Quilts always seem to have a life of their own. How do they come into being? How do I decide which quilt to make? There are so many ideas floating in my mind. Some I sketch and re-sketch for years before I finally see how to make them. Some are custom orders that I puzzle and re-puzzle to try to meet the dreams of the customer. And some just seem to happen. Like a good jazz piece. A design, a concept and then they happen. I wake up in the morning and get a vision of the piece. The time is right--it is no good to envision a new piece when I have an order to finish. If I do, I quickly sketch it out. I may or may not return to it.
As Anne Truitt says in her wonderful Daybook (Pages 94-95): "These concepts hover, already complete, it would seem at the edge of my consciousness." She admits less than a quarter of her concepts will ever be made. How reassuring that is to read.
Right now I want a new quilt for the Baltimore Show at the end of February--a quilt that will surprise me, a quilt that will make my booth unforgettable at Baltimore. I have been thinking of the power of my grey landscapes. These long spaces that seem to have a mystery and rhythm to them. I am intrigued by the piecing and order of these quilts. Reading about Eva Hesse recently, I have been thinking about repetition.
This time I can see the rhythm of the piece. The basic design. The colors are at the edge of my perception. This is a piece that does have a purpose--a customer--my booth. I love the greys of the runners but for my booth I want more color. More power. I figure out the measurements. Spread out the colors I want to use. I want a color gradation. Arrange and rearrange the colors of the fabric. This time I just make notes with the fabric themselves and leave it as reference by my cutting table. I can play with it more later.
I start. Oh the little blocks are so small. Is the color strong enough? Will it just look mushy? I worry. Experiment. Make some more blocks. A long row for the bottom of the quilt. Don't they look lonely down there?
How to change it? What comes next. Again more experiments. Keep piecing I tell myself. Trust myself. Hmm--what do you think? How can I go from the plums to more rose--will it work? Is this quilt too strong? How will it look when it is sewn together? I take more pictures. Cut more fabric. Keep sewing.
In the morning when my cat wakes me up--her food dish is empty she says. She wants to make sure I know. It is too early. I try to picture the quilt in my mind. So many decisions I will have to make along the way. Today I hope to make the next row. A lighter green--can I get the colors right. How much tan to include? Decisions decisions decisions.
I keep piecing. Keep trusting myself. So what do you think? How do you decide what quilt to make? I am impatient to see the quilt--to see if it will work. Does that happen to you?