Back on November 15, 2019, I posted about some little 4″ X 4″ squares I had completed. I have a goal this year to make four of these squares a week. We are halfway through the first month of the new year, here are my squares from the past two weeks:
Some of them are lovely little gems, others are not so hot. I’m not redoing any of them, or throwing any away. These are sort of a stitching journal, and a way to experiment with color and composition. Not everything that we make will be a masterpiece, and that is part of the creative journey.
On a side note, I am only going to be posting once a week this year in an attempt to work on some other things that desperately need my attention (UFO pieces and the rest of this website, for starters). Next week, I will share whatever progress that I have made over the upcoming three day weekend.
UFO as in Un-Finished Object. As the year draws to a close, it is time to get pensive and reflective. As I walk around the house, I’m not coming up with any art quilts that I finished this year, so rather than mope about what I didn’t get done, I’d rather look at what I want to finish. Maybe by putting these UFOs here, I will be more motivated to finish them. Today, here are three things I want to finish soon.
This is the first of two sample pieces that I started in the same color blend to show off what can be done with the dyed vintage doilies, napkins and fancy pieces that I sell. These are both at the midway point where I start doubting the whole project, which is why I have set them aside for far too long.
The second sample, companion to the one above:
The last one for today, another sample of making use of a slightly damaged vintage tea towel:
This one is also stuck in that midway phase. What I really need to do is just sit down, stick another bit of something on it, and stitch. I need to stop thinking so much on these, and just stitch, stitch, stitch. Check back on Thursday for three more UFOs.
Take a look at these three small wall hangings.
What do you think? Does one “speak” to you more than the other two?
These are not my latest creations, I made them in 2014 when I set out to complete all twelve of the design exploration workshops in A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design by Heather Thomas (Landauer, 2011). You can definitely see how I was influenced by the collages of Kurt Schwitters.
The one at top left has been hanging in my sewing room, the other two have been in a suitcase, bumping along to the quilt shows, hoping to find new homes. I dug them out today while looking for something else, and I am thinking of adding more hand stitching to the two that have been packed away. I have since learned many more embroidery stitches, and looking at these early pieces, I think I could improve them a bit. I don’t want to spend much more time on them, and I definitely do not want to make a habit of re-doing older pieces, but I really like this group, and I want to give myself a week to see what I can do with them. In the very near future, I am going to start over with the workshops from the book. I want to get through all twelve lessons in 2020.
I have been having a discussion with myself lately about all of these daily or weekly projects that I am working on now, or that I have attempted in the past. Daily creative projects are great ways to discipline oneself into a creative habit, try new things, work out design problems and generate new ideas. However, I have been taking much longer than I should to complete my daily efforts. I get so wrapped up in the little daily things that I am not putting time into bigger projects that will be for sale or get entered into art shows.
The little daily stuff is just for me, which is still important, but not the only thing in my creative world. I don’t want to give them up, as the index card challenge has been a great learning experience, and I want to complete the past years that I started – that was a goal I set for myself, and there are so many goals that I have not met. I wonder how much more I would have grown creatively by now had I known about these little daily art doses in college or even high school.
Since I have not been stitching at all lately, I picked up the 4×4″ daily project again to get back into the needle and thread. Here are all the squares that I have done since attempting the challenge back in September:
Some winners, some not, I have learned from them all. Now I am behind again on the index card goal, and I managed to bring home five more books from the library to read. I am very glad I have all of these things to do.
I just realized that I did not finish posting here about my participation in the 2019 index-card-a-day challenge. The good news is, yes, I made an index card for all 61 prompts! I’ll admit, I did not finish everything by July 31, the official end of the challenge, and of course I am even later in posting about it! Here are the cards from week 8:
The prompts were: escape, number, friendship, note to self, shadow, pendulum and spin. I will post the final five cards from the challenge on Thursday, and I want to take an in-depth look at a few individual cards in the next few weeks. My next goal is to make the cards that I did not complete from the last two years of the challenge, at a leisurely pace. I need to make my art quilts a priority now, along with another long neglected daily creative project.