Monday, June 11, 2018

Fresh Eyes

Yesterday I retrieved my un-sold quilts and began packing each one for shipment, so that when an order does come through, the quilt will only need a receipt, a shipping label and of course a box in which to travel to its new owner. The quilt will have already been neatly rolled and tied on a hollow core, and sealed thoroughly in plastic to prevent any possible water damage during shipment. When this is done, I can cut my estimated shipping time from the current 3 to 5 business days, down to 2 days. That's good for sales.

However, the third quilt I pulled out of the closet gave me pause. I'd long had a nagging feeling about this particular quilt...that, for some reason, it wasn't going to sell. Which was a disturbing thought, as I had put an extraordinary amount of embellishment on it (mostly free-motion machine embroidery) and was fairly pleased with the result.

Or was I?
The Overlook
Lying there on the table after months of being hidden away in the closet, the quilt presented itself to a more objective eye on my part, and I started thinking, Maybe I should just keep this one and find someplace to hang it here in the house...but where? The basement? NO. No way am I relegating something I worked so hard to make beautiful to a place where dirty clothes are washed and cats use their litter pans.

Then I zeroed in on something. I had never been entirely thrilled with the foliage in the distance, across the river bend. That lilac-like color, for wasn't quite the look I'd been going for. It just didn't make sense for summer-into-fall foliage. Even my husband had commented on it back when I first finished it. And looking at it with fresh eyes, I noticed other parts of that distant foliage I didn't like. It just didn't look leafy enough. Too blob-like. Almost cartoon-like.

And that's when the Muse was freed up. (I hadn't realized I was holding her prisoner all this time.) The paint markers came out, and twenty minutes later the lilac color was masked, and all the "blobs" were more leafy. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the quilt was ready to go back into the queue of those waiting to be sold---and I was feeling grateful it had never left the house in its previous condition! So there was a lesson (which I'm probably not the first landscape quilter to learn): If something doesn't seem good enough to hang anywhere but my own wall, what is there to lose by changing it?

It may not look perfect, but I like it a lot better. And that goes a long way toward the possibility of someone else liking it as well.

Coincidentally or not, I just had cataract surgery. Here's to fresh eyes!