Wednesday, November 20, 2013

getting it done--another take on custom orders

Now some custom orders I do require that I rethink my color way or stretch the concept of my quilts to fit the space. As I wrote recently, these are challenging but I always feel like I gain so much in doing it.

Others though, like the one I am currently working on, are more subtle. An existing quilt is just perfect only it is the wrong size. The wrong shape for the given space. If only I can just shrink and stretch the quilt to size. And I confess it can take me a bit of time to get started. After all, this should be simple, I think in my famous last words.

That is the case with my quilt--colors of the rain. This quilt was 45x45 inches. I had made it once. The customers loved it--but they need a piece that is 60 inches wide by 36 inches tall. Lovely quilt, isn't it?

colors of the rain--45x45"--quilt--Ann Brauer
 Lovely quilt. Nice soft colors. And I confess I contemplate the quilt. Wishing that I could just copy this piece and mark off another order as "Done." But I know deep in my experience that it does not work that way.

Now for those who have been following my blog will know, I am building a new studio. Yeah!!! But what you may not know is that for the last few weeks little work has been done on this project. Where or where is the plumber? I keep asking. Don't they know how much I long to move into my new space? And yes, it is a drag on my psyche no matter how much I try not to think about it.

So I decide that the best course will be to get this quilt done. After all, I don't want to be a similar drag on someone else's psyche. Especially not a good customer. So I tell myself to make what I know.

And I cut the strips for one of the grey rows.

Of course no matter how much I have thought it out previously, it will not be the same. Some fabrics are used up. And changing one fabric changes all the others.

And I sew a length of the grey. Lovely colors aren't they? Isn't the texture fabulous?

OK only three more rows to do. And gradually I work on it. A bit ever day. After all there is only so much grey I can work on in November. But finally all four are done. I hang them up and try to absorb their colors.

I play with the order. Move the tan away from the mauve. Amazing how subtle but true the color gradations are. Finally I get it right. Figure out the math of the quilt. And carefully cut the pieces. Laying out the framework of the piece. 

Yes, someone comes in to the studio and asks if these are samples. Okay. I explain that it is my design board. I need to fill in the blanks.

But still there is progress. And as for my studio, well let's not go there just yet--although I promise you will be the first to know when I hear. Meanwhile send me a good thought about plumbers. Actually seeing them. And keeping my patience in the process.

So how do you do it?  What tricks do you have?

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