Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Making of Graffiti

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Every once in a while I get this wild idea on a whim that I need to work on something for myself.  These ideas usually hit me at really bad times.  I tend to go with them anyway because while it happens at really bad times, the truth is that there is never a good time, so I'd better do it while I've got the notion.
Last Saturday I finished up a customer quilt that I'll be dropping off while I'm in Houston.  I did that on a whim too.  I decided that with the quantity of quilts that she sent me, I may as well quilt one up for her and try to save her a bit on return shipping.
I had been eyeballing my fresh bolt of grey Colorworks Premium Solid for quite some time, and decided to tear some yardage off to be sure I had some in my stash (because I've already gone through a whole bolt).  But it didn't stop there.  I pressed it, loaded it, and started stitching.
It's unfortunate that while I had the idea to work on something for me, I wasn't feeling particularly creative.  I've well-documented that I prefer to use the "non-plan-plan" for most everything that I do and it normally works pretty well for me.  In this case I don't feel that it did.  Now for the record, I am not dissing my non-plan-plan.  I love my non-plan-plan.  However I'm wishing that I would've taken more time to think carefully about it as I made it up.  Though I don't think that would've made a difference.  Houston is right around the corner and my heart just wasn't in it.  My mind was on other things.
I am not proud of this piece.  I am proud of myself for taking time to do it.  But I am not proud of myself because I didn't do it right.  When I'm quilting for my clients, I make sure that every little detail is as perfect as I can make it.  With this piece, this piece for myself, when I screwed something up, I always told myself, "I'm not fixing that, it's just for me".  When I noticed something I didn't like, I told myself, "Oh well, it's just for me."  Next time I'm going to try harder.  I'm going to teach myself that I'm important too, and because it's for me is all the more reason for me to be able to look at it and be proud to hang it on my wall (which was this piece's purpose from its inception, now I just don't know what I'll do with it).
 I'm going to try really hard to only point out my favorite parts. 
 Anyway.  Here we go!  Lots of pictures.

Day 1: The threads
Day 1: this is as far as I got.  Not too inspired but at least I got my swirlie tree in!

Start of Day 2: two-tone triple stitched disappearing curved crosshatching

Off the frame for one of its many turns and had to check my progress

All kinds of disappearing design on this one

Checking progress again

I really should've finished that section of pebbles before calling it a day because...

I knew it was happening and did nothing to stop it.  Distinct line between day 2 pebbles and day 3 pebbles

You have no idea how mad at myself I was when I realized what I did!

So I had to fill the whole thing in, and that's when I started hating it

Last thing to do and kept changing my mind

But I like what I finally decided to do

End of day 3

I love the disappearing checkerboard

I love my disappearing triple curved crosshatching

Love my swirlie tree

I don't even like stippling! But I like lime green ANYTHING

I wish I was happier with it because it will likely be a very long time before I get to work on something for myself again.  But I've learned my lesson.  Be nicer to myself and give myself the same courtesy that I give to you.  :)


  1. I like everything about it... even your so-called messed up star! Told you, I've got dibs when it gets tired of living on your wall!

  2. Wow, I'm sorry but I think it's pretty fantastic :)

  3. It's fun to play. Even more so when it looks like that :-)

    BTW, what is the fabric?

  4. WOW...wow.....I LUV your quilt !

  5. Omg, I love it so much. It's quirky, it's beautiful and if there was a way, I'd borrow it for a long, long time. Your skill amazes the hell out of me.

  6. Seriously dude, SO MUCH inspiration in that piece - I've been wanting to do something similar and now I'm going to have to play. Thank you!

  7. Totally sick! I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing each step of the way! Super cool!

  8. well, this is just amazing! adding a wholecloth to my bucket list now- even if turns out half as cool as this i'd be pleased.
    how does the darker pebbling thing even happen?? I mean i assume you used the same thread and everything just did it the next day and it turned out like that??

  9. You may not be happy with it, but look at how many of US would like to have it (she says, waving hands over head madly)!!!
    Maybe you should have a giveaway - the winner pays shipping - and then you won't have to think about it any more....

  10. This piece is just amazing, maybe you aren't happy with it, but it truly is a piece of art. And remember Karen, I have dibs after you. And Lisa, you should take time for your projects, you do wonderful pieces of art for your clients, and you deserve to do that for you too. Have a great time in Houston, and don't forget to have fun! :)

  11. It's nice to know even a genius with thread can make such a mistake. I feel like such a loser when I do stuff like that, and its generally when I'm really wanting something to be stellar and done!
    Regardless of the oopsie, it's lovely. Spectacular even. Totally. Frikkin'. Amazing.
    You so totally rock!

  12. i only wish i could be as "bad "as you,,, its fabulous

  13. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!! I think quilters are way to critical of their own work. This is spectacular! you inspire me to create! thanks for sharing

  14. You are so very talented. You need to give more time to yourself and create create create! :)

  15. We are always our own harshest critic! Thanks for sharing your creative process, I hope some rubs off here!

  16. HOLY CRAP! You are awesome! I think I want to marry you after seeing your blog for the first time. How about if I just follow your blog from now on? ;)

  17. I love this quilt! You did an awesome job and are so creative!