Monday, September 22, 2014

I am curious--red

OK, let's face it. As my DH says, I always have a quilt to finish. Well, sometimes it is an eyeglass case or a placemat. Sometimes a potholder or a table runner. But always I have something to do. And I always have far more designs and colors that I want to play with than I possibly ever will have time to make.

So the question is how do I choose what to do next? After all, for every quilt I make there will be so many others that never get made. And if I commit to a large quilt, then I know how tired--physically and mentally--I will be each day when I come home from work. How will I find the energy to make the next one?

But if I just keep making the smaller items, then I won't have that big quilt I know I need for all the craft shows I have coming up this year. Paradise City and Philadelphia, CraftBoston and the ArtRider Morristown Show in December. Yikes. So I keep making the small items and think--do I want the blue quilt that will look like the sky? Or the green and purple quilt that will have such wonderful colors of autumn? I sketch them out. Even calculate the size of the rows.

Then one day I start. Almost without thinking. A geometric quilt in greys and blacks with just one red accent. Could the power of the quilt be derived just from the repetition of the design? So simple that it becomes complex.  A quilt about quilts. Where the sheer size of the quilt is part of its power.  I can visualize it--but only barely. That makes it interesting doesn't it?

I arrange all sorts of reds to create the central color.

red--quilt--Ann Brauer

And I sew. How wide--I am not sure. How much color change--I am not sure. There is that phrase from my days as a lawyer--don't ask questions you don't know the answer to.  I just keep going. And pin it up to the design wall.

red--quilt--Ann Brauer

I test a few different color ways just to make sure. The teal is just too bright. This was not what I had in mind but I wanted to double check it since I know that teal sells. Yes, there is a bit of method in my madness. I do have a new building to pay for after all. But it is wrong. Grey is what I want.

grey--quilt--Ann Brauer

Again I arrange the colors and sew. Hmmm. What do I think?

quilt--Ann Brauer 2014

Is it working? Is it too stark?  I add another row. As I tell a friend, I just have to keep going. If I stop it will be hard to get it done.

quilt--Ann Brauer 2014

But then I decide to play with the other side. After all, I don't want the red so far to the side of the quilt.

quilt--Ann Brauer--2014

Yes, that is adding to the power of the quilt. Not sure I want just those rows on that side but it does give me some place to go.

quilt--Ann Brauer--2014

I can think about it later. As I finish the last row of grey. Interesting. I won't even think about sewing this quilt together. How long that will take.  How I will have to break it up. Make some smaller items as I do the finish work. Instead I need to keep the momentum going. And of course there are so many more quilts I want to make. That will come to me as I ponder this piece.

And you--how do you decide which quilt to make? Do you ever just plunge in because you are curious? And will I see some of you at my new studio? Or maybe at one of the craft shows that I will be doing? Paradise City is October 11-13 in Northampton.  The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is November 6-9.

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