This goes out to all my friends who sometimes (or maybe always) wing it when working on a creative piece. I’m not one of those people who plan everything out in detail before starting. I tend to dive in and go for it. Of course I do have a habit of thinking and thinking and thinking about something before I actually start doing it but once I start anything can happen.
I’ve been working on a couple of small art quilts using my Stitch Meditations. The meditations were started with no thought of how they might be used, they were just quick (well maybe not so quick) stitching using scraps of fabric and threads. As they progressed though they started presenting themselves as something more and I just had to go with it. Even to the point of not doing stitch meditations on a daily basis. I will get back to that though because I really enjoy it and they seem to spark more ideas.
So I just started seeing how I could put some of these little pieces together. For one I knew I wanted a “white-whitish” background using strips of different white and white-on-white fabrics in varying widths. I wanted to quilt the background using straight – well sort of straight – lines. I originally thought I would do lines very close together but when I just did lines ¼ to ½ inches apart I decided that was the look I had in mind. See less is more as one of my art teachers always told me. I had a tendency to throw everything but the “kitchen sink” into my work. So she always encouraged me to remove something. Nowadays I’m trying to use that principle more and more.
Okay the background is done, now to attach the stitch meditations. Once I had arranged them the way I wanted I noticed the ones in the four corners had a little curve to them and if I arranged them just right it gave a hint of a circle to the piece.
After looking at it on my design wall for some time I thought I wanted to add some stitching on the background to add to the circle effect. After talking with some friends and getting their opinions (some saw what I was getting at, others had other ideas I could try) I went with my original idea and finally dove in and started stitching.
I wasn’t too pleased with the way it was looking but since I had put in the beginning stitches I had to commit to them (I was afraid if I pulled them out I would have big pukas (holes in Hawaiian) that would be difficult to hide. The thread I was using was DMC Pearl cotton size 8 and the needle was fairly thick.
After I started and did the bottom section and part of one side I put it up on the design wall. I liked it but the stitching was a little wonkier than I wanted. I wanted a very organic circle not a perfect circle.
Light bulb moment: I really should have put it up on the wall and then determined where my stitching would be placed. It would have been easier to see where the line should be rather than looking at it flat on the table. I could have used a string or tracing paper to get it placed better. With the tracing paper I penciled in the lines on the paper and then made a few marks for guides and then cut out the tracing paper.
Now it was time to mark the background. Remember the background is white. I did not want my markings to show. I did not want to use an erasure or water to remove the marks. Then I remembered my Hera tool. That will make a small crease in the fabric that will stay there until I have finished stitching. Perfect.
I’m done stitching and I’m not sure it had the effect I was hoping for but it’s done.
Next time I think I would test it out on a small sample first. And of course I have the tips for marking now that I can use at the beginning of the project rather than in the middle!
I’m thinking I may like it better if I added another circle inside the circle and another one inside that. But for now it’s done.
I can always come back and add more circles if I want to because:
Less is more but sometimes, just sometimes, more is better!