Sunday, September 9, 2007

WIP roundup.

Somehow the idea of a fabric-diet totally backfired. I now have more fabric than I did when I started this summer. I still think I need to go back to the habit of only working on one major project at a time. My rule used to be that I'm not allowed to buy fabrics for a future quilt until I finish the current quilt in progress, and I think I need to get back into that habit.

Now, I have heard very well reasoned arguments against that rule. More skilled quilters than I explain that it's important to pick up fabrics that appeal to you when they are available so that you can build up a stash that inspires you to even greater creativity. It's the idea that as artists we need to have the materials of our art available to us. One would never suggest that a painter use up all his blue paint before she buys green paint. Or that he plan out his next work of art and only purchase the colors and brushes he knows he will use for that project.

But, frankly, I am not an artist. Quilting is a hobby for me, a creative outlet. I have sufficient materials to keep myself creatively occupied through the end of the year if not significantly longer. To reassure myself of that fact, here are the projects that are in my queue, projects that should be finished up before I even think about starting a new project!

First up, quilting / sewing projects:

These quilts are somewhere in the sewing phase. I still haven't done a thing with the flying geese quilt top. I have been slowly but surely filling in the 'blank' squares in the eye spy quilt... only seven blocks to go, then I'll bind it and it will be done. Then hiding in the corner is a slightly secret project.

These are planned quilts in various stages of the pre-sewing phase. On the left are pieces for my niece's Flower Basket quilt. I have a pattern, and as you can see I've started cutting out fabric. I have a lot more cutting to do before I will start sewing that one. At the top - those pink & black fat quarters are intended for a Pinwheel quilt, the pattern has been sketched out, but I haven't cut anything yet. The batiks on the right were destined to become a Thousand Triangles quilt for my nephew. I have the pattern all worked out and even test cut a few triangles out of paper, just to check my math. I don't think it's going to be for my nephew after all... he's expressed interest in a Tampa Bay Buccaneer's themed quilt... so I'll probably start that after he comes back from boot camp.

As I've cut fabric for other projects, I've trimmed down the scraps into 3" x 1" strips and 2"x 2" squares. These pieces can be considered "just a gleam in mama's eye." I have a few ideas for scrap quilts... another rail fence maybe, a 9 patch, or maybe even a round the world type quilt. I love the look of scrap quilts... so I like building up my little piles of pieces, it's fun to think about what kinds of things I can do with them.

Soleil, ah soleil. I am drawn to this word as Rose is drawn to the Bad Wolf. It's French for Sun, and it gets me every time. Pay $100+ for Cirque du Soleil tickets? Absolutely! Soleil tank top in Knitty? The yarn is in my cart before I even look at the rest of the patterns in the issue. Now Valorie Wells has a line of fabrics called Soleil and they jump in my hand at every fabric shop I visit. There is a quilt in here somewhere. I have some ideas, but nothing definite. If I let myself, I could buy a lot more of this fabric before I even decide what to do with it!

These flannels were accumulated in a few different stages. I think I'd intended to make PJs out of the Santa fabric at some point. The bright red is what's left over from a Riding Hood that turned out quite well indeed. The other two flannels were on sale... and I think there's a nice warm winter quilt in here somewhere. Or I may actually make PJs who knows?

Lastly, fabric for skirts. Skirts are perhaps the easiest article of clothing to make. Making them well, however, is not so easy. I have specific skirt patterns in mind for all of these fabrics. I've even bought the appropriate notions & trim. My goal is to someday sew in a zipper that can't be seen, and a waistband that I don't have to hide. Someday... someday...

Lest the reader think this really isn't all that bad. I'm just showing fabric in my stash that's been allocated to a project or at least the idea of a project. I have much more fabric hidden away here & there. Left over fabric from other projects, free fabric from my mom and another generous donor, and an odd yard here and there picked up at the Fabric Depot summer sale. Now what I need to do is print these pictures out & carry them with me every time I go to the fabric stores! I have *no* need for additional fabric at this point in time... not until I've finished at least half of these projects anyway.


Bezzie said...

Hm, now see I'm weird, I'd probably paint a whole series of paintings that would slowly be lacking colors that I ran out of ;-). But if everyone was weird like me, than it wouldn't be weird?

I like seeing all of your projects to-be!

Magatha said...
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Rebel said...

Bezzie - you are vastly more creative than myself, and about 90% of the people I know... so whatever resources you had, I know you'd create something awesome!

Magatha - it's not guilt... it's lack of space!! I have a one bedroom apartment; and my craft materials have taken over the bedroom, living room, and hall closet! If I even had a second bedroom, it wouldn't be a problem.

Although I do frequently feel like I have *too much stuff*... and the only way to curb that is to limit the amount of stuff I bring into my home.

T said...

I think you are just as much of an artist as a "real" artist. Your medium is just fabric, and thread, and a sewing machine!

Also I love the fabric with the blue flowers, that you are going to make a skirt out of, it is awesome...


Michael5000 said...

I wondered if you might be having trouble with the fabric diet when you asked me very offhand (in a PM -- yes, I'm ratting you out) if I had gone to the Fabric Depot sale. Dude, it's a MONTHLY sale. If you start thinking of it as a recreational shopping opportunity, you're going to need to rent a storage unit to handle your fabric overload! : )

Having said that, I'm sure my "stash" dwarfs yours. I'll do a post soon on my studio and storage space as a kind of confession/gloatfest.

Love the rundown -- you have a lot more irons in the fire than I realized! As far as the artist/not-artist thing, I really cherish the permeable border between craft and art, between novice and amateur and professional, in the fiber arts. Everyone's a crafter, everyone's an artist, everyone is playing at their own skill level, making cool things, and having a good time.

Ever thought about putting a quilt in a show?

Rebel said...

T- there are a lot of quilt artists out there, but I still don't consider myself one. I don't know... art and craft does overlap considerably, but I feel more comfortable calling myself a crafter.

M5K - I know it's a monthly sale... but still - it's a SALE! =) And as T can attest, I do 'recreational shopping' there on at least a weekly basis! Maybe I should cut back to only once a month.

Magatha said...
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Libby said...

I can totally relate, and sympathize! I have given in to the temptation to accumulate stash and have a zillion projects going at once, but it totally does not fit my lifestyle right now and I wish I could streamline. Someday when I'm settled in a house in a town where I feel like I'm going to stay for a while and have some dedicated sewing space, it won't be an issue. But in the meantime trying to cram it all into my bedroom and move it every couple years just doesn't work...!!

atet said...

Um, welcome to the dark side of fabric collection -- there, I've freed you. It isn't something that has to be USED all at once, it's a collection. My story. I'm sticking to it. Oh, and my fabric diet goes back into effect after a late Sept. shop hop!