The days are busy, but a collaborative visit is coming. My available time (or maybe energy) for working on our projects is certainly less now than it was when we began a few years ago. Still, we are a pretty productive duo, and when we do have the rare opportunity to work together in person, we try and plan ahead, each preparing pieces in advance to bring together for one or more projects so that we have projects in various stages of the creative process from the get-go. (Keep in mind that I work “almost” full time, so we work on all sides of the clock to get a lot of sewing in during these visits.)
We agreed to prepare three colorways ahead of time, each with wall pieces in mind, continuations of our work with row-based quilts and our in-progress My Line series for 2012. We already know there are other projects we’ll work on in the two-week visit. We have one larger, more traditional block-based quilt ready to sew together (we’ll have to, to clear the design wall). We have a very large commission that we have to get solidly underway. We have an indigo project in the wings. And our collaborative 2012 year projects are just getting off the ground, so we’ll have a chance to see each other’s palettes in person. Plus, I always issue a challenge or two, pre-visit. So there will be some surprises to work on. And, given that Canopy 2 sold last week, we’re thinking of putting Canopy 3 on the design wall.
It’s a lot to contemplate. But the hands-on, get ready for the visit, sewing has to happen to really make things productive. So, we nailed down three colorways to prepare. It’s a hallmark of how we began our work, and how we’ve worked over the years. Two of the colorways involve small collections and bins of fabrics and scraps we had worked with recently. The guiding principle there was that they’re available and easy to find! The first involves bright food fabrics. My pile was left handy from a piece I worked on in December, a “fusion” of sorts. Hoping to pull my share in the preparation of the bits and pieces we’ll use to turn these fabrics into a piece characteristic of our collaborative creative view, I’ve spent rogue minutes over the last week prepping and sewing seams. As the photo above shows, I have a small pile ready for the creative energy that happens when we bring the pieces together and start working them into a whole. It’s a bright, fun colorway and full of energy.
And so it was time to turn to the next colorway.
Immediately, you’ll note that these colors represent a dramatic shift from the food fabrics–and a notable diversion for what you may think of as our “standard” comfort zone on the spectrum. These are leftovers from a baby quilt we were commissioned to make in the fall of 2011. Throw in our favorite black and whites, and the colors take on new life.
It didn’t take long to riffle through my bin and pull out bits and pieces leftover from before and get a pile ready to stitch. (If I hadn’t rethreaded the machine this morning with green to do a bit of work on my own 2012 project, I’d probably have already sewn these together and be ready to, later, iron and re-stack the next set for sewing.)
But, I feel better having at least cleared the space of the food pieces, gotten out the purples, and wrapped my head around the first set of seams. It’s all fluid and free-form, which is how I work best–and how we work together.
I’ve got a few days before I need all my “parts” in place and ready. I’m in fairly good shape.
And so, off to the arcade I go–a belated birthday celebration. I’d much rather spend today home sewing, with a tea break thrown in for sketching. It’s true. But, arcades, boys, and pizza… it’s an afternoon in the making.
Camera note: My camera is ailing. I’ve got an auto-focus problem, and I’ve been counseled (appropriately, I’m sure) that I need to send it to Canon. I certainly can’t afford a new camera. Really, not even close. So I’m bumming that there’s a problem. I hate to be “without” for a week or so, but it’s going to happen. For now, I’m making do… focusing a bit off-center. Sounds about right!