In five more days 2018 will be no more. It’s time for me to reckon with what I’ve done, and what I will move forward to 2019.
Rather than tally up the number of quilts I’ve made I want to review goals I had set myself, and talk about the directions my work has taken.
Here’s what I said I hoped to accomplish in 2018:
For 2018 I want to work more with photographs, and will be taking an online course in using Photoshop Elements.
I did indeed take the first two units of the Pixeladies’ Photoshop online course, and learned tons. Alas, I’ve forgotten much of it already, but have found it so worthwhile in editing photos of my work and prepping photos for printing on fabric. I hope to complete a quilt in 2019, made with photos I took.
I also took Kyric Kinard’s Abstract-a-licious online course and came away with a few possible quilt designs. I took no in-person classes this year, probably because nothing offered locally or regionally appealed.
In surface design, I want to play with gelli plate monoprinting and cyanotype printing.
The monoprinting never happened, though the cyanotype printing did, using inherited crocheted bits. I played around with spray paint to make prints of placemats on pattern eze, and experimented with making spray paint from Derwent Inktense blocks.
I plan to spend more time looking at art in general, rather than confine myself to quilted art. … My local art museum offered a year’s free membership, which I signed up for, so maybe trips there will spark ideas.
I ended up buying membership in my local museum and enjoyed two intense trips there with family and friends. I took in the Yayoi Kusama immersive exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
I need to find new homes for my work.
A cousin was happy to take many of my quilts off my hands. She’ll distribute them to interested family members. It turned out she likes modern quilting. Who knew?
I’d like to exhibit more in non-quilt show venues. … I have to decide if I want to take on the organization of an exhibit for area art quilters, or even if there’s interest in such exhibits.
I was thrilled to have my work accepted in an all media local art show, and even more thrilled to win first place. I had less success with other juried shows I entered, but did have pieces juried into the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza and the Pacific International Quilt Festival.
I learned that a local art organization is interested in putting on an art quilt exhibit, but it’s still just a twinkle in the director’s eye. I have my fingers crossed.
Rather make this post even longer, I’ll postpone discussion of what I made and the directions I took in my work to a future post a few days from now.
My Work In 2018
If the proof is in the pudding, then my quilt pudding reflects my love of color. In 2018 improv continued to be my default way to start a piece, though three pieces – Rococo, Sunset on Main, and Ohio-Erie Canal – were planned from sketches. While I bought fabric, I focused on my scraps and cloth I had changed in some way with dye, paint, print, etc.
When I begin my design with fabric, color usually dominates, and any “meaning” evolves with the piece. In past years I tried to create work with meaning. This year I just let whim take over, especially when I didn’t have set prompts to respond to.
I think all my work for the year is above, but I may have missed some. I didn’t include quilts I’ve reworked, nor ones that aren’t yet finished. If you click on one of the photos you’ll be able to see a slideshow of all of them.
Three, possibly four, of my 2018 quilts are based on patterns and/or templates developed by others. For “Church Windows” I actually read the directions. The rest I put together based on my best guess. Three were for an Ohio SAQA bullseye quilt challenge. One, “Siriusly,” was for a dog challenge. The Ohio-Erie Canal piece was for a map quilt challenge. That leaves about eleven pieces I dreamed up for no particular reason. Sometimes my fabric bits said, hey, let’s play.
It’s always interesting to see which of my pieces appeal to others, and which are my favorites. Often, they differ. The process of making a piece certainly influences my fondness for it. I enjoyed making “Sur La Table,” “All Decked Out,” and “Bullseye Bubbles.” I was frustrated while making “Ohio-Erie Canal” and “All Fly Away.” The former challenged me to integrate historical information with an aesthetically pleasing design. I learned a lot more history than is usual with a quilt. The latter showed me that decisions I thought were right in design terms weren’t. I’m holding onto it as a lesson in humble pie. In fact, I don’t think the photo shows the completed quilt, and I can’t find one anywhere. (Update: I found the piece and photographed it last night. I did improve it a bit but it still needs work and I don’t think it’s worth it.)
Of course I made lots of custom fabric, especially on non-woven Easy Pattern material. I’ve developed a fondness for stencils and have more than doubled my stencil collection. Dyeing has taken a back seat to painting as it is physically more demanding and just plain messy. One fun way to
avoid workplay is to add more layers to previous surface design experiments.
Because of my aging joints I steered away from complex piecing and fancy (as if!) FMQ. It’s a bit painful to do fiddly work and I get frustrated when complex mechanics just don’t work with clumsy fingers. I tried to build complexity through my fabric choices. When I used small pieces they usually had been cut several years ago. Thanks, Bonnie Hunter.
Overall, in 2018 I consolidated my skills but made no breakthrough pieces. In part, that’s because I let go of any notion of cutting edge work and focused on making in ways I enjoyed.
Filed under Commentary, Completed Projects
Tagged as 2018 quilts