Saturday, June 22, 2013

Presto - Problemo Solvo(ed)!

It’s true - good things come to those who wait! 

I can't believe it, but I’m nearly finished with the commissioned piece!   Once I calmed down and summoned my “inner Zen,” I was able to figure it out.  And no, it wasn’t easy – I had to construct it in small pieces, and there was a great deal of tearing out and redoing because the white section had to completely match up and be perfectly (well as perfectly as I could possibly do it) aligned as well. But as it turned out, it was doable, which I knew it was, really.  But frustration happens sometimes, you know?

I just needed to take a break and remember what all this is about – the journey, not the finished project.  (Although in this particular case there IS a deadline…) 
(Here is the part I was having trouble figuring out – how to align the white rectangles vertically and horizontally with the other pieces jutting out into them.)
Next phase was the sandwiching.  Another challenge – at least, physically.  I’m certain I burned at least 500 calories doing it (a bonus!)   I had to clear out my living room to lay it out because a queen sized quilt, as it turns out, is HUGE. Sandwiching isn’t really difficult, but it did remind me that I am old and stiff because it took about three hours to get the backing down and secured, to get the enormous bat down flat, and to pin it.  I’m sorry to admit I had to have a pillow handy because my knees couldn’t handle it!

 Next came the ever scary (for me, anyway) issue of how to quilt the thing.  I knew I wanted to go with the linear theme, but did I want to do loops and swirls (which would be fun) or just lines or quilt across the lines in a kind of “vee” shape?  After drawing several ideas, I decided to check out the bridal registry again, just to see which ideas more closely matched the style of the bride and groom.  After perusing the stuff,  I went with a sort of broken line theme.
I feel certain it was the right choice for this piece – simplicity is this couple’s style, and I’m pleased with the way it looks, but it was no small feat to quilt, even simply, a queen-sized quilt on a brother sewing machine with a twelve inch neck!  I see the advantage of a quilting machine now - for sure if one is often making bed-sized quilts!  Even with the extra space in the neck it was rather a challenge to get the monstrous thing though the neck and keep everything straight. So not only am I glad I went with the simpler quilting because I think it it’s the right style, I’m also realizing how challenging it would have been to do the loop-di-loops, etc. and make them perfect.  As it is I’ve done a fair amount of tearing out the straight stitches – can’t imagine how it might have been the other way… Not that I’m complaining, mind you – just noting.
It’s been a really interesting journey from the beginnings of this project to the now almost – finished product.  I’m now trying now to figure out how I want to end the thing – do I want to put a binding on it or do I want to do a knife-edge finish?  I think the knife-edge would look really cool – as if the lines just stop, but since it is going to be on someone’s bed, I wonder if I don’t need to have the sturdier edge a binding creates.  It’s art versus practicality on this one, I think.  I usually opt for practical, but I’ve left plenty of room if I want to do the knife edge, too.  I’m going to let that percolate for a while and see what seems right. 

That’s what I love about art – there are always so many possibilities and ideas!  Some people might find that annoying, but I love the endless options – it’s a challenge! I’m not saying I always make the right choice, but I enjoy having several ideas and then sitting back and letting the universal creativity guide me – I know it knows what to do, even when I don’t.  I just have to have faith in it. 

Projects like this one are just proof of that.
Still unquilted, but I can’t believe how much I like it – even the muted colors!  I’ll try to share a photo when the project is 100% complete – hopefully this week as the deadline is July 6th!

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