Monday, December 27, 2010

saved by a cloud--I hope

I wake up early one morning a few days ago. Outside there was a wonderful long cloud stretching across the sky. The underside was glowing yellow and orange going up to rose then grey. How perfect. I try to take a picture--no luck. Instead I gaze as the sun rises and remember the hues.

This is just what I need. I have an order to make a custom quilt for a private home. What a lovely space it is. A large window letting in light. Other art and wonderful furniture around the sitting area. All carefully chosen. The piece de resistance is a glass bowl by my friend Ed Branson in wonderful shades of ivory and plum. Hints of peach. So many colors as the sun hits and reflects on it.

I bring several pieces to the home. We hang them up.  The quilt must look just right not only from a distance but also up close. It will be at eye level behind the sofa. No, too green. Too bright. Oh this one is just right. Captures the wood in the furniture. Of course it needs a bit more plum. A little lighter in colors. More luminescent. An echo of the dreamy colors of the glass.

I both fear and look forward to making this quilt. Custom orders can be such a challenge. Will the customer understand that echoing the colors of the glass poses a problem--glass is created by multiple levels of colors that interact and radiate off each other--or at least that is my understanding. The colors of my quilts are formed by the resonance between the different fabrics I combine in the quilt. Though the tan and browns look great in the room, the couple would prefer that I not use much of them.

It is their anniversary gift to each other--I want to get it just right and so I think. And think. Now I must start. I want to deliver it on time and can't let my fear take over.  As always I make what I know. The wonderful soft yellow-gold light. But then? I try a few blocks. Too light even for this room.

 But what comes next? I try one block--then another. I think of the cloud. Maybe that is what I need. Not the grey but that wonderful combination of colors. Yes, that could be it. The golds and rusts, the pinks and plums. Will they combine to glow?

Yes, this is getting closer. Maybe that will work. I make a row. Step back and look. It's getting there.
Keep going. The colors getting a bit darker as I move up the quilt. This could be interesting. Maybe I should make a larger quilt with these colors. This could be interesting. Why don't they make just the fabrics I want?

Oh it takes forever. Each block needs to be carefully planned. Not too tan. Not too grey. What do I think of that splash of white--it is actually a flower on a wonderful richly colored fabric. I will have to keep an eye on it.

And the bottom--not sure of that yet. First though two more rows of the top of the quilt. Will it work? Is this what the couple wants? I must work slowly and carefully. Should I go hunt for more plum colored fabric?  I am learning so much about these colors. I love it when the quilt takes over. What do you think? How glad I am I saw that cloud. Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever find the answers just by looking?


  1. ooooh - I'm all fidgety and nervous reading your post. Why do commissions do that to us!? I love the way it looks so far - though I have no answers. Commissions push us past our comfort zone and make us learn something every time (whether you like it or not). Yet I have vowed that my new year's resolution will be NO MORE commissions for all of 2011! lol It's very stressful. Regardless, what ever you end up with will be loved by them I'm sure! : )

  2. Thanks Monika. Sorry to make you nervous. I am sure it is the responsibility. The more I think about it, the more nervous I get. Oh well. I have had one customer say if I make a particular quilt--they will probably buy it. I am wondering if this is a better solution? Don't know.