Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Down, Still Struggling

I just finished putting sleeves on two new pieces and wondering to myself whether or not they are completely done. The thing about getting into embellishing your work is that you can continue to add stuff and add stuff and add stuff. When is enough enough you might ask? I usually just hang the piece up and look at it for awhile. If I like it every time I walk by or glance at it, then it is done. If it nags at me that something isn't quite right then I start to consider what can be couched, beaded, or painted/stamped on top of it. Yes, my quilts talk to me. I listen to them to find out what they want to be and I try to take them there. I use my best creative effort to make them something that I would like to see hanging on a wall--or, ultimately, what someone else would like to see hanging on their wall!

I'm still struggling along with my brown tree piece. It is once again up on my design wall after a brief respite. I wasn't having any ideas and was rather stuck so I took it down and finished these other two quilts. Now I am back to trying to determine the next step for the brown tree. I need to highlight the tree somehow as it recedes into the piece a little bit too much. I just haven't determined whether that should be done through threadwork, paint, shivas/pastels, or beading. I'm playing with the paintstiks and pastels but I have not used them before and I haven't ever done much drawing so it is less than convincing to try this on my actual quilt top. Trying them out on some of the brown fabric in order to audition it before trying it on my quilt top helps to see how it might look, but so far I'm not impressed with my technique. I would definitely be more comfortable attempting this through threadwork, but I'm thinking that maybe I need to break out and try something new and challenging. More playing...

My mom and I were talking about how difficult it is when you are working on a piece this size with a good amount of effort already invested in it, to experiment with techniques or ideas that are untested or new to you, or just risky (such as doing cutouts which I have done before but that are definitely a "there's no going back" thing to do!). This piece is currently about 53" tall and 32" wide which is rather large for me. It is much easier to take risks on a smaller piece that you haven't put so much into and that if it doesn't turn out you haven't lost as much time and materials as with this size of a piece. I think I will be doing some smaller pieces in the very near future as this one is monopolizing way too much of my time just sitting there and not telling me what to do with it! It has potential and I love the colors/fabrics. I'm starting to lean towards just layering it and quilt it already, then decide how to embellish further. Sometimes the quilting just flows out and helps to complete the piece. It will stay up on the wall today for further pondering and tomorrow I will decide whether to embellish or quilt. Speak to me!


MsQuilter said...

Hi There
Jean here and I'll be following your blog as MsQuilter. I think, blogging is new to me! Just want to let you know I have stopped by and enjoyed your blog very much.

Heidi Zielinski said...

Thank you for visiting! It's nice to know people like what I'm doing since I'm new to blogging as well!
Hope you stop by again!

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