New Work, New Ideas, New Product

Nonseries Work

If you’re a regular reader – which I hope you are – I’m sure that you know my posts are NOT regular. I hope you wish they were more often, but I don’t think I can offer any encouragement. My life seems to be filled with activities – both artistic and non – but I feel that’s much better than being bored. And bored I’m definitely not!

I spent my wonderful, annual week studying with Nancy Crow in March. Nancy always gives me a kick in my you-know-what and inspires me to spend more time in my studio. This I have been doing. I’ve finished machine quilting two more of my “Sticks” series. I’ve also created two new quilts – both of which, promise, I will post after I find out if they got in a show. And I’m working on the start of what might be a new series, based on photos I took in Australia and Hawaii.

Inspiration for new quilt

Inspiration for new quilt

One of the quilts uses a product that really excites me. WireForm is a brass designer’s mesh. I got it from Dick Blick Art Supply in Portland, OR. (They have stores in other locations plus on-line sales.) It’s a “screening” that comes in various sizes and weights. I got the brass 18-mesh. It is easily cut with scissors, is moldable and can be machine sewn. I’ve always wanted to put dimension in my quilts. I’ve worked with different weight stiffeners, but I think this product might be interested. I’ll keep you posted.

All good things must come to and end. The Color Improvisations show is over and the quilts are being shipped to their homes. Color Improvisations was exhibited in eight locations in six countries in Europe and Britain since July 2010. Three of the quilts sold; unfortunately not one of mine. It was a great opportunity.

Speaking of great opportunities exhibits both local and national are requesting entry applications from artists. This is why I’m spending more time in my studio and less on other things, like spring cleaning and e-mail. I recommend you do the same. Don’t miss out on the many opportunities.

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Productivity

Nonseries Work

How productive were you in the past 12 months? I was considering this the other day as I prepared for a workshop with Nancy Crow. She challenged us last year to bring in 40 new works and bragged by saying she has 50 done.

I was chagrined to discover, when looking at my quilt log data base, that I completed only two in 2012, and those were both begun in 2011. So, I thought to myself what HAVE I been doing. I know – as well as you – that I haven’t been writing my blog. I have done several charity quilts. We traveled quite a bit – to Australia for five weeks, Hawaii for three. I have done quite a bit of knitting and reading. I have dealt with some health issues. And so forth.

Then I thought WHY have I not been creating new work? I looked at my calendar and found that my time has been fragmented – doctor appointments, singing, social outings, church work, and so forth. But, I think there is something more. After working rather intently on my “Sticks” series I have come to a block. Should I continue with this series? Should I “revisit” former series? Should I do something new?

Start of new quilt

Start of new quilt

I’m inspired by recent articles in Surface Design Journal and Quilting Arts to go in new directions. I’m beginning one and, of course, have several in my head. It’s time to set aside time and get to work in my studio. Wish me luck!

Retreat and Create

Nonseries Work

2010 09 13_Melisse's Photos 10_0005 I wish happy holidays to all of you, my faithful    blog readers. In these troubled times may God’s light shine on you and inspire you in the coming year.

When the newspaper’s tragic headlines “get to me,” I retreat to my studio and create. When life gets too busy, I retreat to my studio and sort fabric for a creation. When the weather is dark and stormy, I retreat to my studio and create with my brightest colored fabrics. When the old year is ebbing, I retreat to my studio and start to create a new piece to welcome in the new year.

The two things I want to share with you are: retreat and create. If you don’t have a studio (I feel very lucky), find a place where you can retreat – a seldom-used guest room, the corner of a dining room, a closet that you can turn into your space. And if you want to try something new – or a different format of something you already do – or a change your color palate – or anything different, do it now so that you are creating something “new.” I find it a wonderful way to get through the winter slump.

I’ll be back in 2013, hopefully more frequently. Happy Holidays, Melisse