Sunday, May 13, 2012

27, 28, 29. Plus 1.

Only four months left until the opening of my show at the Patchwork Festival in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines in September. And less than one month to go until the deadline when I have to hand in a list with all the names and sizes of the quilts I want to show there. Having organized workshops and conferences myself before I can very well understand that the people organizing it all want to have plenty of time to print out the labels, they don’t want to be doing that during the last three days before the opening. From the other side, I consider this date much too early, after all, I don’t plan to stop working three months before the show. Yet they want to have my newest quilts!
Add to that the fact that our family is going on a two-week-vacation after Whitsun, i.e. the two weeks right before the deadline. We’re traveling by train, so I won’t be taking a sewing machine (I also think my husband would not really like that idea after all the preparations that have been going on, we all need a break.) So that list needs to be ready and sent off before our departure.
My word-file which I started several months ago to keep my head afloat has proven a very helpful device. Whenenver I started a new top, I would enter that in the file, with a working title, and as soon as it was finished, I would also enter the expected finished size plus the distance between the quilts when hung. Every once in a while I would add up the total.

There were times when I was well above 30m – and I only needed to fill 29. At that stage, however, there were three quilts still in the list which I really wanted to take out of the show in Alsace. Partly because they neither fit in with the ‚single’ quilts which do not belong in one of the two series I will be showing, nor do they fit in with the themes of the two series. Partly also because I do not consider these my strongest quilts, and I would have preferred to be able to fill the space without them. However, having surpassed that magic line of 30 m was an important step for my, psychologically: I knew I could fill all the walls I had been allotted, even if I wanted to reach higher standards for some of the quilts. That was one reason why I could stay almost relaxed during the times of sewing machine troubles and when I was waiting for the new machine. If I hadn’t had passed that 30-m-line by then I probably would have freaked out completely then.

On the first day after the arrival of the new machine, however, I had to abort one top which I had been counting on for sure. I still like the design very much, but at this stage I need a lot more practice with a certain technique before I will be able to sew this one nicely. I am putting those practice sessions off until after the show, though. Nothing to do with the new machine! It will just have to wait for more relaxed times.
That set me calculating again, though – how far was I really beyond the magic line, how many more meters did I want to replace with new work? By then it was clear that I would have to settle for exactly the list I had concocted at that point, or include one or two quilts which weren’t finished, perhaps not even started when the list left my desk. So I spent a whole Sunday drawing a new design for Play of Lines XXXI, and a few sketches for Shapes 6, aiming to add up to another two to two-and-a-half meters.
Design for Play of Lines XXXI...

... which originated from this drawing by my son.

And what about „Plus 1“ that is mentioned in the heading? That refers to a quilt according to the rules of this year’s competition, with the topic „Yesterday Today Tomorrow“. All jury members have been asked to make their quilt on that topic, and they will join the traveling show. This had been started last year for the first time, so I knew that this request would be coming. I had started sketching ideas for this a while ago, and I know the title. I will use a hand-woven fabric which was produced by one of my ancestors and has been handed down in the family, now arriving in my possession.

But I haven’t started sewing it. That will have to wait until all the others are done.

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