Thursday, April 06, 2006
Keeping The Faith
A couple of weeks ago, I showed Heather and Helen a piece called 'Shapeshifter'. I wasn't happy with it, oh, no, not at all. They made supportive noises. Helen pointed out that I'd be adding lutradur, and that it was very early on in the development of the piece. I struggled to articulate the meaning of the piece, what I was trying to achieve with it. I cut it down a bit. It still didn't look right. Sadly, I didn't take a photo at that stage...wish I had.
A couple of days ago, I picked it back up again, still despairing, and put it on my design wall. I wondered about adding lutradur...and then finally, did. Experimented with different colours and designs. And finally, added the new layer, cut it back in some places, and then added more marks. It now says what I wanted it to. I wanted it to feel wild, mysterious, challenging. Almost threatening. I think it does that now.
I'm glad I kept the faith with this particular piece. I rarely ever abandon a piece, of my own or of someone else's. Sometimes people send me pieces that they feel are failures, and I experiment with them, try to help them to be what they want to be. Altered quilts, I think. One of them will be going to this year's Festival of Quilts in the UK, a joint piece between myself and Thelma Smith. It began as a top I didn't like, and sent to her. She changed it, sent it back, and I worked on it some more. It's amazing what can result from perceived failure, if you invest a little more time and energy in its growth. And your own, of course.