Saturday, September 08, 2007

Take Me to Your Leader

Today was a most glorious day. Incredible sunshine. I went out and walked for two hours pausing only to take photographs. Most of those will wait for another day, but I wanted to show you this beautiful apartment building. It has such character.

This top bit looks like an observatory to me. I bet that room would be so cool on the inside.

I watched Scream this afternoon, quilted the boring bits in the vase on Blooming Horrors, and experimented with throwing chopped up Heath Bars into my Oatmeal Cookies. When I first tasted the dough I thought I was a genius, but after eating several spoonfuls raw decided, eh, not so much. They're fine, which is good since I'm taking them to a "dessert party" and I wouldn't want to completely embarrass myself.

Cheri asked if I kept a quilting journal. I used to. I was really good about writing down all my ideas, favorite quotes that would be great on a quilt, how much time I spent on each task of a quilt, how I could improve my techniques... I filled that notebook and then never started another. Idiot. Of course I do have my blog, but it's not nearly as detailed.

Here's a page for 2001:

See how good I used to be at writing down everything? I love that sketch for a little alien. I was working on a big Halloween sampler at the time. This is the block that I ended up making from that idea:

This little guy is an orphan. Sort of. He will have a home, I just haven't come up with it yet. All of my quilts are made in fits and starts. One of these days I'll have enough bits of Halloween that it'll all come together into a quilt.

I reread Collaborative Quilting yesterday. Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston talk about having a Parts Department. Making up all sorts of fun bits without having any idea of what the final quilt will be. That's pretty much how I've been working for the last 10 years. I definitely don't love or even like all the quilts in the book, but I'm a huge fan of their improvisational way of working. Unfortunately the directions in the book aren't that great, and on one page definitely wrong, but you can still get a lot from reading it and looking at Gwen's quilts in particular.

Here are a few of Gwen's guidelines:

Trust yourself. Your chances of making a remarkably good quilt are increased when you take chances. Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it.

15 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

I too am glad I own Collaborative Quilting, and enjoy some of the ideas in it... like you though many of the quilts just aren't me -- they are loud, fun, improvisational, and scrappy, but somehow for me at least, there's just too much going on...

I love the "observatory". I frequently look at old houses around here and drool over their towers and the neat rooms that must be hiding in them :-)

Carol E. said...

I love the cool apartment building. Wish we could see the inside of that observatory room. Way cool! Excellent advice from Gwen M.. thanks for sharing it.

Gypsy Quilter said...

That is indeed a lovely building. I worked in one of a similar shape in downtown Atlanta near Little 5 Points MARTA station. Can't remember the street it was on though. Love the lil' alien.

kimy said...

I just discovered your blog via jude's spirit cloth LOVE IT!! a sister quilter (with cats) living in (one of) my favorite cities! my sister is also a quilter (as I) lived in paris (aug 04-june 07) ZUT that I didn't discover you & your site while she was there!

your work is wonderful! just love the little alien - looks like some alien graffiti that adorned a building I passed there in paris. I think I took a picture of him last visit - I'll have to search my archive! and that building, I know I have a picture of that very building - a beautiful building is a sight to behold! and paris is the most beholding of places!

love lazy gal and am looking forward to plenty of nibbles! thanks.

kimy said...

I found my picture of the alien - okay so it wasn't technically graffiti but a tile mosaic (I often have graffiti on the brain as I'm quite drawn to it). actually now that I think of it I believe I saw a few of these little tile aliens around and about...off to do some googling and maybe put a post on the mouse with what I discover....

jovaliquilts said...

Thanks for posting the journal page! I really like the idea of running commentary -- everything else I've seen has been so much more formal, which can become a bit of a chore. I'll give this a try.

cher said...

been thinking about orphan blocks..and I really do not personally have any - maybe one-as I usually stick them on the back, either as a label or part of the backing...I do have lots of started projects/ufos...some include blocks.
I love Freddy's colors...no surprise about that-and so enjoy paging through Collaborative Quilting. I am pleased that I am at long last totally caught up on all your past posts...wow...I think it was like 25 posts or so-nice to catch up on your work and doings.
I really like the Spider(s) quilt-especially the quilting.

joyce said...

I love that book too. I like Freddy's comment that 10 colors can be wrong but 100 are always right. Also that red is a neutral. They have been a real inspiration to me, as you have.

Julie aka "Quilt Diva" said...

Tonya - thanks for sharing the bit the end. I really needed to hear that today!

Julie aka "Quilt Diva" said...

OK, can you tell my eyes are tired? That should have read: thanks for sharing the bit AT the end... it's been one of those days.

Studio Christine said...

....if the alien visited Bonnie....

"take me to your leaeder(s) and enders"

....ok, it's TOO early on a unday morning......

atet said...

I recently checked out Collaborative Quilting from the library. I like most of the quilts -- though, like you, I don't love all of them. I do like the idea of the parts department. Frankly, I liked the interviews and write-ups about the process much more than the instructions on how to make the blocks. It was the idea of the process that was great -- and I loved Freddy's take on the quilting process -- do what you love, farm out the rest :0).

Sue in western WA said...

I'm really liking the concept of a "parts department" too. I've always been more of a block person than a quilt person (does that make sense?). I can't make two blocks exactly the same. Making 20 or more for one quilt would bore me to death! Well, I just wouldn't do it. But fooling around with different colors and prints and even construction techniques within the block... that's fun! (This could explain why I have so many orphan blocks!)

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Fabulous guideline, it could really cover life...have ago, take a risk,do what's right for you, etc etc.
Enjoying the walks through Paris, loved the alien! Tracey

WesternWilson said...

You guys are way ahead of me; I have only just found the Collaborative Quilting books. It is no exaggeration that standing in the quilt store with the books open in my hands stands out as the single most important epiphany in my quilting journey! The riot of intentional colour, use of black and white to "ground" the composition...revelation! These ideas and photos really boosted me into a whole new level. I am loving collecting the appropriate fabrics and have a Parts Department in full swing now!