Posts Tagged ‘keeping a record’

Samples: Eyes 2

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

On the Art Quilts FB page recently, a quilter asked: “Who on this list uses a sketch book? I’ve been told I should, but can’t get started …” or something to that effect. I’ve written a little before on how I approach this and

My sketchbook photogtaphed with some doodles I made on scrap paper but elements of this appeared in whatI eventualluy ended up with, and after taking this photo I binned the paper bits.

In responding to that writer, I realised my sketchbook, see above, is a real book in which I do make pencil diagrams and notes of ideas. But it’s only one tool in my box, so to speak, partly because I only have one handbag this A4 book fits into, so it’s not always with me. Today’s photo shows the latest pages in my book with thoughts over several days about making eyes in various ways for a recently completed project. I don’t often include a graphic pictorial element in my designs, but the notion of ‘Eye’ might appear more often in my work, who knows?

I posted these samples on a FB page I belong to, but as the project developed, the final version of ‘eye’ was not like either of them. During hte sample phase you can see by the diagrams on the left sketchbook page that I was flirting with the eye as a motif in a repeat unit/block design. That’s an idea that will keep.

Though I love pencil and paper (lists, diagrams) I do rely quite a bit on my smart phone. The camera is quite good, and there’s the memo function for any note I need to make. If we’re out for the day, I usually have my little point-n-shoot camera which always takes great photos. It’s smaller than my phone, so is ultra convenient too. So, really I could say my notebook, visual diary or sketchbook plus items transferable from my phone add up to a multi-media group, in which each medium has a role. I could perhaps add the sample bag into which I toss samples I’ve made once they’re assessed: I never throw them away, just put them out of sight and sometimes dig into them for a look at something I know is there.

The one exception to that comment is a little 5cm /2″ square piece of brown leather suede, heat bonded onto unbleached calico/muslin, with centre square cut out and little holes cut out of one edge of each piece. I keep it in full plain sight on my design wall, because I totally love it, and for years now haven’t been able to decide where to go with this idea. Maybe something sheer … my regular readers know I keep this idea in plain sight too, without ever seriously settling on what to do with it ūüôā

That might be an idea for this year’s SAQA auction quilt, which I normally turn to making early in the new year.

UFO Or Sample, Terminology Or State Of Mind?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

We’re¬† nearing the end of the year 2018, and though it’s a bit early to be thinking about the life-changing New Year Resolution just yet, another thing I tend to do as the Spring moves into Summer is a bit of tidying and a bit of chucking out, though really, if I’m honest it’s more like just moving stuff about a bit.¬† My summer clothes and winter clothes certainly do need to be swapped between cupboards, and any day now would be good.¬† But in the sewing room (I think it’s a bit pretentious to call it ‘my studio’) I tend to declutter my pin board and put away all samply-UFO things that I’ve really stopped ‘seeing’ and thinking about.

We artists all know some perfectly valid reasons why you can lose a sense of excitement over a project, and at such times the smartest thing mental health thing to do is call it a ‘Sample’ and put it wherever your samples go.¬† Mine go in a large opaque shopping bag.¬† I really don’t have many UFOs precisely because I do make samples to explore design or technique.¬† But once every few years, I jump right into a project, then have second thoughts.¬† At that time I decide the UFO is a ‘False Start’, and put that in the samples bag, too.

Now, if the UFO has become a rather advanced and possibly large project of fabric thread and you’re deciding to abandon it, I advise you be honest with yourself, suppress any guilt feelings, and select one of these options.¬† First, you could start referring to it as an ‘Ongoing Project’ as you put it aside for a while – but this does come with the implication that work has merely paused, not stopped.

If that is not true. or if it has been paused for so long that you know you have really abandoned it, you could consider cutting the UFO into dog-basket sized pieces, back each with some cosy flannel and edge with a machine sewn binding.¬† This is something useful for the family pets or gifts for your friends’ dogs.¬† Cats, too, like quilty mats, and you might find one of these useful in training a young cat where it is permitted to drape itself in your home and to help it develop a sense of its own special place.¬† (Key word ‘might’)¬† With a multiple UFO problem, you could make up a whole batch and donate them to your local animal rescue centre….getting rid of the UFOs and your guilt in one fell swoop.

Finally, I have heard of some makers cutting up their ‘false starts’ or advanced samples and using them in other, new, quilts.¬† I think that is an extreme and unsatisfactory solution, because the influence of the failed false start will always be there, enabling continued denial and showing that to some extent the sample/false start is controlling the maker.

Oh, and the pic above – just a snippet of a small sample of something which didn’t actually go further, as many samples don’t.




Browsing On Pinterest

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

My readers know I dip into Pinterest every now and then, sometimes browsing and procrastinating for hours; but this morning I was a little ahead of my loosely imposed daily schedule so took ‘only a few minutes’ …. then felt moved to write a little on this, create and resize a collage pic to illustrate this, and so really, nearly an hour has flown !¬† But shortly I’ll head back to more quilting on¬†the one I’m half way through.

To me, Pinterest is an ideas source, just like what journalists call a morgue – collection of files and clippings for reference.¬† I’m so glad I don’t have bulging drawers of paper clippings gathering dust somewhere – thank goodness for computers.¬† I watch out for interesting edge treatments, presentations, lines and shapes, contemporary hand stitch, holes, and a few other categories for which I have boards.¬† I just checked and among the 13 boards I have one for recipes – which I really don’t collect at all, hardly ever consult the cookbooks I have, and instead focus either on family favs or on the spot creativity.

With the exception of the broderie lace upper right, included because I own it and it inspires me¬† (holes) the other sections on this collage are samples I have probably tried out for reference having seen something relating to them on Pinterest.¬†¬†This morning¬† I saw and saved some contemporary hand stitch that reminded me of mending, and several¬† things on paper which took me browsing into a couple of interesting bloggers’ sites that seem to have been abandoned several years ago – that’s always a bit disappointing.¬† But, hey, Life intervenes at times, and I’ll look further to see if they are still producing, perhaps in another medium.¬† But my hour’s nearly up, so that’s all for today ūüôā

My Three ‘First’ Quilts

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

I am not going to go into the complicated detail of this claim though –¬†it’s long and complicated; I just want to post the link to this post on FB, which for some reason tonight doesn’t seem to want to allow me to post all three to illustrate the point I’m making in an exchange there ūüôā

Distant Shores 1987

First Day on The Slopes  1988



Ancient Expressions 1  1988




Rediscovered, 2011

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

The illustrated catalogue I have just done of my works showed up a couple of gaps in my documenting, as although I thought I’d finished it, I just came across a photo of this piece, which I finished in 2011 just as a dear friend was leaving the country for South Africa and wanted to buy it.¬† So though it is in the Ebb&Flow series, and I didn’t remember to list it at the time, I have done so now.

Untitled, 2011, 60cm x 25cm  approx

At that time I was including burned synthetic fabric ‘lace’ in many of my works, and this one features plain black against black nylon organza, then the glittery layer lies behind five segments of pieced fabric – from memory each of these was quilted, but I’m sure Bradley will let me know some time. I really like how the lines in these five sections flow, and this piece is on my mind today.

Translate ¬Ľ