Monday, March 21, 2011

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that the first few days following my last post, I got a lot of new work done, which I very much want to share with you. The bad news is, for the last 10 days my back has been out, and recovery seems to be painfully slow. The good news is, every few days I seem to get a break, and am able to move around and act somewhat normal for a few hours. The bad news is, the pain and immobility come back after those few hours. Sitting at my desk top, as I am doing now, seems to make things worse, so I will make this short and sweet.... I haven't forgotten that I have a blog! I will be back as soon as I can sit and type for more then 5 minutes! And I will have new work to share! Promise!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Evolution of an Idea

After my last post, where I mentioned the idea of making a pattern for my Slumbering Spring quilt, I got right down to business. (By the way, many thanks for all the comments and input, I truly appreciate it)

I began by measuring the height and width of all the pieces making up the quilt top, (which I discovered consisted of 40 individually sized pieces... that surprised me, as I would have guessed I only used half as many in piecing this quilt.) From those calculations, I made a simple line illustration of the finished quilt, and also converted each of the measurements to the size that all 40 pieces would actually have to be cut, (don't want to forget those seam allowances!)

I filled the line illustration with color, and marked and labled each piece, which corresponded to a color key and cutting chart that I also made.

I was just getting down to writing the step-by-step instructions, when all of a sudden, I stopped and thought, what the heck am I doing???

It suddenly occurred to me that here I was, working to make a detailed and precise pattern for a quilt that originally was created on an intuitive level and constructed in an improvisational manner, (which is how I always create).

The whole thing now seemed rather disingenuous and not staying true to myself, how I create, or how I would like to encourage creativity in others.

However, this self-realization got me thinking in an out-of-the-box way, on how to create a series of patterns for quilts that use no pattern. A sort of "non-pattern" pattern, which would be more about the process then duplication. A pattern that showed the basic steps in how to create a quilt similar in nature to whatever was pictured on the cover, yet insuring that each quilt made would indeed be one-of-a-kind, as opposed to an exact duplication. In addition, this type of "non-pattern" pattern would also offer guidance on variations in design layout, fabric and color choices as well as size, with examples showing that once the basic process was understood, all sorts of different quilts could be made. And best of all, (at least in my world) they would be made without rigid rules that leave no room for creative exploration and discovery.

I am a person who while easily amused by little things, can also bore very easily. The thing that keeps me interested in creating, is the question... followed by the exploration for the answer. (Which is why I probably don't work from patterns, as all the answers are already there.) When I don't have a creative question to ponder, I am lost. Happily, for the first time since winter began, I feel that I finally have a question that is intriguing enough, (to me) to search out an answer. My head is brimming with new ideas, and while I don't know yet if I ultimately will or won't wind up creating these process driven "non-patterns", I am for now going to be exploring it, and in my next post I'll have a few quilts which I am working on now, that hopefully will help illustrate a bit more of what I am visualizing.