March 6, 2013
A step back...
Denyse's latest book, but somehow seeing them in person was dramatic.
I have several ideas as to why I'm not making quilts that speak to me so forcefully:
1) I'm not Denyse Schmidt.
2) I read a lot of blogs and look at a lot of pictures of quilts on social media. Am I confusing my brain with all the fantastic input? It isn't that I'm trying to copy others, just that maybe there is too much visual clutter in my head for me to sort out what I really want to make.
3) I've started thinking about whether other people will like what I make. Honestly, I want to make a living in this business, so if people don't like my quilts, that won't happen. It isn't like I have thrown my style out the window, but I have made some subtle changes on some of my quilts with other people's likes in mind.
4) I'm trying to work too quickly. I'm always working on one deadline or another and trying to fit in more than there is really time for. This doesn't encourage letting an idea simmer in your head for a while or for leaving a quilt on the design wall to see if the colors really work together.
5) I never would have had the guts to use that much negative space. It is a lesson to me that, as much as I know I love what the quilting adds to the quilt, it just adds so much more than I think it does when I'm staring at fabric on a design wall.
6) Maybe I'm letting too much time pass between designing a quilt and making it. I get so excited when I'm in the design process, maybe I'm just over it by the time I get to the actual sewing several months later.
So what am I going to do about it? I'm going to try to spend a little more time thinking and considering. I will try to slow my process down a bit and take a step back from time to time and think about where I'm going design-wise and what it is I want my quilts to say. I don't know if my next quilts will be home runs or not, but I'd like to feel that sense of possibility in the air.
(All these photos are of Denyse Schmidt quilts taken by me at QuiltCon)