Sunday, January 8, 2017

no more excuses

Sometimes you know--you just have to start. Sure I have memorized the images of the space until I know the colors and the angles by heart.  I have played with fabrics shopping for new ones and more of those I know want to use. Thinking about what will work in those wee hours of the morning as I think about getting up. Sketching designs in my mind as I drive to the studio or finish some hand sewing. 

But now--the holidays are over. I have deadlines and no more excuses. I need to begin.  There are so many possibilities. So many questions of scale that I need to address. Sometimes though for me that best way is to just start. See what I can learn by working at this scale. Will it be like I anticipated? Are the colors going to be right? Will the shape and movement be right? What will I want to do differently? What are the technical issues of this scale that are different from smaller quilts?

Sure I have made quilts that are this size before. "Sunrise" was 30 x 80 inches. I know I can do that.

sunrise--30x80"--quilt--Ann Brauer 2015
My quilt "distant flame" was vertical and also about the right size at 36x80 inches although I fear that three of these quilts would be too busy for the space.

distant fire--36x80"--ann brauer--2015

There is also my quilt "blue dream". I love how organically the "grasses" stretch to the sky but I wonder how it will translate when each panel is three times as wide. Three panels with three separate grasses could be too much for the space. What will happen when each panel becomes wider and shorter. Will it still have the same grace or will it look boring as a block of color?

blue dream--38x100 inches--ann brauer--2015

This time the mission is to create three matching wall hangings in three different colors in my "flame" or "marsh grass"series to hang in an entry way. The colors of the space are soft and floral but also sophisticated. I don't want it to be too busy. There is a lot of subtle design in the space. But I also don't want it to be too subtle that it fades into the background. The three quilts that have been ordered are each to be about 32x72 inches. Size does matter. It will be important to get the flowing grasses within this concept and have the three quilts look unified together.

What about "marsh moon"?  I love the glimpses of light peeking through the grasses? If I use the same feeling of light in all three panels will that tie the work together? Granted it will need some work to get the size right? But what will happen when I make three of them in the colors of the rug? Like three versions of the day? Will it be too busy or will the detail work perfectly to complement the rug.

marsh moon--work in progress--about 36x60 inches--ann brauer--2016

Hmmm. Well sometimes the only way to find out is to start. There is a lot I will learn by actually making the quilt and seeing how it works. After all, the worst case is I have a finished quilt that is not quite right for the space but that has taught me how to think this big. Nothing wrong with that, is there? And I do want to get this order done before the Baltimore Craft Show in February. Oh so much to do, isn't there?

Now before I begin this blog series I want to alert my readers, this will not be a how-to post. My goal in this post--and indeed in all of my blogs--is not to show how to make a quilt just like mine but instead to suggest how I think when I am making a quilt--the questions I ask and how I muddle through to get the right finished product in the hope that some of these same questions and methods will help you make the quilts that you imagine and want to create.

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