Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TIPS AND TRICKS: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

I want you to start thinking outside the box that most of us 21st century quilters inhabit. This box has been made to look cushy and creative, but really is more about selling product than it is about creativity. I have nothing against any of the current trends but am concerned that when adopted quickly by beginning quilters these trends can stifle their creativity and lead them to believe that complex is difficult and fast is best.

Quilter unknown - not mine!!! Definitely lovely
Basically my feeling is that the more gizmos and machines you add to the quiltmaking mix, the farther away you get from the ability to see your quilt develop and make changes and improvements as you go along. I think most artists will tell you that is the creative process itself that is so essential to them, not the end product and personally I find that the less that is between me and the process of making a quilt, the happier I am and the more successful I am.
I want you to do this exercise TODAY: think about it first. Imagine you are going away to an isolated spot where you will spend an extended holiday - no shops and no internet although you can bring along a laptop with your notes and files.
You can bring only your basic quilting supplies - good dressmaker's shears, utility scissors, needles, thread and marking devices (mechanical pencil, chalk pencil, tailor's chalk and powdered chalk in a holder with wheel. You will be allowed to bring with you a selection of fabric cut into squares, rectangles and half square triangles and you can bring a bit of yardage too if you wish. And for patterns you will have some rough schematic drawings and some plain lined and unlined paper along with a favourite ruler and some template plastic, gridded and plain.
You will have to do lots of homework before you set off, so come along with me over the next couple of weeks and see what that will entail and what you may learn!!
START RIGHT NOW AND KEEP LOTS OF NOTES EITHER ON YOUR COMPUTER OR IN YOUR PROJECT BOX!!
See you soon!

2 comments:

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

I have thought that quilting has gotten to be big business and I am not against that, but I do see what you mean. We are mostly copying what other people do. Do you want us to do this as an exercise in imagination? or for real?

Janet said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Sometimes I think I'm all alone out there!
Do whatever you choose. I suspect some people will start out just thinking about what I say and doing the exercise mentally, but others will choose to follow along in real time.
No right or wrong way on this one!!