Sunday, June 28, 2009

Being creative every day feels good!

I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) last weekend, where I entered my “Quilt On!” mixed media scrapbook quilt in the show, only the second time I’ve had the nerve to do that. The quilt didn’t have to meet any judges’ requirements to get in (they allowed the first 200 that applied to be shown)—but it was judged by a panel of three. I got an 84, 81, and 79 out of 100 points. Not too bad. The judges said my piece was fun (yes!) but it needed more quilting. I don’t disagree—I just didn’t feel like doing it. My goal was to make something simple and get my confidence and desire to quilt back. I felt good that none of them said it was a disaster construction-wise. I'm always worried about that because I have a hard time with piecing accurately.

Over the past couple of years, I think I’ve been stymied by my desire to expand my wings. I design quilts that I have NO IDEA how to construct, so I get stuck. I am so overwhelmed by what to do next and all the projects I want to do that I do nothing (sounds like the men I date).

Anyway, at VQF I came to the conclusion that I will never be a master quilter. Don’t laugh. That was once my goal. But I know I’ll never have the patience, skill or vision of a Barb Olson, Margaret Miller, Ricky Tims or Susan Balch. And I’m learning to be okay with that. In fact, I think it’s inspired me anew.

I took another class with Barb Olson at VQF and it was simpler than the previous class I’d taken in April (bigger pieces to glue and appliqué!) and I was familiar with the technique this time. It’s also a dramatic flower (which I’ll show you somewhere down the line when it’s more finished), which I loved. She calls it “Wild Child.” As soon as I got home, I started working on it:
1) Because I was psyched to design it. It was FUN!
2) I left my sewing table folded out and my fabric everywhere. I just spread it all out throughout my dining room and let my housekeeping go to hell.
3) I can take 10 minutes here and there to work on the piece. Once I start to get frustrated or my sewing machine gums up, I stop.

Over the past week, I've finished all five petals and I’ve felt really good mentally—and I know it’s because I’m quilting.

It’s amazing how good it feels to be creative everyday--don't you think?


michele said...

That is such a beautiful quilt. I love it! Such wonderful energizing colors.

On a Craft to Heal note, Etremely Crafty is calling all crafters to unite against childhood cancer as part of our Craft Against Cancer challenge for the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign.

Help by doing what you love – crafting and we would love to tell the world about your efforts. We’ll post on our Fundraiser page your photo and link back to your blog or website.


Thank you! Michele x

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi nancy!
your passion for your art and connecting to yourself and the world around you through the creation of it is wonderful!
you describe the process and experience so eloquently. there is a fun blog that i think you might enjoy.
here is a direct link to what it is about...

:) melissa