Saturday, December 19, 2009

Insights I have gained

It's the time of year when I reflect on the last twelve months.  I am not one to make new year resolutions, because I never keep them.  Rather I have found I can learn from my successes and failures and then create a plan for me.  I learned to make lists from  Pat when we were roommates just out of college.  She had a list for everything.  Over the years I developed the habit, too, and love the feeling of crossing things off when completed...done...finished...over with!   Thanks, Tricia!
So here's a list I have been making this year of insights I have gained from my various projects.
1.  Use fabrics I love.   For me that means florals, tone on tone patterns, batiks, paisleys and swirls.  I don't care for 30's and reproduction prints, or  many conversational  type prints.  Many of the latest "modern" fabrics are unappealing to me.  My "Turning 60" quilt took on a life of its own as I worked on it because I truely enjoyed all the fabrics in it.  Completing Deana's quilt of reproduction fabrics was a labor of love because I was bored with the fabrics.
2.  Use color to create a feeling or mood in the quilt.    "Autumn's Carpet"  done in batiks showed me this.  Right now it is hanging in the sunroom where I see it each day.  The background captures the bright sunshine and the sky as well as the changing colors in the landscape of fall.  The same goes for "Shenandoah Colors" from last year.
3.  Have a source of light.  Any of the watercolor quilts show this.  The concentration of light fabrics blended to dark create that wonderful effect of light.  Even in a traditional quilt or a scrap quilt this is good to remember.  The trip around the world in florals just glows from the center out.  One of our speakers at  guild mentioned this too.
4.  Extend the pattern into the border.    That is the hardest for me.  Until a couple of years ago, I always just added a frame style border and called it quits.  Doing the 9 patch pizzazz quilt spree---about 5 of them--I carried the leftover parts to the border to use them up.  I really liked the effect and tried doing that with other quilts.  In some of the watercolor wallhangings I spill the design over and let it become the border.  Some quilts need a plain border, but not all.
5.  Remember the rule of thirds for the focal point.  The rule of thirds is a design rule---Deana's education paid off for me too.  It is more pleasing to the eye to offset a focal point rather than make it dead center like a bull's eye.  The Dogwood which was the donation quilt  for the Alzheimer's auction was a joy to make because I really liked the offset layout.
6.  Be inspired to inspire others.  Do not copy.  I buy books and magazines, rarely individual patterns for quilts.  I don't do an exact copy of a quilt that I see.  Rather I like to take inspiration from the pattern, layout, or color selection.  How would a quilt look if...?   And I seem to ask myself what the quilt would look like done all in florals.  That was why I made  the "Carolina Fence" lap quilt.  Wonder how the cobblestone pattern will look done in leftover florals?
7.  Express yourself.  Quilting is my visual art form.  Things I love and enjoy find their way into my quilts.  I say that a piece of my heart is in each quilt.  Even the ones I give away.
  Wow, I sure can run on.  Think it is time to add to my list of projects for 2010, as about 3 new ideas came to me while blogging this. 
Happy stitching to all. 

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