Tuesday 29 November 2016

A while back I saw a beautiful super mini quilt by @dianaeowen on Instagram and liked it so much that I commented that I wished there was some way I could persuade her to send it to me.  It was only meant as a joke, but she wrote back to say that she would send it to me in return for some hoop art!

So, I stalked her Instagram account a bit and made her this, which I hope she will think is an acceptable swap:

The picture is for someone who likes quilts, cats, dahlias and babies. Unfortunately, in this scene, the babies are being naughty in another room so she's had to abandon her plans for a sit down with a cuppa and a bit of piecing, and now the cat has stolen her chair.

I had a lot of fun thinking about the details, like the embroidered steam coming from the abandoned mug.

I was particularly pleased with the tiny reel of thread which is about a cm in size.

It's a lot of fun disappearing into an imaginary world to make pictures like this, even if I usually have to surface to make dinner.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Four in Art: Colour - "I've Got the Blues"

Each year the quilters of Four in Art take a theme,  throw quarterly sub-themes into the mix and produce a series of quilts inspired by those themes.  Today we are revealing the quilts we have made for this year's annual theme "Colour", with the quarterly sub-theme "I've Got the Blues".

Please check out the reveal posts from the other FIA members - as always I'm excited to see what they do:

Betty         https://www.flickr.com/photos/toot2
Camilla         http://faffling.blogspot.co.nz/
Elizabeth     http://www.occasionalpiece.wordpress.com
Janine         http://www.rainbowhare.com
Nancy         http://www.patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com
Rachel         http://www.rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com
Simone         http://quiltalicious.blogspot.com
Susan         http://patchworknplay.blogspot.com
Instagram #fourinart
This sub-theme idea is a lovely one and should have been perfect for me because blue is my favourite colour and it represents many things that I love including the sea, but I really struggled this quarter. Earlier this year I made a quilt for the "Colour"/"Music" challenge using fabrics in various blues and rather exhausted my blue fabric inspiration, so I spent a long time thinking about the theme - which is always my favourite part of the process - and trying to come up with an interesting idea.

In the end, I decided that I would go again with a musical connection and try and combine that with the sea - taking blues in sea colours and combining them with flashes of gold, which could represent flashes of light on the waves but would also be positioned in a way that could represent the notes in the chords of a twelve bar blues.


So far so good, but when it came to implementing this plan I soon realised that it was not working as an art quilt.  This set me thinking about what art is - for me it does some of the following

provokes a reaction
makes you look at commonplace things in a new way
represents or encapsulates an idea
is aesthetically pleasing
or aesthetically challenging
employs new or unusual techniques in order to achieve these things

I wasn't happy that what I was making would meet any of these criteria and completely lost confidence.  There didn't seem to be anywhere to go from that point.  I So here is part of "Dead End 1: I've got the Blues".  It earned its title!

Failure and creative guilt

If you think of the creative process as involving starting with an Idea, going through a Creative Struggle and finally ending up with a Product you can beat yourself up at any stage!

So I feel bad that I couldn't take the idea and turn it in to the thing that I wanted, and I feel bad that I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to power on through, and I feel bad because I have not got a finished piece to show.   Maybe we can cut ourselves some slack sometimes and adopt the point of view that there are no failures in art because, as in science, each route you go down and discard as unproductive is actually enlightening in its own way.   Meanwhile I am very apologetic to the other Four in Art members!

"Dead End 1" - unfinished quilt detail

You can see other quilts I have made for FIA if you click Four in Art in the categories links in my sidebar.


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