The other thing I learned (or reinforced) is that I work better when I have a plan. I don't really enjoy the process many call “intuitive” or “spontaneous” or stream-of-consciousness. It just doesn’t work for me. I often end up, as I did with this one, creating a haphazard soup of ideas with no clear direction and a lot of wasted time.
I’m NOT blaming the challenge at all! It was a very interesting and valuable challenge idea. I’m just unhappy with my poor execution of it. But it’s ok. They can’t all be masterpieces. Let’s walk through the wayward journey of this quilt….
Natural dyes. Ok, I thought, what kinds of things have stained our clothes and tablecloths? I started with beets, blended and boiled.
Next I tried to add some personality using rubber bands and tie-dye techniques.
I soaked the fabric in dark espresso and some crushed raspberries. Delicious, right?
My last resort – frozen blueberries.
Oh, wait. For a second there I thought I was done with the challenge. Now I have to DO something with this fabric. Oh yeah.
At first glance it looked like spilled ink. So since I was running short on time, I went with that idea. I drew a picture of an ink jar and feather using sharpie marker.
Not bad, but kind of boring and hard to see the feather amid the busy background. So I added some fabric paint to colorize the feather and add some deeper black to the ink.
Better, but still I’m just floundering and reacting instead of following a vision. I decided to move it on to quilting, hoping to clarify the feather and make it “pop” with colorful thread.
Ok, good. But how to stitch the background? I had no idea. I’m just flying by the seat of my pants on this. So I took a moment to think. The only impression I was getting from this piece was the feeling of constantly going back to the drawing board. As if this quilt were a chalk board or sketch book where I was working out random ideas. Not something completely thought out.
The stitching is an approximation of writing, there are no real words just the shapes and rhythm of writing. Crossed out phrases, circles, arrows and small diagrams are included as if the writer is formulating a plan. But in reality it’s all nonsense. Fitting, I think. HAHA!!