Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unknown Block

Here's a pattern you don't see every day. I thought it was a Maltese Cross variation, which I suppose it could be. I found it in a stack of quilts owned by Connie Davidson when she showed me her collection last week in Hilton Head. Anyway, it seems to be a sort of floral design, a tuilp, I guess, made of a Maltese Cross style block. What I like about it is how logical, even inevitable it looks. Of course you would make a tulip like that!

Of course the other thing I like is that women have always invented patterns, anyone who could make a quilt could make it her own way, or could invent her own pattern. Any signs of this creative impulse make me happy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Looks Like A Mess

It does not look like much at the moment but it will look better when I get it done tomorrow. When I started this all I knew was that I had this green and white pinstripe that I wanted to cut up and piece back together. So I started cutting and sewing, not knowing and not caring what it was going to look like at the end. Then I saw the picture at the top of persimmons in the snow by my friend Gail Anderson of Oxford, England. Yes! I could make a bunch of small orange things and scatter them around and end up with something sort of like that. But from the minute I started trying to make the persimmons, my judgemental side took off and went crazy: "Nope, that's not orange enough...wrong...not over there...looks stupid..." and etc. So I spent a whole day trying to make little orange things I could fit in here somehow.

I finally figured out that I was never going to be happy with it, because I was trying to compete with the image of perfection I had in my mind. I can't work that way, so I quit.

The next day I was idly sipping at my coffee when I noticed that I had originally pulled out this golden African fabric, and had a feeling that it would go well with the pinstripe. So I laid it on the piecework I had created and just loved the combination. Then I could start cutting and sewing again, and waiting for something to develop. At the last minute of my third day sewing, I saw something that made the whole thing come into focus for me. Then I knew how to continue, what kind of effect I was looking for, how to proceed.

"Sewing Without Knowing" is hard to follow.