Friday, May 22, 2009

The Creative Process, I

I don't usually think to photograph things before I've made them, but it hit me today as I was starting to work on a new quilt that I should document this one. Since the intended recipients of the new work don't know about this blog, I should be safe posting about it here.

The quilt is for the husband's Norwegian cousins, two brothers who were so wonderful to us during our recent visit there. How do you give one quilt to two people who don't live together? You make it for the mountain house they own together. The quilt itself will have a representation of the house done in the style of Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking, a style I wholeheartedly embrace because it largely frees me from the tyranny of matching corners.

The first step is to make the house. Once it's made, I can decide what to put around it and how big the whole thing should be. Here's the photo of the house that I'm using to work from. In the liberated tradition, the house on the quilt will not look nearly as neat and precise as in the photograph; however, I want it to be recognizable as the mountain house.

Yesterday, I purchased some a few fabrics that I thought would work for components of the house. This morning, I pieced the three window units. I started with this fabric. Here's a closer look at it.

Today was window day, so here's how I did the upstairs one. First, I'm going to show it as closed because it's easier that way. As you can see in the photo, it's two panels of two panes by two panes, with a wider strip of white between the panels than there is between the individual panes. So here's the piece of fabric I started with. I could have gotten all anal and cut out individual panes to sew together, but that's far too time-consuming and not nearly liberated enough. So I simply folded this over in the right places and stitched the fabric together to leave a thin strip of white in between the panes and a wider strip of white in between the two panels. Here's the finished piece, along with the two lower window units. They're sitting on the red that I may use for the side of the house. And there you have it. A wee bit of piecing on a Friday morning, done with Josh Groban's Awake on the CD player. The next step will likely be surrounding the windows with red fabric for the sides of the house. I haven't decided yet whether to use the solid red. I may hit the Memorial Day sale at the local quilt store after my workout tomorrow morning and see if they have a red with some sort of black lines running through it. Or maybe I won't. In other words, I'm making no promises about when the next post on this quilt will go up. In terms of my time, making this is competing with working on a project for my job (money is always nice) and learning a new statistical computing package or language (challenge is always nice, too). We'll just have to see how the long weekend goes.


Debi said...

Sheesh...I'm already in love with this quilt! Those windows are tres cool!

Oooh, oooh, and guess what. I started reading a new book to the boys last night. British kiddos parents killed when logs fall off logging truck. Get sent to Norway to live with aunt they've never met. On drive from airport to aunt's home, they passed through Hell! And thanks to you, I knew that was a real town. And of course, this amused the boys to no end.

Jean said...


I'd love to know that title of the book you're reading to the boys. It would be interesting to see how the description of that part of Norway matched what we saw there.

I hope to get back to the quilt this week. My creative thing for the long weekend was working on the sleeves for a jacket that I'm knitting. It's huge, but will be fulled/felted to shrink down. Fun stuff!


Debi said...

The book is Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest. We haven't gotten far, but are definitely enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

I too appreciate the windows -- I wonder how you found the fabric? Did it jump out at you at the store and say "windows" or did shop with something like the check in mind?