Friday, December 30, 2011

Time to Reflect

The end of a year is a time when I like to think back over the last twelve months, and reflect on those things I have managed to do, and those things that still remain undone, and make a few choices about what comes next. I don't like the idea of New Year's resolutions - I'm so lousy at keeping them - but I do like to set quilt-related goals for the coming year. To begin the process, I first think about those quilts I am most pleased to have made, and these are the three that came to mind this year. The first one is called "Just for the Joy of It", because that's what it was. I made all sorts of log cabin blocks, using fabrics from my scrap box. Some had diamond shaped centres and some had door shaped centres. I kept making them and joining them to one another until the quilt seemed about the right size to snuggle under when I'm reading a good book. It has gone to live in my cabin on Hornby Island. What did I learn from making this quilt? That I am thrilled to use up little bits of leftover fabrics from projects made many years ago. Each time I reach into the pile, it's like encountering old friends. That I enjoy intuitive piecing, in which I don't really know what the
outcome will be; that it's the process of asking myself "shall I use a little of this or a little of that?", of deciding quickly, or risking not
not knowing what it will be and then being happy with the outcome. So whatever else I choose to do this year, I would like to make more
quilts like this one. The second quilt is "Encounters with Kente", a piece in which I was inspired by an original piece of Kente cloth purchased while in Ghana, in designing an original accompanying piece, while remembering the crowds and heat and colour of Ghana. I sold this piece the first time it was shown, so haven't had the opportunity to live with it, but felt so alive while I was making it - there was a "rightness" to a move in that direction - that I am now committed to making more pieces in what I now see as a series. The third quilt was finished this year, although it was started some time ago. It's called "Celestial Dance", and I've shown a close-up photo as well as one of the whole quilt. When I learned to "couch" threads in a Carol Taylor workshop, I had no idea where it would take me. I have adapted her method and made it my own, and am using the small folds of fabric cut when I am making up "fat quarters". I have made other smaller pieces using this technique, and in the coming year, plan to make other larger pieces. You will notice that I've also used it in "Encounters with Kente". So this is how far I've got so far in my end-of-year, taking-stock/listing accomplishments/setting goals for the new year process that I'm goind through. I would love to hear back from any of you who go through a similar process yourselves. And of variations in this practice. Thanks for letting me share my own.

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