Thursday, August 4, 2011

the wind up

Now I am of course a Red Sox fan--after all I have lived in Massachusetts for years and years--so how can I resist rooting for the home town team. But my hidden secret--don't tell anyone--is that I don't watch the games--didn't even when we used to get TV. They take too long, if you know what I mean.

You know the routine. The pitcher strolls to the mound. Looks around. Kicks the dust a bit. Maybe winds up once or twice. A few signals to the catcher. Then the manager strolls to the mound. Confers with the pitcher. The routine starts again.  And again. Finally just when you have quit paying attention, there is the pitch. A strike. Or was it a ball. And the pitcher begins again.

Now I have had true fans explain to me that this is part of a dance. Where the action is. A game of psyching out the batter. This is what I should be watching.  But I just find it so so slow--if you know what I mean.

Of course I find myself doing the same thing when starting a new quilt. Especially if I like the new quilt. I finished scenes from a summer a little while ago. Even blogged about the it HERE.

As you may remember I want to make a series of these quilts using the thin pieces as accents for jury slides. And I want to have at least one more quilt done soon. After all I am doing not only doing the Berkshire Craft Show in about a week but then I have to drive to Evanston for the American Craft Expo--what was I thinking?

Working in series for me can be hard.  I can overthink the process and make a quilt that is too expected. Too defined. A quilt where the thin accents would be expected. Or I can start a quilt and get stuck. And I don't mean stuck as I have to sleep on it over night--I mean stuck as in no clue what I am going to do next. Put the quilt aside for months stuck. UFO stuck. Not good when I have a deadline.

Instead I must psyche myself out. Wind up. Make some eyeglass cases. Maybe some placemats--I do need some in gold.

Sketch and think. Make more eyeglass cases--at the last show I sold twenty--I do need a lot. After all they keep me in my booth. The money does add up. Sketch some more.

Then finally at the end of the day I start the quilt. So lonely the first pieces look up on the design board don't they? Will it work? I don't know.  I tell myself to make what I know. There is still one section that I don't have a clue about. Maybe it will come to me as I sew. Maybe I can experiment once I get more on the board. At least I will have something on the board to play with. Maybe I will need to make some more eyeglass cases. More sketches.

And you--how do you start a new quilt? Do you do a long wind up dance? Skuff up the dust on the mound? Clean the studio? Make something you know? What tricks can you share?


  1. One of my favorite things is spending nine (or more) innings hand stitching. You can always look up at the crack of the bat and the replays help when you aren't fast enough..

  2. For some reason I often start my pieces by first cleaning the studio, then if I'm still not "there" I will work on a traditional quilt for a bit.

    BTW, I have really only seen people using a black or white design board - how do you feel working on yellow? Do you use color/s for a reason, or just because what you have is yellow? :)

  3. Deb, great idea. Maybe I will try it next time I'm where there is a TV.

    Stephanie--when I bought the design board--it is an old office divider--I was concerned about the color--but it hasn't affected me. Not sure why?

  4. I only ask because I think I would be thrown off by the color when designing with colors that don't go well with it. :) I never thought of using an office divider though! That's a great idea. :)

  5. Just found you through Linkedin, and enjoyed your post about 'secrets of earning a living as an artist' - and had to agree with most of what you said. Will enjoy visiting your blog for more 'wisdoms'.

  6. Thanks so much Jennifer--I do hope I can contribute a wee b it of insight to the whole dilemma. Good luck with your art.