Carryovers From 2016

While I’d love to say I’ll begin 2017 with a clean slate, quilt-wise, I can’t. A few pieces I began in 2016 just lost momentum or are awaiting inspiration as to the next step. We won’t talk about the pre-2016 unfinished stuff.

Closest to completion is my “Mean Streets,” made for my master class assignment on lost and found edges.

mean-streets-piecedI need to crop this a bit, and then figure out how to quilt it. Since the fabrics are a mix of damask, linen, netting, and silk organza, I think I’ll need to back it with a stabilizer like crinoline.

Then, there are my girls gone mild. The angle of the photo is askew; they are better proportioned than this.

img_8612I drew these from a photo of young ladies at a southeast Asia tourist site, and then clothed each with scraps. They are meant to stand in the shallows of a lake or ocean and look back at something in the sky, possibly a hot air balloon. Making them was fun, like paper dolls, but I haven’t yet worked out the landscape around them. I need to piece and quilt the background before my girls can get their feet wet.

While I have some inkling about how to handle these two, after this I’m on uncertain ground. My paper pieced birds are cute, but I seem to work on them only at an annual retreat so only 15 are done.

three little birds“Winter Fields” needs to be quilted, but it’s large for me to tackle with FMQ. Maybe I can do the basics with my walking foot and then add FMQ flourishes.

WinterFieldsInProgressOh, then there’s “Transgendered,” which is sewn together, but I’m not happy with a few of the pinks in the upper right corner, and I’ll need to shop for alternatives.

transgendered-piecedI’ll need to have this one done by a long arm quilter, given its 56 by 60″ size.

Those are just the pieces of any size. A few little pieces are tucked away in drawers. Out of sight, out of mind?

My first question for 2017 is, when do you decide to pull the plug on a quilt that’s not working?


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

18 responses to “Carryovers From 2016

  1. I like the Girls Gone Mild, too! I see them hanging out at that march that’s going to happen in DC the day after inauguration!

  2. I really like these pieces and would love to see how you finish them (when and if you do). I especially like “Mean Streets” with so much going on in shadow, perspective, and value. RE: Pulling the plug – I think if I have brought a piece out of hiding for the third time and it still isn’t speaking to me, it’s time for me to give it up… BUT I’m not a saving/collecting kind of person and it can feel so good to be liberated from something that I know isn’t going anywhere! I’m wondering if there is a story that goes along with “Transgendered” and how you came to that title? Thanks.

    • I get the feeling you’re not a hoarder. What do you do with the pieces you give up on? The trash bin? Thanks for the kind words about Mean Streets. It represents about 3 months of work, off and on, and it’s still not finished. Transgendered began as a take off of a pattern I saw online called Fire and Ice. It used red and blue in vertical columns. The main idea I took from the pattern was those wonky triangle corners. The color scheme came about as a way of using up lots of blue batik scraps. Then I thought about the blue/pink gender stereotyping in garments and quilts. I saw “The Danish Girl,” and started thinking about what drives people to desire sex reassignment. Then I read a book (sorry, can’t find title) about a young boy who really wanted to be a girl and was doing everything she could to be one. That fed into the pink/blue idea, and I tried to show a change from one color to the other. I believe that all of us have elements of the other gender in our makeups, no matter how strongly we deny it.

  3. I love Girls Gone Mild! I would join that group! I would wear the T-shirt and carry the tote bag!
    I think I will be joining Charlotte in cutting up and reusing some old quilts this year.

    • The great thing about repurposing old UFOs is you don’t feel your time was wasted, just redirected. And the girls are one of my frustration projects this year. I know what I want them to be, but don’t know if I have the technical chops to do it. If nothing else maybe I can turn them into Spoonflower fabric.

      • Oh, you should! I will buy some! You could do a version just as they are with no background, and then another version with the water and beach, or a suggestion of a shopping mall… I am thinking of them as an updated Sunbonnet Sue, at home in many environments.

      • Hmmm, the paper dolls theme, with the girls being like that Travelocity gnome. I will work on getting photos of the girls before I give them a forever home.

  4. Not sure what is the right time to give up on a project (or anything else.) I think perhaps when it makes you feel more bad than good, and you don’t expect that feeling to get better with more effort.

    These projects, however, all have great potential. I love the winter fields. And the birds? Allow them to be just what they are, whimsical little birds. They don’t need to be attached to anything or set in a landscape, but could be in a staggered setting for interest. Or group them in 4’s and make them into pillow covers…

    I have a couple of UFOs to assess, too. And I need to get back in the habit of writing regularly. Always plenty to do!

    • Since I wrote this piece I have been working with the birds and will show my solution soon. This time of year I crave little sewing projects that don’t require hard decisions every few hours. Paper piecing is good for that. Please do get back to writing regularly.

  5. Charlotte

    I think as quilters we all have those ufos that are sitting in a box or bin. I try to start each New Year by pulling them out and looking at them again with fresh eyes. There are only a couple in my box this year as I have taken to cutting them apart and making them into something different or painting over the fabric for a new look. Our styles change as do our moods so I try to go with what feels right at that given time.

    • I like your New Year’s task and your idea to rework the pieces that don’t make the cut into something else. After all, they’re just a bunch of cloth. And yes, our styles evolve and what looked great five years ago may evoke winces now.

  6. Love your Transgendered one, very simple, but very effective. Re when to pull the plug, it’s always hard to put something away that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into – I’ve just done that with a quilt which had been sitting waiting for me to get back to it for at least six weeks and which had totally lost my interest … I finally admitted that no matter how much enthusiasm I tried to generate within myself, this particular project was depressing me so much that my quilting mojo had packed its bags and gone away on holiday! 🙂 And now that I’ve packed the quilt away and just started playing around with some batik scraps, I’m much, much happier, and I think the mojo has decided to come home 🙂 I don’t normally like to give up on things, but sometimes it turns out to be the right decision, which then allows you to re-engage and regain your focus.

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