03 July 2007

what the...? doll quilt anxiety? what?

Okay, what is wrong with me? Although I enjoy traveling here and there, I have been a little freaked out by these latest, unexpected, last-minute, family-diplomatic mission trips (like NYC last weekend and New Orleans this weekend) just because they are kinda cutting into my crafting time, and there are deadlines to meet and huge projects/endeavors (like the SOWA Open Studios in September) looming in the near future, not to mention a few other things that are in the works which I am not at liberty to discuss but am super-excited about. Perhaps it's a slight frazzling from all the long car trips (from MA to ME to Montreal back to ME back to MA back to ME back to MA to NYC and back again to MA) that has me suddenly questioning my quilting abilities. I know I can make the deadline of July 18th for the second installment of the Doll Quilt Swap. Once we return from New Orleans, I am devoting a full day or two to nothing but quilting, because it makes me happy and kinda centers me. However, right now, I am having a hard time coming up with a design for my doll quilt for the swap. Like seriously hard. Like, every time I think I have it figured out, I scrap the plan because I can't imagine my partner liking it. Perhaps I am a little intimidated by my partner because she is amazing. Her stuff is just - WOW! How can I make something that will suit her tastes and be up to par with her level of expertise and innovation? I am feeling like I don't quite measure up right now. (And I am not saying this because I want/need/expect reassurance - I'm just having a moment, so please excuse me. No coddling is necessary. Perhaps a splash of cold water to the face might better fit this floundering.)

flowers stacked

I am in total scrap-happy quilt mode, but I have to really steer away from this aesthetic for the swap. I think I need to make something with a more contemporary look to it. Can these flowers be considered to look "contemporary" if they are arranged a certain way? I have no idea, because let's face it, grandma's flower garden quilts are pretty but pretty old-fashioned. Although, as Steph recently pointed out to me, there are some fresh and fabulous contemporary quilters doing amazing things with paper piecing and hexagons. And I have this wonderful pattern from this cool Japanese Flower Garden quilting book as my dream quilt to make:

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh, not sure if the scale is going to work for a doll quilt. So perhaps this is not the time for this quilt yet. So what shall I do? What should my approach be here? I want to make something that this person will totally love. My last partner was fairly easy just because I feel that she has a somewhat similar aesthetic/palette/color scheme as I do, but I still felt a slight nervousness (because again, she is mind-blowingly talented and makes such beautifully crafted things). I went so far as to make three quilts so that I could then choose the best out of those for her. (it's kinda the way I work - I treat the mini-quilts like sketches in a way.) Right now, I am not so sure I will have the time to make three quilts in one go, as much fun as it would be and all, so I have to work out my design and know what I am going with from the start.

flower garden layout

I am looking to one of my favorite collage artists (and Matt's friend), Greg Lamarche, for some design inspiration:

Greg Lamarche, Untitled, 2006, paper collage detail

I have also turned to the Gee's Bend quilters. This is one of my favorite designs:

Rita Mae Pettway, Housetop - Twelve Block Half-Log Cabin Variation, c. 1975 cotton, potton/polyester blend, corduroy, 84 x 70 inches

I saw the Gee's Bend exhibition at the High Museum last year when Matt and I were visiting some friends in Atlanta. It was absolutely amazing to see these quilts in person.

Ultimately, I am still not sure what to do, but I am hoping it will come to me next week, when I can sit my butt down and sew sew sew for a welcome change. I need to just stop thinking about it so much because right now, I am over-thinking it, and we all know what happens when you over-think something. For now, I gotta run....


Liz said...

I think your work is absolutely amazing, so I'm sure your partner will do too. The hexagons you have done so far look great - the modern fabrics give a contemporary spin on the traditional technique. I know what you are getting at though, I have had a couple of ideas for what to do for my partner, but keep changing as I'm not sure she will like it. It would be great if we could present our ideas first, but then I suppose it will take away the surprise element. Happy Quilting!

Mama Urchin said...

I am having the same kind of anxiety. My partner is a gifted crafter and gave no specifics in choice. Eek! Right now my plan is to just start sewing stuff together and let that inspire me. It's working so far.

Ashley said...

Cold water? How about a smack upside the head, as my mama would offer me? Your partner is amazingly talented and innovative? SO ARE YOU, you goose! ;)

I'm having deadline anxiety too--my sewing machine isn't back from the shop yet, and I'm really feeling itchy about starting.

grumperina said...

That looks very SLRish to me... did you get a new camera??!

sulu-design said...

Wow. I'm gaping at those hexagons - they are awesome. I agree with Liz - the modern fabrics look amazing with this pattern. I know that something fabulous will come of your deadline anxiety. It always does!

sarah said...

Did you ever find out any more about the whole plush you theme debacle? I never did.

Also, and I don't feel bad about saying this, as I am a Swap Mama, but if you tell me your partner, I might be able to help. I'm thinking you were paired for a reason. I paired all my bebehs with people I thought their skills and likes naturally spoke to. So perhaps you are just freaking for nothing.

Because you are wonderful!

Lisa K. said...

Maritza! Take a deeeeeep breath! You probably haven't had time to do so, from the way your schedule (or non-schedule) sounds.

You're a very gifted quilter and crafter, and obviously a conscientious swapper. Your partner will appreciate the thought and care that you put into everything you make. Sometimes inspiration hits at the most unexpected times, too. It will come together for you; I just know it!

And I loooooove the flower garden blocks. Those hexagons are delicious.

robiewankenobie said...

this is my first ever quilted project...and i'm scared stiff! i've seen the project that my partner is working on, and there is NO WAY that i'll be able to do anything half as nice. aaaaargh!

you, on the other hand, have nothing to worry about. who wouldn't love anything that you've made?