I don’t normally make new works to a theme, but one current call for entry has intrigued me to the point that I am considering I might even make it a kind of theme for all my quilt art this year – a really new approach for me. So, lots of thinking researching and, as always when I am in this frame of mind, sample making in my favourite go-to technique, improvisational piecing.
I frequently work cutting and piecing 2+ layers of fabric at the one time, rearranging them so that each unit has at least some of each colour. However, for this particular project I’m looking for a different effect, thinking more more individual eyes, “people” as against graphic icons. Even at this stage expressions seem to be emerging, so this is something I might explore further. Certainly I have realised real individuality will come when they are cut and pieced one at a time:
While doing this I
- create lists of relevant words and perhaps quotations, which help point me to a title eventually
- think about additional surface design techniques – including of course the manner of the quilting itself.
This all has to sort of ‘gel’ in a mental picture before I’m ready to start making a new work, and though I give myself permission to change that image as I proceed, I need to start with something in my mind. For me it’s not ok to just throw fabric up on the design wall and see what happens. I’ve too often heard improvisational quilting described in this way, and I’ve seen too many ghastly mish-mash results from people who believe that this is designing intuitively, and therefore artistic.