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From the Design Wall Part 1

Starting Out

This is the first of a series of posts showing how an art quilt goes from the design wall to a finished piece.  I am writing these as I am making this piece, so there will be some posts before and after each post in this series.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I go, so please let me know what you think in the comment section.

Starting out, I went into my stash of hand dyed fabric (I do this myself) and found this nice grey/blue length that seemed a good neutral background for the piece I have in mind.  Then I started looking for color.  I auditioned several colors and the photo above is what I started out with.

Percolating

My usual process is to let an idea percolate for awhile, while I work on other things.  The photo above shows another fabric I added into the mix.  It seems to give it the little bit of pop I was looking for.

That little piece of white over there to the right are some very rough sketches of some of the shapes I want to incorporate into this piece.  Here is a close up…

sketches

You see…very rough sketches.  But they give me an idea of the direction I will go — I have ruled out some shapes and combinations and have kept some as more interesting.  Keep in mind that these are a starting point.  I may end up with something entirely different.  The point of this process is to get the thinking/creativity started.

This will stay up on the design wall for a couple more days, as I continue to think about exactly how to translate my idea into fabric.  Next step, I will start cutting and throwing the shapes up onto the design wall.

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Creative Journey

Beginning

Where does your creative journey begin?

Mine began many moons ago, when I was a child.  Maybe it was simply that my mother wanted to keep me busy.  (Hi Mom!)  Or maybe she wanted to share her interests with me.  Regardless, I started stitching (crewel embroidery) when I was about five.  I moved on to knitting and sewing soon after.  My best birthday present when I was 10 was a sewing machine.

My road has had many branches.  I played the violin for many years, performing in a youth orchestra which toured the US and Europe.  (All kinds of awesome to travel like that while in college!)  For many years, my craft/art of choice was cross stitch.  At the same time I kept sewing.  I even took my sewing machine with me to grad school.  And back then, it wasn’t what the cool kids were doing!

When I moved to Ohio, I discovered quilting.  I joined a guild and learned how to put a quilt together.  I think I even took a class offered by the guild, in spite of not learning well in classrooms.  I kept up with other crafts as well…knitting and some other random things that I can’t remember now.

Somehow, from traditional quilting I found art quilts.   I still keep my hand in with knitting, spinning, sewing, traditional quilting and even some mixed media work.  These seem to give me the balance I need to create my art quilts.  And my photography plays a huge role in the inspiration for my art quilts.

All the branches in the road have come together.  My road is clear, and my journey has a destination.

Where does your creative journey begin?