Sunday, May 15, 2011

complicated, complex, complete

Maybe it was the buds on my lilacs.  Or the last greys on the hill across from my studio waiting for the explosion of green. Was I saturated with forsythia? Or was it the drizzle that morning? Does it even matter? I sort through my fabrics hunting for inspiration. A new quilt to make to fill the empty spaces on my studio walls. You must know that time in between projects--before I begin the next big quilt.

I have a vision--a quilt in those off colors of reds and mauves, greys and taupes. Warm but not bright. Haunting in the complexity. There is something about those colors without names--those tertiary colors made with a bit of grey, some blue, just a tad of yellow. You know the ones--you see the paint chips with the complex formulas. The prints--just so perfect and complete.

Interesting words--complex, complicated, complete. Similar and yet so different. The prefix com just means with. That's simple.  "Complex" from the French to weave, braid or twine. Perfect word for fiber isn't it. "Complicated" is from the Latin--folded, confused, intricate. That makes sense also. You can check it out here. But "complete"--also from Latin--means to fill, fulfill, finish as in complete the legions. You can check it out here. Isn't English fun?

The fabrics I buy for my challenges--often not sure what I will do with them. "But they look so great together," I tell myself. "I know they will work."  And then they sit there--sometimes for years.  This wonderful complex feather fabric. Just a slight hint of metallic. What was I thinking when I bought it? I don't even remember.  I know I have used it--there is only a quarter yard left.  Usually it is at the bottom of the pile--but this time it will be perfect, I think.

I pulled out the mauve and pale blue. So sophisticated. I just bought it--maybe last fall. I wasn't sure what I would do with it even then.  I know I thought about it for a week or two but I just had to have it. I haven't used any of it yet. Pulled it out a couple of times but it wasn't quite right. This time it will work. Looks like it belongs to royalty.  The print that looks like a batik but it is not. So soft in its colors. I have used just a bit of it--too soft for most of my quilts--but this time...

Rolling hills is just perfect for these colors. I have that long narrow spot in my studio that needs something. I know these pieces sell. But will it work with these colors. I piece a couple of blocks. Interesting how the prints work in this design. Do you see how the feather fabric works?

I like that bit of soft yellow. Oh this is fun. Using all those fabrics that have just been sitting there. The blocks become greater the more I make.

Not bad. These colors are interesting.  I sew it together.  Finish it. Haunting isn't it?  Complex colors.

Maybe now I will make one in greys and taupes. See what happens in colors that are almost no color--if you know what I mean. What do you think? Do you ever just have to work in certain colors even if you don't know the names for them?


  1. It is lovely. Gathering inspiration through the purchase of fabric, waiting for the idea to bloom.
    The yellow does add just what it needs to catch the eye, so that the viewer does not get lost in the even softer colors.Very beautiful. I loved your post. I was hoping the whole time not to have to wait to see the finished piece. ;D

  2. Thanks so much Carol. I too had to see the finished quilt--you know how sometimes quilts just take over your life.