Thursday, August 27, 2015
Several years ago I participated in a kind of round robin quilt design project organized by Terry Jarrard-Dimond. After she sewed the finished composition together, I asked her if I could have the leftovers, because I just love sewing leftovers into quilts, especially leftovers from other people's projects. I always think that the energy those others put into their work carries over and gives my work a new aura that I wouldn't get entirely on my own.
I sewed those leftovers into two separate quilt tops (see them here) and eventually quilted and finished one of the tops (see it here). But the second top languished. It ended up in my workshop box, being shlepped around to workshops around the country so people could see the back side of my fine line piecing.
Here it is on the wall when I taught at the Crow Barn last fall.
My students wondered why I had never finished it, and we talked about its compositional failures as an object lesson. I said I didn't think the top half really matched the bottom half, and I didn't have enough of the blue and gray leftovers to really give those colors an adequate presence in the quilt. I said I loved the yellow area at the top -- and then I blurted out "I really should cut this into two pieces!"
You have probably had such an experience yourself, where you are surprised to hear what comes out of your own mouth, and later realize that it was true.
So as the workshop went on, I took my seam ripper and opened the quilt top into two pieces. Earlier this year I got both of them quilted and finished.
Fine line piecing has always reminded me of aerial landscapes, and these have names to reflect that. I don't know if I would try to exhibit them as a pair, but that's a possibility.
Left Coast, 2015
It's taken almost five years to progress from leftovers to finished art, but I'm happy with these. I've always believed that if you wait long enough, and keep your work within view, it will tell you what it wants to become. And that's what happened here.