Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is how we do it...

I am always interested in the processes that people use in their creativity. Very analytical of me, isn't it! I know some people just jump in and go and others plan. Sometimes both those things work for me, but more often, I need to write or draw to get an idea flowing. I've been reading about a technique used by DaVinci called mind mapping. I might be a little late to the party on this one, but it is an interesting idea - the brain doesn't think in a linear outline to generate ideas. There's also all kinds of software out there to generate mind maps. Cool stuff. That's one I started for an upcoming swap...bubbles instead of roman numerals!

So, I thought I would share the creative process I generally use when I am making a specific quilt. This one is for a baaaaaabbbby boy coming into the world sometime in December.

First I looked around for inspiration and found some (Denyse Schmidt from an old old M.S. Living magazine) in this gigantanormus binder I use to keep and haven't kept up with lately. It's full of magazine cut outs and instructions and things like that. So, this jumped out at me because I really like squares:

Then I find some place to sit and think. Deck, porch, table, coffee shop. I just need relative quiet from kidlets. Hmph. Imagine that! I have a sketch book that I use for ideas or art journaling or writing or whatever. I put it in the library book return one day. Dangit! Thank goodness I was hanging around to check out books. Unnerving to hear ones' name over the loudspeaker in the library! Note to self: continue to write name in notebooks!

And then I doodle:

And then I doodle some more and when I think I have a good idea going, I start thinking about measurements. This stuff was fun. I did it after I went to the Handmade Market and stopped to have a beer and doodle a bit. Great stuff at that market! So drinking beer, I worked on measurements. I can tell you if I could have had beer during algebra class in high school, I would have understood a whole lot more.

Then I pick fabrics out from my stash, hoping that I don't have to go buy anything else. I didn't! Wohooooo. And then I start cutting, and of course things don't always work out as planned, but it was only a plan. I keep a small cutting mat on my sewing table and the ironing board is very nearby and I work on my blocks that way.

I usually try and figure out a way to assembly line it, but this quilt has lots of different things going on, so no. I keep my notebook nearby w/ a highlighter or crayon or something to mark off blocks as they are done.

As I finish the blocks, I hang them on my felt wall, which is in serious need of some border help. That dangling piece is ribbon that does not want to stay up in its place. Oh well. That's at the bottom of the list.

After I get that part of the quilt done, I'll lay it out on the floor and try out some fabric borders and binding. And then the quilting and binding. Here's a close up of one of the finished blocks:

I'll try and keep my progress posted. Have a great night.


jacquie said...

it was an interesting glimpse into your process, rae. i think it would help me if i drew more. i think i figured out last week that i quilt organically. i tried to watch myself (i know that sounds weird) as the "g" whiz quilt came to be. no drawing, no end idea...start with something, add something else, change, add, delete until i'm satisfied.

susan said...

thanks for the window into your mind. it is always neat to see someone elses processes
i dont suppose you remember which ms that was from? i would love to go back and read the article

Rita said...

I just *thought* I wanted to learn how to quilt. I'm exhuasted already. ;> Seriously, I am a very unorganized crafter. I am a list person, but I think I would have much to gain by following a sketch. Thanks!

Rae said...

Oh Rita! I don't want to scare you off! This is only when you don't have a pattern and want to do your own thang! It's much easier with a pattern!

Victoria said...

Great post! I love to get a glimpse of how people create, and the bit about beer and algebra, what a hoot!!