Thursday, October 11, 2012

going for it--the evolution of a new quilt

I remember reading once--I think it was Stephen Jay Gould--who wrote that evolution comes in tiny steps and also grand leaps and bounds. Isn't that the same for making quilts? Some times I feel I am making variations on a theme. Solidifying the themes and language that I use to make the quilts. Other times I feel I am pushing myself. Trying something new and different. The quilts just seem to flow out of me even though I am not sure where they come from.

I know this summer I was working on a new quilt with the thin strips. You know how enchanted I am by the colors I can create using very tiny strips of fabric. So intense and such gradations. A new language that I must struggle to master. Yes, it is hard but the richness to the quilt draws me forward. Don't you just love these oranges and reds. The greens and yellows that move through this piece.

But I must push it further. I want a story. A movement. A contrast. So I added the black and white stripes. Like the beat of the drum. The contrast that defined the color. With just a hint of the color. That little riff that draws the quilt together. What fun I had.

Where though did this come from? Was there a story or was it too buried that it was just an exercise in color and design? I remembered the October snowstorm last year. What a surprise that was. Luckily we were OK. The yellow and red leafs of the maples had fallen. The glowing beech leaves and the deep reds of the oaks still showed color against the dark of the tree limbs.

Was that it? Does it matter? Where is this going? I have the quilt hanging by my sewing machine right now so I can study it and learn. I love the adventure when something takes me further. After all, isn't this why I make quilts? Isn't this the fun of it? Does this happen to you? How do you make leaps?

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