Monday, December 04, 2017

This evening I had ...

an insight into my quilting, that took me by surprise!

I was sent a link to some photos from a textile exhibition and saw a quilt that really pleased me. The quilt, which was landscape orientation, was divided horizontally with a darker section at the top and a lighter bottom section of the same shade. In both sections the colour was graduated from top to bottom, neither was solid colour, but I couldn't get close enough to see whether this was achieved by dyeing or stitch.
The only visual break to these two sections were a series of light vertical lines of varying thickness to the left of the quilt.
I found it really satisfying to look at, it was calming in it's simplicity but there were enough visual prompts in the quilt to keep me looking. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I began to wonder how I'd set about making something similar* then bingo - the surprise. A little voice popped up and said 'You wouldn't want to make that, it'd be too easy, you'd get bored'. I have never before thought that the making process was so important to me. I've always considered a quilt to be about a concept or colour or a design solution ... but the technique?
Time for a bit of head scratching methinks ....

*As for making something similar I realised that I've made several quilts that include vertical lines breaking through a horizontal change of colour. I presume I liked the quilt I saw earlier because it was familiar!

1 comment:

The Idaho Beauty said...

Interesting ruminations. After years of honing techniques in the traditional quilt world, I carried much of the fussiness complex piecing and intricate embellishing into my foray into the art quilt world. As time went by, my designs got simpler and simpler, but no less interesting to me. I did fear however, that the viewers of the exhibits where I'd be displaying these pieces that at time were becoming quite minimalist and sometimes had hardly any stitch at all would start to blow them off, think I was being lazy or not including enough "work". I eventually realized that there's a great deal of difference between "simplicity" and "simplistic", with the former done well not as easy as one might think. I really do love some of my simplest work, and still at times worry that I should add more. I'm not sure I've ever had the "you'd be bored" thought enter my head, but maybe my thoughts about what others would think is along the same lines - them rather than me being bored with my work. But you are right that sometimes we need a simple piece to provide some calm in the middle of an otherwise often frenetic art quilt world.

I have always been so much about the process more so than the finished product, and the challenge of figuring out how to achieve the vision in my head, which is often about identifying the best technique. It is always good to peruse one's "body of work" after some time has past. I agree that we may instinctively be drawn to art similar to what we have done ourselves, a subconscious thing.