1. What am I working on?
A top-secret quilt top. Well, top-secret enough that I'll block my son and daughter-in-law from seeing this post when it's linked to its Facebook page, but not so top-secret it can't be shared here, at least in part. It's a (nearly) twin-sized bed quilt for their first baby and our first grandchild. (Wednesday night we're heading to a 'reveal' party, where I'll have the honor of cutting into either a pink or blue cake...we won't know until it's cut! After that, it's full speed ahead on quilting, sewing and knitting projects, since I'll finally know whether to avoid pink, lavender and frills in the things I'm making for the baby.)
Here is the lower half of the top-secret quilt top.
(For some closeups on my failed attempt at stitching feathers on the seaweed--hearts are more appropriate for the baby anyway, right?--see the previous blog entry, Feathers with Heart.)
2. How does my work differ from others in this genre?
This requires some clarification--the quilt shown above is not my usual 'genre.' I'm mostly a landscape quilter. My landscapes are a combination of techniques from almost every landscape quilter who has written a book on the subject, so I can't say my work really differs at all. My last landscape quilt, however, differed somewhat from all the previous ones I'd made, as it was almost more of a story quilt than a landscape. Here's a photo of the quilt, titled The Visit:
|Suspended on a sagging copper pipe propped on an open attic door|
and a pegboard. (Fortunately, the AQS show came up
with a better hanging system.)
It just returned from the AQS show in Chattanooga, where people were asking me, "What is the story behind this?" But I'd rather let viewers decide that for themselves. Makes it a lot more fun for me and, I hope, for them.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Because I have to. And I mean that. Anyone who routinely makes use of his/her creative talents (and everyone has at least one) to the extent that it is one of the main parts of his/her life, does it because he/she has no choice...it is what keeps that person sane and balanced. If my husband realized what a freaking nut case he'd have on his hands if I didn't immerse myself in creative outlets, he would cease to begrudge even a minute of the time spent upstairs in my solitary space. Don't get me wrong, he's usually fairly understanding; it's just that sometimes, on the rare occasion he doesn't have a project in the works himself, he can be a bit testy about the time I spend on mine. And do you know why? Because, he's one of those potential nut cases, too...he just doesn't realize it! :) I truly believe we were all given our respective gifts to help us stay grounded and enjoy life to the fullest (and bring in the bacon--everyone should be doing what they love for a living, or at least for part of the paycheck). It's a real shame to let our Creator-given talents go to waste.
4. How does my writing/creative process work?
I used to write somewhat dark, edgy historical romance novels; now I construct colorful, not-so-edgy, fabric landscapes. But the inspiration isn't all that different. The novels both began with dreams, and most of my landscapes started with scenes in my head. Only three of the quilts -- The Visit, The View from Merlin's Cave and Rock of Ages -- were based on photos. The process entails many or all of these: designing, drawing, tracing, cutting, gluing, fusing, painting, embroidering, and of course quilting and binding. Also steam blocking. Normally, there would be three or four quilting projects in various stages at once--something I recommend, as it keeps boredom at bay and allows you to switch gears when you need to break away from a project. Currently, though, all my other WIPs are knitted items for the baby. Landscapes can wait!
Now that I've coughed all over my monitor and keyboard and have run out of tissues, it's time to stop writing and grab some alcohol wipes. (And maybe some alcohol--the medicinal kind. It's not for nothing I live near the heart of bourbon country. Note, I'm writing this on late Sunday afternoon for posting on Monday morning. Bourbon for breakfast? Even sixty years in Kentucky haven't come to that. lol)
It's also time to pass the above questions on to another blogger. Susan at The Bored Zombie has one of the most fun, inspiring blogs around. She is a member of The Bad Ass Quilters Society. In Chattanooga they exhibited several quilts, a body of amazing work including Susan's gorgeous Windows to the Orient. Look for her on the Around the World Blog Hop next Monday. Thanks again, Susan. And thank you Muv, for including me in the fun!
'Til next time,