Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting Started

Hello Everyone,
Several years ago, and I say 'several' because I really can't put my finger on the exact year, I made a beautiful blue "Quilt By The Mile". I made it because I teach classes and I've suggested to student's that they use the blues to look like water. I've designed several for others, yet I hadn't done one for myself. Mine turned out to be wonderful and I had ideas of how I would transform it into a beautiful underwater scene.
Well, worlds collide and stars align!
I had shown my Quilts at an event the past December and "low and behold" a lady contacted me in August (9 months of thought after the event) to do a 'commission piece' for her. I remember that! It was August 2. Anyway, after agreeing on the details and with a dead-line of January 1 the following year, I plunged into the creation of a new Quilt. All other projects were lain aside and I had to do something of which I am really bad. I had to 'Focus'!
I know none of you realize this, but I am a "Flibber-de-Jibbitt"! My mind works like a shotgun blast. Hundreds of thoughts zipping out in all directions, all the time. But I did it.
After that Quilt, I did a lot of traveling with my classes and there were also family issues. Both my husbands parents became ill and it was necessary to be in Memphis for months at a time. Anyway, a lot of time passed. As I could, I would create parts of the Quilt. The first were the coral in a bright orange and some sea grass in a deep red. Then I had this fabulous idea for seaweed that turned out to be 'not so great' (actually awful) but, that began me on the Odyssey of the art of "Fussy Cutting". That original seaweed was cut into many small pieces and then 'fussy cut' into even smaller sprigs and shoots of seaweed. That turned out to be OK.
I've written of "Fussy Cutting" before. I love it. All you need is a good pair of very small, very good scissors. I thought up this wonderful underwater bush. It is all cut from one piece of fabric and very intricate. It took forever to cut out and it is beautiful to me. The cutting wasn't nearly as difficult as the placement. It took me two days to get it to lay correctly on my blue "Quilt By The Mile"!
That done, I also created the wonderful fish that would live in my under water Quilt world. They all have great big lips. It was necessary. I just cut them out and placed them.
Also, as time permitted, I would sit while watching TV and "Fussy Cut" long strands of sea weed and stuff that would be in my underwater world.
But then came the visit to Houston to my friend Crayola's. She had a Dr.'s appointment and I know that was last May, 2009. While I was waiting for her, I began doodling on a piece of paper. Something that just popped into my mind. It was some sort of fern. I liked it. So, one Sunday after returning home, I drew it again. Then again and again. I started putting them in a sketch book. Then it happened. I knew what I was drawing had to become part of my "fish" Quilt.
I drew it on my fabric - just something to go on one of the bottom corners. It took a few hours to cut out, but I loved it. I placed it on the lower left corner of my Quilt and it looked good to me. Well, looking good is one thing, but placing another would naturally make it fabulous! So, I started on the second one.
Well, I got carried away. This one became more complex, more curling fronds, more delicate and intricate curves, more fronds curling around other fronds. 36" tall and then all across the bottom to meet the other original fern. It would be magnificent. It took months (literally) to cut it from the fabric in which it was encased.
And then the placement. Such a large, delicate work, one-eighth inch or less blades on the fern and they all had to lay flat. Mercy! What was I thinking?
I got it placed. That's a miracle all by itself.
Well, about 2 weeks ago, I gave my sister Susan her Quilt, also a detour in my life that kept me from finishing my 'fish', but; once that was taken care of, I told myself, "no more detours"!
Yesterday, I made the back and got it pinned into my Longarm. Today, I plan to place the batting and pin the top in.
I am suddenly experiencing a bit of fear. I guess I always do, right before I start a project like this. It's a Quilt I love and want. I've thought about how I would Quilt it, over and over in my mind but putting that needle down really causes me a bit of anxiety.
But, I live by a couple of rules - one of them being - "The right day comes for everything" and today is the right day. One of the others - "If you stare at a shelf in a store long enough, the item for which you are searching will appear" and the last but most important - "Whatever it takes"
"Whatever it Takes" is my motto for my Quilting. And that's what I do. The "Fish" needed the ferns and I guess it needed the years it's taken to create. But it is done now and it needs the thread with which I am about to color it.
The day is dawning and I have miles to go before I rest again.
We'll talk later,
Carol Ann, Quilter


Ramonasct said...

I LOVE reading your the way you write!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,
So what you do is use 1 inch strips and make your quilts no matter the pattern, thus it is quilt by the mile? I was thinking of the crocheted afghans where your crochet by the mile when I read your title. It is an interesting concept.

Glad you are no long locked out of your blog. Post often. I would like to see more pictures though. Like the pictures of the under water quilt you just described. I am a visual person. :)