One of the keys to overcoming any bad habit is to have some understanding of why we do it in the first place. So why don’t we “just do it” a la a Nike commercial and put off some tasks for later? And I’m not just talking about doing the dishes. I’m talking about taking care of tasks that we enjoy as well – could be sewing or gardening or whatever.
For some it could be some underlying fear of failure or even, for some others – fear of success. Maybe we don’t think that we have the specific skill required or talent needed to complete the task and that we will face ridicule. Maybe we’re in conflict about the task at hand and aren’t even sure it’s something that we want to do. Maybe we’re overwhelmed by other demands in our lives and can’t give adequate attention to this newer demand. Maybe we don’t have a clear enough image of exactly what it is we want to accomplish. Maybe the task is boring compared to some other activity that could substitute. I’m far from qualified to give out any advice here but maybe there’s some food for thought in the above possibilities. I considered these ideas and wrote the following Haiku:
Demands, wants, needs, musts I want to……….I don’t want to Relentless tick – tock
I decided that I would set specific goals for the art work that would accompany this haiku: 1. to complete the work in a set amount of time – time that I alternatively would have spent that evening playing a game online . I thought that it was not unreasonable to have the main designing and rough assembly done in 45 minutes. I would do the quilting and finishing the following day. 2. I have a plastic storage box full of previously fused cotton scraps – some of which are remnants from previous projects. My challenge was to use ONLY fabrics from that particular box. Believe me there were plenty to choose from.
The completed piece is approximately 12 inches by 12 inches.
It demonstrates how focus, definition and time limits overcame procrastination in one dedicated to that art.
I love doing these journal quilts – what a wonderful way to try new techniques. For “I’ve Got Lips” above I first did a pieced background and quilted it. Then I drew and cut out appliques of various “lips” – with a variety of pink and red fabrics. (I had to add paint to get the right color a couple of times) I looked for as many “lip” quotes as I could find and printed them out in various fonts using ExtravOrganza in my inkjet printer. I then cut out the sayings, frayed the edges and painted each one using a fabric marker. I adhered them to the quilt with a clear fabric glue.
Most of the art quilts that I’ve been making have been fairly free form. So I wanted to try my hand at a Still Life. I wanted it to be vibrant with color and simple in design. The fabrics that I chose would be very important.
First, not knowing which veggies would make the final cut, I went to the refrigerator to see what was available. I arranged various combinations on a cutting board and ended up with something that looked pleasing. I photographed them as I went along to get various perspectives. When I was satisfied I made a print in the size that I wanted to sew and prepared templates. I adhered a clear piece of laminating film to the printed design and cut the shapes that I wanted to use.
For the first time I went to my little stash of hand dyes and selected the veggie fabrics. Believe me when I say this was a really big deal. This is my holy grail of fabric.
I found pieces amongst my commercial stash that would work for the background and the cutting board.
Eat Your Veggies
Once I had the composition in place I decided that some highlights were needed on the veggies. I added these with Tsukineko Inks, chosen because of the ability to readily control the amount and depth of the color to be added.
I machine quilted to add texture and interest.
As I said earlier it’s quite different from what I usually do – do you like it?
Balance – what comes into your mind when hearing this prompt word? I thought of my 10 year old granddaughter Abigail balancing on her unicycle and of the determined look on her face as she struggles to maintain her balance on the low wire. I thought of commonly used expressions such as “balance your checkbook” or “eat a balanced diet”.
Ultimately – what balance means to me these days is the attempt to put the mind and body into a balanced or integrated state as we do through Yoga practice.
This is the 2nd of a series about Yoga practice. It incorporates the words: “Shanti” which means peace and “so hum” . This is a mantra that we use for focus while doing deep breathing.
I know – Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks – so why I am titling this entry Spring Has Sprung?
A little while back I made a little quilt with that title. Do you remember the little ditty….
Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz.
I wonder where the birdies is…?
So, naturally I had to make a “The Grass Has Riz” piece. I just finished the beading last week and got it done!
Spring Has Sprung
The center background is randomly pieced and the design elements are fused. The technique is very improvisational and FUN! I was first introduced to it a couple of years ago at a class taught by Deana Hartman. (http://chameleonquilts.com) One of the best classes I’ve taken.
I hurried through all the basic construction so that I could get to the BEADING! The writing on the quilt is done with a free motion zigzag stitch.
The Grass Has Riz!
. And here is…………. The Grass Has Riz! The pieced green background part looks vaguely like an egg, don’t you think? I guess the idea of Spring was working on me subliminally
I’m thinking that I should have done the writing in a more contrasting color. On the other hand, center stage belongs to the grass – and all the BEADS!!!!
I’m thinking that there are some birdies in my near quilting future……
Do you love coffee? I do – especially that first sip in the morning. So what did I do? I made a little art quilt in honour of that AHHHHsome moment: the first sip.
I pieced the background to loosely approximate my kitchen – yellow tile counters – got the grid effect with a paintstick rubbed over a plastic utensil that I found in the kitchen drawer.
I paid homage to my very favorite coffee mug by using its image in this piece – printed then machine appliqued onto the background. Thread painting, acrylic paint touch up here and there added texture and interest.
Added a little glitter just for fun
Glitzed up a few coffee beans for the full effect and free motion stitched my sentiments.