Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This week's quilt, number 49/09, is quite a departure for me ~ hence its name, Departure. I really love this piece. The three vertical pieces are digital images, the bottom piece is a deconstructed print.

This piece feels like a departure from what I've done previously, in several ways...
  • it's bolder, more graphic
  • the quilting is much looser, doesn't keep to the structure of the design on the fabric as I've tended to do on earlier quilts
  • it's more abstract, it feels like an abstract painting
  • rather than finishing the quilt with a facing on the back and then glueing that to a frame, I made the top big enough to stretch over a framed canvas, beyond the 10x10" quilted area. I'll just finish off the back with kraft paper and it will be ready to hang.
There's a freedom in this piece, as well, that feels exciting to me. I think my art is changing...and that's a wonderful thing. Feels like I'm taking steps closer to where I want to be, closer to the art I want to be creating.

I'm trying to work more spontaneously now, to not deliberate too long over all those decisions that go into the making of a piece of art. Trusting my gut, my instinct. That sense comes through for me in Departure. I also experienced that spontaneity in the 8x10" study I did a few days ago for Fiberactions' Initiative challenge -- I wish I could show it to you but I won't until January 15 when we post our finished pieces. Anyhow, I worked quickly to make that piece and I love how it turned out -- i.e., I'm happy with the solutions I arrived at to achieve what I wanted.

I've completed three quilts recently based on paper collages, and although I'm putting together a fourth piece in this genre, I've pretty much decided against moving further in this direction. The first piece of the bunch was Snake Eyes, a tiled digital image on linen that was quilted pretty much right along the printed design on the fabric. I enjoyed making this piece and do love the finished product. But doing more of this very same thing feels too representational. Or perhaps it seems too mechanical -- make collage, take photo, manipulate photo, print on fabric, make fabric/batting sandwich, quilt printed design.

The second and third pieces in this series, Morning Prayer and Meditation, although I do like them, gave me the feeling that I was looking backward rather than forward. Making a quilt today based on a collage I created weeks, months, or even a year ago seems like moving in the wrong direction. There was spontaneity in creating each original collage. Translating that into fabric, now, feels contrived.

So stay tuned, to see what's next!


Jan said...

It's so interesting, Connie, to read your thoughts on your process. I really liked one of your recent collage-based quilts and liked seeing the collage and the quilt in the same post.

Brava for your work and thanks for getting me thinking about my own process. Our work is light-years different: I work with commercial fabrics and piece on a foundation, using quilt or quilt-like patterns. The coat I'm working on now has 17 fabrics, not counting those 3 or 4 for the lining. This coat was/is very much a "channeling" of various ethnic garments I have seen, known and loved over the years, plus some sentimental choices reflecting my year in Iran (exotic fish and shells for the lining). As I've worked I have noticed how pleasing it is doing the technical aspects: cutting, stitching, pressing everything just so to get the effect I want. Usually my main pleasure comes from choosing the fabrics and then putting them together. In fact, I usually can't wait to see them cut up and stitched together!

This time I feel some inner guidance that must have always been there for a piece to take shape, but I may not have noticed or articulated before. This is not to say that I haven't done my share of ripping because my execution failed to achieve the desired result... LOL!

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble...thanks for what you do and especially for sharing.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Connie, I really love 'Departure', it has great visual interest and is fresh and spontaneous! I think this past year has been very good for you artistically, and I can't wait to see you grow even more in the next years!

Susan Turney said...

I LOVE this one!!!

Unknown said...

I love this piece and I love that you're thinking about the same kinds of things I am, apparently. I am frustrated with the regiment of precise bindings but nothing finishes off a quilt as well as a neat binding... it's my goal to find another way.

Now I have to decide if the art quilting scene has room for someone like me who doesn't like to play by the rules, or should I just scrap the idea of entering quilt shows, stick to making art (now with new and improved stitching!) and only enter gallery juried shows with stitched artwork pieces.

My husband asked me last night how I will solve this dilemma, and I told him that I just needed to let things play out as they will- my art IS changing, has been for a while now, and I just need to see where it wants to take me. :D

I feel kindred to you and to your process- it is very, very familiar to me.

frazzledsugarplummum said...

I love the looser stitching on this piece and look forward to seeing where your art will lead you.