Saturday, January 14, 2012

why quilts take so long

Now, in my opinion good art is supposed to look inevitable. Like this was the only way this idea could be conceived and executed. Sure, the process of making it may take some time but isn't there just one resolution for any given statement. By this I don't mean that Josef Albers can't take the same concept and create many different color statements from this concept. But if he had started with one or two specific colors and wanted a specific effect, isn't there just one way of doing it?

At least that is my theory this morning. You see yesterday I spent a lot of time working on the green center for the quilt I have been working on--remember I blogged about it  here:
How to do you make a quilt sing. The green in the center I felt was wrong--too yellow, clunky. Not enough of the dark green. So I got out my green fabrics again. Spent time arranging them in order.
Then stepped back and squinted. What do you think?

Lovely colors. But isn't one of the jumps too strong? Is it too brown? What if I change it like this?

 Amazing isn't it, how one fabric can make such a difference. I looked at it some more. What about this area?

Again it is lovely. But I am not sure how yellow I want the piece. I switch it out.

One change. Such a different look. I fret. I pace. I do other things. Drink some coffee and even clean the studio a bit. Amazing the things I can do as I ponder. I wonder what the people on the street in Shelburne Falls think as they peer into the studio. Mad artist at work probably.

Finally I take the plunge and sew. Pin it up. Pace some more. Luckily I have my sewing machine placed so I can look at my design board as I work.

I like the feeling of going into the sky. A window. But that is this the right location? Not sure. I bring it down and look.

Somehow that seems better. Not sure yet. Maybe it is a bit too white at the bottom. How will the quilt change as I sew it together? I think I will let it sit there for a while.  Make more items for the Baltimore Craft Show. See what I think about it today--maybe even tomorrow.

And you--do you believe that good art has to look inevitable? Do you wake up at 5 in the morning with "the answer". What do you think about the green?


  1. Yes - great art is the only correct "answer" to the design question - and you have a way of answering these questions better than most.

    In terms of the greens, did you try a thin strip of the fabric that's 3rd from right in the top picture? Wondering if just a hint of blue would help integrate the green section. Agree that lower is better.

    1. Thanks so much Eileen. Yes, I did use the strip that you mentioned. I don't think it is quite as blue as the photo but I find that the darker area is working OK--just not sure about the lighter area. Is the white--light green too green? Too light?

  2. EXACTLY! Well said. Sometimes they have to 'stew' for days, weeks.

  3. I love your list of things you do while pondering which is best. Add do the laundry, walk the dogs, make a shopping list and you'll have a good picture of what happens here when I am thinking.

    Lower is better. I agree with you that the lightness at the bottom of the green is a problem. I blew up the photo and it seems to me that the bottom two strips are creating the difficulty. Can you lose those, swap a couple of the more yellow-y ones to the bottom and promote the green (third from the bottom?) above the yellows?

    1. Thanks Chris. Yes, I agree with you that I need to loose at least one and probably two of the bottom strips. I guess that is what seam rippers are for--sigh.