Tuesday, February 23, 2010

an explosion can be a good thing

I just love the Martha Stewart saying, "It's a good thing"--her little shortcuts, her delineation of 500 shades of gray, or her self-discovery that standing on one's head yoga-style can increase one's productivity. I do not mock. I love her.

I had a "good thing" yesterday in the form of an explosion in my brain --- that is, a creative idea that, when it came to me, caused me to jump up, albeit only once, but it was such a keen idea that I yipped with glee when there was nobody around, save my trusty dog Sanjagirl.

Now when I explain this idea, it may not resonate with you as so explosive, but I think it is pretty swell. Here's the deal: I have been wrestling with the stitching on my "beneath the surface" piece -- representing the concept that most art quilters evolve from the world of traditional quilting. Not a high falutin' concept, but a concept, just the same.

I have blogged about this, and posted this image, which I created digitally. Photographs of traditional blocks and a digital image were combined and printed on whole cloth cotton sateen:
 So, I stitched the right side of her body with bright ribbons and cottons,using traditional echo quilting lines.  For the lowered-opacity printed photos of the traditional quilt blocks, I wanted the threads to recede as well, so I matched the threads to the background colors, and again used traditional stitching, following the lines of the blocks.

So here is where the explosion comes in.  I thought the quilting lines on the right side of the body covered up too much of the image. My critique group suggested I not even stitch on the left side of her body, and take up the quilting again on the quilt blocks on the left side.

Enter the explosion! A good thing, to borrow from Martha's lexicon.

What was the explosion? Of course! The concept came to me -- instead of leaving the left side of the body stitch-less, the art quilter would stitch it!  The photo above shows the difference -- very spare, more improvisational lines on the left, leaving the details of the image much more visible; traditional lines echoing the body form on the right.

I guess good things come in all forms.


Anonymous said...


Frannie said...

Don't you just love those moments of explosion or epiphany?! I love those moments when things just seem to come together with a snap. :)

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