Thursday, February 13, 2014

How long does it take?

Now one of the questions I know I will get asked all the time at the Baltimore Craft Show--yes, it is next week-end and my Booth is 4209--is "How long did it take to make that quilt?"

Such a good question. After all, the questioner may be genuinely interested or at least they want to talk. Why, after all, do people come to Craft Shows? Sure, some of them want to see what a particular artist is doing. Or they may have an empty wall--a gift to give--a special occasion. Or they may just be tired of winter. Aren't we all? But many I believe come because it is fun to talk with the artists--what were they thinking when they made the piece? What is their process? Just that glimpse of our lives. And quite frankly it is an honor to try to answer their inquiries.

But this question is always such a hard one answer. Sure there is the basic reply--how long did it take to sew the quilt? Yes, the construction is a factor. After all, quilts do not just sew themselves even though I wish they did--sigh. And there is lots of finish work that people don't even think about. It took me a couple hours just to baste the Velcro onto the back of my most recent quilt for hanging. Boring.

rainbow quilt--40x40 inches--copyright Ann Brauer

Time to clean up the loose threads. Even time to pack it into the back of my van so I can take time to have its image taken by my wonderful photographer on Friday. Thanks John Polak for rescheduling.

But then I decided I had to try to make just that one more wall hanging--or is it a table runner--for the Baltimore Show. I loved the central rainbow in this quilt and thought it would look fabulous as a quilt to draw people into my booth. Yes, that is always a consideration, isn't it? And hopefully it will impress people.

Now I had previously made other long wall hangings so I did know what I needed to do to start the piece. These were experiments that I had done in 2012. They took a lot of time of course.

rainbow river--12x80"--Ann Brauer
I already had chosen many of the colors from the quilt I just finished--does that count in the new wall hanging?  Indeed I had used the colors in my quilt--rainbows of the dawn. Does that thought process count?

rainbows of the dawn--45x45"--copyright Ann Brauer

Or going back to rainbows of summer. You can see the theme here can't you?

rainbows of summer--99x99"--copyright Ann Brauer

I just had to stop by the fabric store the other day to get a few more pieces of orange--always a hard color to find.  Yes, many of my orange fabrics were actually gifted to me by my sister after I lost my studio in 2011. I think of her as I use them. But that is another story and still I need more.

Yes, this wall hanging should have a bit more blue with just a hint of green than the finished quilt, shouldn't it? So I get those fabrics out. Search for just the right dark teals and greens. Then I cut lots of strips of fabric to begin. My sewing table looks a mess. How will I find the color I want? Time here too. And let's not even discuss the process of putting the fabric away when I am finished. Not my favorite activity.

So I start. The first few rows are the hardest. After all I have to sketch out how the colors are going to transition. And there is always the question--will it work? Am I taking on too much? I pin it up on my design board and study it. More time.

rainbow runner--copyright Ann Brauer

You can see how long it is on my design board. I had to stand on my chair just to pin it up. Well, I want to get it done so I add more and study again.

rainbow river--copyright Ann Brauer

Yes, the colors are progressing. Sure seems like it takes forever to sew this. And of course I have to iron after every seam. Cut more fabric. Do I need a larger choice of reds? What about the purples? Always I am searching for more. Then I try to figure out the borders. I want something to make it more than just a color study. In case you haven't noticed I am into blacks and greys.

Of course the day is getting late. There is not really enough light for a good image so this is just a sneak preview. And that is where it sits. Waiting for the snow to end so I can make it into the studio and finish the sewing. Then it will be on to the bindings and the Velcro. Cleaning up the quilt.

rainbow river--copyright Ann Brauer

But what is the answer to the question that started this blog? How long? Does it go back to my early color progressions of 30 years ago? And what influenced me to begin making quilts in the first place?
Do you get that same question? How do you answer it? How should I answer it?

And will I see at least some of you at the Baltimore show? For tickets and more information: and using this code BWI2014GUEST. I am Booth 4209.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you work expresses a feeling through color. I hope you do well at the show. Be safe out there!