Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Haste makes waste

I am sure that this has happened to everyone at some point in time. Admit it. You are working so hard, trying to get the quilt done. And you just assume that you don't have to stop and think it through. Or maybe, if you are like me--you do think it through but not well enough.

Let me explain. Now as everyone knows by now, I am getting ready for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show November 6-9. This is a BIG deal. I haven't been in this show for years and I want to take advantage of it. So I am trying to get lots and lots of work ready. So much that it is hard sometimes to figure out what to do next. What will sell?

As an aside. Recently I had a wonderful woman in my studio. She had pre-researched and wanted a quilt of mine for a specific location. Got to love that. She thought she wanted one of my more "traditional" quilts. "Lone tree" perhaps.

lone tree--32x48"--quilt--Ann Brauer

"Night sky" was too big. Though of course I could make it smaller.

night sky--45x45 "--quilt--Ann Brauer

We went through the rack hunting for what might work. Some of the rivers quilts were the right size.

teal river--38x38"--quilt--Ann Brauer

Then she saw it. When I pulled it out and hung it up, she gasped. Audibly. "Colors of the sky" had found its home.

colors of the sky--38x38"--quilt--Ann Brauer

A quilt I hadn't looked at for a few months and yet I loved it's simplicity against the wall. Modern but still a quilt. What a great color study. And the size was perfect for its location.  I got to thinking, yes it would be great if I could have another quilt similar to this one. Not the same colors but what would the next one look like? 

I grabbed the colors. Quickly started to piece and quilt without studying images of the quilt that had just sold. I should know how to do this. The blue and the green came together so nicely. Happy colors. Peaceful colors. I thought I knew what would work for the central neutrals against the greens. Wouldn't it be fun to add just a bit of warmth? Just a hint of green? I struggled over these fabrics. After all, this was the key to the quilt wasn't it? I did lay them out and think about it before I sewed.

And even as I sewed. Then I pinned it to the design wall.  Have you ever had that moment of despair? When despite your hard work, there is something not right. Just look at it.

Sure it looks like a spring morning but that blue really looks out of place doesn't it? How could I be so stupid? Would it improve when I finished it. Would the black binding tie it together? I considered it. Just for a moment. NO!! I have my standards. Each quilt must work--or at least I must firmly believe that each quilt works when I finish it.

 I decided I had to learn from my mistake. What had I done wrong? Could I fix it? Time to sleep on that one. Then I decided to play. What if the problem was too much color in the central panel? What if I made that simpler? I pinned up a table runner I had made in light grey with dark green lines.

spring morning--38x38"--quilt--Ann Brauer

What a difference that made, didn't it?  So much calmer. Yes, that would work. I made the new central panel. Checked it out. Much better isn't it? These quilts are meant to have a simplicity about them.

spring morning--quilt--Ann Brauer

Now there are few things I hate more than taking out stitches. What a waste of time. I won't bore you with the details. Let's just say that I took out the stitches, sewed it back together again this time using a black binding.

spring morning--quilt--Ann Brauer

And now I still have to square it off and put on the binding. And yes, I got even further behind. Or was I getting ahead again since I did have a quilt that I liked--that I can't wait to finish and show to you.

Does this ever happen to you? What are your solutions? And again I do hope to see at least some of you at the Philadelphia Show Or maybe at my studio.

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