Tuesday

Spark-less

"I have my rock, I have my roll, but I could not find the spark...." (Erin Mckeown - Slung Lo)

This song is my anthem at the moment. I have all the ingredients to be in a most fabulous mood, but every time I walk on the path to college I have no spark. I am in full on hibernation mode but as this is my second year I haven't got time for this kind of mopey indulgence. While I am struggling to work in college I am determined to be as productive as possible in my studio at home. There has been a fair amount of sketchbook work, lots of researching and rather than focussing on my making modules to the detriment of my more theoretical ones I am keeping right on top of my written work. But I am on a practical course so I need to make sure this sparkless time if filled with making things as well.

 We are being encouraged to sample ideas as we go along, making "3D drawings" you might say, so this is what I have been doing this afternoon. Currently I am really inspired by urban architecture so I have been translating this into quilt designs. I learnt with the last quilt I designed that I really need to make samples quite early on because the picture I have on the page and the one in my head don't always turn out how I imagine when I start sewing. 

Today has been filled with calculations of strip length and width - I always forget to add seam allowance to both edges of a seam and so this has been accompanied with a fair amount of unpicking, rubbing out and recalculating. Then onto pressing and cutting, creating beautiful chaos from my fabric scraps.

After that I started chain piecing, which is a technique where you stitch lots of similar sections in one go. In quilting you have to sew a lot of short seams together which makes it very time consuming if you are only doing a single block art a time, sewing 1 seam then pressing it, and the sewing the next seam etc. It is much faster to do multiple blocks at the same time. SilverLining has a much better explanation here

My main trouble with chain piecing is that you have to know what your sewing and make sure it is all in the right order. I haven't yet found a system that works for me,  most times I use post-its stuck onto pile of pieces but these invariably fall off, or I leave them on the top piece when I am stitching then can't remember which pile is which to put it back onto. Today I tried masking tape on my board with piles laid next to them, and it worked! The big test will be if the system makes sense tomorrow when I go back to the various piles and finish sewing....

Here is how the top is looking so far. Now the maths are done it is coming together quite quickly, I just wish I didn't have work tonight so I could keep sewing.
p.s If anyone does find my spark hanging around please pop it on my desk, I miss it!!



1 comment:

allenster said...

Love that song too.. I remember having the album when it came out but did not realise it was way back in 2003!

Lovely quilts!

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