Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Progress

Around Thanksgiving just as the holiday season was gearing up, the online challenge group I belong to issued a new challenge: create a quilt using one shape only and not in a traditional repeated block pattern, but in some abstract design.  As usual, this was supposed to done in one week.  With hundreds of things on my to-do list, many of which involved preparing for the VESTA exhibit or the holidays, I couldn't get the challenge out of my mind.  And during a few free minutes I cut out a shape in various sizes and colors and began to play with it.  And this is the result:
Now this is unfinished.  For one thing, it is cropped, not bound yet.  But I did try some new things with it--couching the blue lines of heavy thread and narrow ribbon and quilting the center swath heavily with a variegated thread that has some yellow in it.  Each shape also has a pattern of quilted pearl cotton on it, although none of the quilting shows up well in the photo.  Enlarging may help. Right now the piece is about 32" x 20".

I was trying to keep the piece abstract so that it didn't have one obvious meaning.  In other words, it could suggest several possible interpretations but was primarily a pattern that was hopefully pleasing.  The reactions from the critique group were interesting.  Several of the commenters tried to make something out of it--a particular animal, rocks--and were frustrated because it didn't look enough like what they thought it should be.  And perhaps the piece is flawed because I am playing with suggesting a meaning and undercutting it at the same time.  I named it "With the Flow," connecting with the liquid-y nature of the piece and implying the slippery nature of pinning it down with one interpretation, but that could be a problem as well, pointing too clearly toward one direction.  Naming a quilt, as I pointed out in an earlier post, can be a help or a hindrance.

Now that it is no longer part of a challenge that only allowed me to use one shape I am thinking about whether to add another shape and perhaps whether it is worth spending more time on it, but decided to share it with you before I changed it.   

So I welcome your thoughts and, if you are still reading, thanks for the company.  


Unknown said...

I think it's lovely! I liked it even before I read your post~~and now I like it more.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Personally I like ambugity. The one shape is interesting....and that you chose that one shape is also interesting. I'm not sure I'd add another shape because that would lead you away from the intital challenge and I think the callenge forces you to bring about something new.
Following your own energy....where ever it takes you with this peace is probably the puzzle and some times those ideas take time to incubate. My suggestion....keep on keeping on and let it end when it says it is finished.....and don't put it away...out of site....if you are not working on it...leave it in view....and if nothing grows....throw some bakers yeast at it!!! LOL


Vic said...

Only you can determine when it's done, but I like it as is. Very organic. When I first saw it the thought was "rocks in a stream", and it sounds like you've had somewhat the same impression, based on your title. The blue thread lines are in keeping with that theme, and the perspective that you added with the smaller shapes heips with the imagery as well. I like this quilt's balance. Nicely done.