"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Art Quilt in Progress

We were still snowed in, today, which gave me the opportunity to work on my Pendant Wallhanging. 
It started out looking REALLY ugly:
No question I love the fabrics but the piecing was rough.
I was also worried about how in the world I was going to get the center to match up.  Happily, a fellow Okie from the HGTV message board suggested I applique it. 

To be honest, my first thought was, "No, I want to piece it because that is the proper way to do it - and I don't want to duck from a challenge."  But my second thought was that there ain't no quilt police and I am learning enough new things that I don't need to frustrate myself so much that I walk away from it. 

Plus, an art quilt is a good way to tap into your creativity and problem solving skills.  Everyone has their own style and no one can tell me that I am doing it "wrong."  Including me, if that is how I want to do it ... right? 

The drawback to that is that I don't want to develop bad habits.  And I really do like to learn something with every new project - good for the brain, don't cha know.  But that argument doesn't hold up when you consider that the whole endeavor is new, to me.  Including applique. 

So I went ahead and appliqued the circle to the pendant:
Here is a closeup:
And here it is after I turned the corners of the entire pendant in preparation for appliqueing it to a background:
It is really smoothing out. 

I am very happy with it, so far. Here are a few shots:
I think it looks a lot like the pendant, which was what I was aiming for:
I found some great fabrics.
The piecing is definitely not my best but I am so enchanted with the colors that I can live with it.   In some places it looks like there is a gratuitous seam but I was combining different fabrics that don't show up too well in the photo. 

With every project, something stands out that I have learned.  I think this project has been more about color choice than anything else. 
Like I said, it will need a lot of cleaning up.
My current plan is to piece much of the background to put in a shadow and then applique this to it. 
This project is just for me so I consider it a practice piece more than anything else. 
My husband, the ultra engineer/scientist type, came into my sewing room today.  He has all the creativity and appreciation for creativity as a can of cream of celery soup.  Campbells.   He thinks visual artists are a tick on the ear of productive society, for the most part.  He just doesn't "get" that sort of thing. 

He stood for several long, silent moments gazing at my design wall.  I felt a sense of unease because the man always speaks his mind and likes things tidy and symetrical.  I braced myself for a comment I wouldn't like.  Something like - it isn't symetrical.  Or, what is the purpose of this whole thing?  Or, that doesn't look like a quilt - what is it?  Or - the worst - what is its function? 

Finally, he turned and looked at me.  I looked back.

"You sure are artsy."

I breathed. 

"That has to be hard on you," I said, with a smile.

"I can deal with it."

And then he went out to shovel ice off the sidewalk, which meant that I had time and opportunity to continue playing.  That is the way an engineer says I love you. 

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Nancy said...

I love the story of your husband's comment. A sign of a good man that he could find something positive to say in the face of something that goes against the grain to him. I'm impressed with the way you've taken off into the 'wild blue yonder' without instructions or a parachute! I think you've been very successful with your first art quilt. The longer I look at your pendant, the more I like it. It IS fun and exciting to try something new.

South Jersey Quilter said...

My DH has his own ideas of what constitutes a quilt. He'll look at something I'm making, and says "That's a quilt" or "That's not a quilt."

He's not an engineer, he's an ER nurse, but with projects his thinking is quite linear. Gotta love him anyway!

tisme said...

I like your Art quilt a lot! I really liked how you took something you had and gave it a new look.
Something hard turned into softness.
Maybe an extension of what you do for all your kids.
Just me rambling on. But it fits you.

Shirley said...

I am glad you decided not to worry about the 'rules'- I am an art quilter and I find that the less you follow rules the more fun you have and the better you do.

I have friends who are very precise traditional quilters and they just don't understand my thinking, (although they buy my work) and I am horrified at the thought of having to piece points and follow exact patterns.

Isn't it wonderful that there are so many different types of people in the world? I really like your piece-

I hope you will 'go for it' from now on. Shirley

Stephanie D. said...

Maybe he realizes it's a compliment to his taste in jewelry, too. A tribute to a beloved gift and the more beloved gifter.

ranette said...

I love your art piece Penny...the colors make me think of high desert country...

I'm married to an artsy man so that's different...lol

Back to your pendant quilt...I am also impressed that you could take off and do something without rules and instruction....that would be very hard for me. Good job!

OklaTwister said...

The pendant art piece is fabulous and the story that goes with it! Men just think different from us, but it's wonderful your DH said something positive. Glad you are enjoying the process as much as the final results. -Carol