Wednesday, May 06, 2009

what was I thinking? and more

In early April I gave a workshop for Sisters in Cloth at the Guilford Arts Center in CT. Among the pictures I took was this fabric printed by Diane Wright. I thought it was stunning and as you can see, it is layered - the leaves are Thermofaxed from a screen I brought with me for the class to use in case they didn't have Thermofaxes of their own. As I always do when I teach, I ask the class to send me pictures of anything they made with the fabrics they had printed. I LOVE to see what people do next with their raw materials. Periodically, I am rewarded and this is one of those times. Today's e-mail brought a picure of what Diane did with this fabric. Not only is it drop-dead gorgeous, but to fully appreciate it you must go to her blog and read the back story. It adds another layer to this piece of art.A few years ago Diane was in my Jump-Starting the Art Quilt class when I gave it for her guild and her work has just gotten better and better since then! (I'm not taking credit for her success - she just needed a jump-start and she was off and running). I'm teaching Jump-Starting as a 3 day class at Quilting By the Lake in Syracuse, NY in July and there are still some openings, so if you're even remotely thinking about it - don't wait. Looking at this piece, which uses log-cabin-like construction and hand quilting, made me wonder what ever happened to a couple of tops I made eons ago and never finished. I opened the steamer trunk and lo and behold, there they were. Lest you forget that I began with humble origins... WHAT WAS I THINKING? #1
It was probably 1976. My next door neighbor's mother had worked in a garment factory and Connie, seeing that I made quilts, offered me STACKS of these leftover polka-dot fabrics in red and blue. Being the bicentennial year, it seemed appropriate to use them. TA DA!!Don't you want a closer look at this wonderful piece of op art??
I was still cutting every piece out with scissors (there were no rotary cutters) and I was hand-piecing, although I did put the poly/cotton border on by machine. Oy! So what do I do with this thing? All that hand work - not sure if I can bear to slash and redo it. WHAT WAS I THINKING? #2 This was later - probably early 80's because by this time I was piecing by machine. Mauve and brown. Good grief - a wonderful combination but so dated! I actually like it but not enough to finish it. This one I could probably cut up and redo without much pain,but is it worth it? I am blocked these days and need some therapy sewing - but not sure this is it.
Just look at all those ditsy prints. Oh, dear. What next?
I had to stay home today to wait for Comcast to show up and fix the tv so I puttered around, cleaning my sewing room (what else is new?) and actully had some stuff on the wall before I got distracted by these "vintage" beauties. Back to the wall and we'll see what transpires.


Karoda said...

oh, don't cut them up...send them out for someone to quilt and use those suckers when winter comes!

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Another thing we have in common!
Tonight my blog post shows some of my early quilts!

Jessica K said...

I loved these quilts -- they remind me of my childhood! :)

Gerrie said...

I saw that piece on Diane's blog this morning - it is gorgeous. That red, white and blued polka dot thing is a hoot.

Eva said...

No. NO.
Don't be masochistic.
The work... oh m G, we have spent so much time on washing dishes. Or sweeping the backyard. The labour itself doesn't mean it is valuable. Okay, they were part of what makes you perfect in your craft. If you treasure them because they still mean something to you, that's different, that's a reason to find some remote place for these pieces/peaces to rest in. Or give them to someone who will cherish them.
I think to rework them would cause a drawback to your inspiration.

Eva said...

Sorry for being so frank again!

Sandy said...

What were you thinking? Beats me. I apparently was thinking the same thoughts back then because I have a matching set to yours. I've donated a bunch of them- didn't want anyone to know where they came from!

I'm going to be at QBTL too, revisiting my ole SU haunts and taking the Dorothy Caldwell class so maybe we will have another dinner together! Now I am gonna go write to Diane! (Love the decayed/rehabbed factory show site!)

Eva said...

Thanks for your mail, I tried to answer but couldn't -- mailer demon each time.
Do you have an alternative mail address?

kathy said...

Perhaps an overdye is in order, at least for the second one?
Diane's piece is gorgeous!

ComcastCares1 said...

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Anonymous said...

Hope all is well -- I love Diane's quilt and will surf over to her site. Susie

Susie Monday said...

Whoops. that was me.

Russ Little said...

My first inclination is to say that these two pieces are part of your history and they should be preserved as is. Yes, they are dated, and no they don't look at all like your current work, but they are good.

If you can't tolerate keeping them as is, then go back into them as they are before you cut them up. They could be challenging backgrounds for challenging images--perhaps.


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