Friday, January 14, 2011

fabulous, she said

"Fabulous", she said.  Or should I repeat--"Fabulous!!"  The woman who had commissioned the quilt I have been working on for a month. What a relief. I drink more coffee and relax. I knew it was a fabulous quilt--but would it meet their dreams? As you may remember from my previous post, this quilt was an anniversary present the couple had given each other. I  had shipped it off and then a snow storm hit. Twenty some inches. Delivery delayed. Of course I worried. I worked on smaller items--potholders, pillows, placemats--waiting. Not wanting to start another quilt until I knew.

Now I must get down to work. The Baltimore Craft Show is coming up at the end of February. Then I have Paradise City Marlborough and CraftBoston--what was I thinking. I want a new quilt for my booth. I have rainbows of summer and hills and shadows. I have summer sky. But these quilts have been seen already. There are a couple of customers who might purchase just the right new quilt. But what to make? What colors do I need? What sort of design?

I have been reading Lucy Lippard's book on Eva Hesse. Have you read it? Do you know her work--she was active in the 1960's--friends with Sol Lewitt and others at that time. One of the first women to try to stretch the definition of art. Lots of fiber--wrapped threads, translucent rubber.  Some dated by now--other work so relevant. One of those books that is so powerful that when I first got it, I could only glance at the images--not study them. Then suddenly she died. Where would she have gone? What did the art world lose? Repetition--the power and obsession of repetition. This seems so relevant to quilts. The touch of the hand, the power of her wrapped cords. I must absorb it and then not think of it.

My design board is covered with sketches. Experiments in fabric. I want to do something new. The table runner with strips of fabric. Interesting. But I have done it before. I know what it will look like.
I think of the pillows. I love the intensity and color of the squares. So simple. So profound. So hard to get the colors to coordinate and sing together. There is definitely a "there there" to quote Gertrude Stein. But have I found it? Not sure, yet. I wake up on the morning dreaming of new designs--new possibilities. Oh, if only I had more time, isn't that always the problem?

I look at the grey trees. Or are they landscapes? Remember I wrote about them a couple months ago here. There is a possibility there. What colors--probably not just grey? I can't yet envision the quilt in my mind. Bits here and there. Can I sketch it out? Will the colors come to me as I work?

Maybe. Let me see. I need to start soon though--like jumping off the high dive. I think of a quote that was going around the internet a while ago. I wish I had saved it--but the gist of it was that sometimes it is better to just get to work. Not wait for the inspiration. That seems true to me. What do you think? How do you decide what to make next?


  1. Congrats! I'm working on a commission right now, and fearing failure. lol

    Oooh that table runner is terrific!!

  2. Oh I am sure you will do a great job Monika. But I agree there is always that added pressure for a custom piece.