Monday, October 28, 2013

Etsy Launch

The port side aft locker is getting full of tiny quilts. Time to move some out and make room for more.

Making tiny quilts is great fun, but once I've finished one, it doesn't hold much interest anymore. My heart has already moved on. The sketch pad bulges.

Etsy seems like a perfect solution. Thanks HG for being my first customer!

Here's the store link (also on the right under Lookies) Etsy didn't allow the long name, but oh well...

This will be the future FLTQ business card background. Picture some lettering on the right side, blah, blah, blah.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just right

It's threes again. Given three fabrics, make three square tiny quilts. This is the best fun! Still experimenting with extending shapes outside the edge and trying so hard to push myself away from wanting to balance the weight of the shapes (epic fail). And then there are those dots... They just want to fill in the negative space, and I let them walk all over me.

Goldilocks series: (from right to left) "pale...", "just right", and "bright!"

2013, hand appliquéd and hand quilted, each 8.5" x 8.5"

Here they are in their home, enjoying the love.

Monday, October 14, 2013


At a recent quilt guild meeting, an artist brought her trunk show, her life's work. Her early quilts were exquisite fabric renderings of paintings. Someone finally told her to stop doing other people's work, so she started designing. She gave herself permission to stop copying and start creating. Her original quilts showed the growth, the risk-taking and the experimentation; they were stunning. 

Not only did the quilts change, but the artist changed as she spoke. When she introduced the newer quilts, her body language showed a confidence, a completeness, an ownership of the piece. She was comfortable in her self-expression.

Meanwhile, the woman seated across from me spent the whole time intoning under her breath variations on the theme of "I'm not creative, I could never make that." What?! 
I wanted to throttle her after 5 minutes of this and ask her if she ever tried to be creative.

Creativity starts with believing in yourself, being positive and making the attempt. 

1. Observe your surroundings and your self. What interests you? Creativity is self-expression - know yourself.

2. Start small. Tweak a traditional pattern. Make it a little bit different, stretch it some. Keep stretching.

3. Practice. Sketch. Make things. Make mistakes. Keep doing.

2013, hand appliquéd and hand quilted, 10" x 10"

Some more good reading on creativity:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Icons, part two

Making art is often about rendering what we see. We are used to icons, shapes that we instantly recognize. When familiar icons aren't present in a piece, the viewer is forced to think/react/respond/imagine a new story for the unfamiliar shapes. We already have a story in our minds for a "butterfly" shape. With a new shape, there is no stereotype, there is no ready story. Instead, there is a disruption of the normal recognition and classification process which forces our minds to exercise. Exercise is good. The shape image is not so familiar, not so easily dismissed. We are compelled to make new stories.

"Left Hindwing", 2013, hand appliquéd and hand quilted, 10" x 10".

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sketch every day

All those famous guys, (Malcolm Gladwell, Leo Babuata, etc.) claim that mastery of a skill is all about practice and creating habits. While I realize the scale of tiny quilts doesn't imply mastery, per se, I am treating this process of play like a skill to be mastered. I'm trying to practice. I'm trying to turn out a tiny quilt every week. 

The practice starts with observing and sketching. I have a hot pink pencil, a tiny sharpener and a 5" x 8" spiral sketch pad. I date every page and start doodling. Some days there's not much to use, some days there are a few good ideas. Some days the first sketch is great (these days are rare). Mostly, it's about consistency and volume. 

Google images is a helpful tool for ideas. This one came from ingesting images of butterfly wings.