing week!

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  26. I'm sorry this one won't be in the SAQA show, it's such a lovely piece. Hopefully there will be another venue for it. Interesting point about trying to be imperfect after being polished. Thanks for linking this thoughtful post with AHIQ.

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  27. Not ONE of the commenters has mentioned you could have cut a bit off eaxh side (or top and bottom) and had a 10X7....
    I too love Grunge! And your piece is interesting for sure.

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  28. The pattern is mesmerizing with radial shapes. I like your way to combine the colors.

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Thank you for sharing your ideas and comments. It's always enlightening to hear what you think, or if you have a suggestions. Some of you really make my day with your wit! I admit I struggle to keep up with replies during busy times, but it's because I'm working on new things to share with you. Give me a shout with anything urgent at julie@pinkdoxies.com, and I'll try to get right back with you.

If you want to be certain of a personal reply, leave your email or email me privately. Many people are not even aware when they have become a no-reply blogger. Yes, I know it's frustrating for us all.

Julie