Friday, June 24, 2022

Musings on Mosaics on Off the Wall Friday


The moment when you realize you've let things get too complicated

So today I took the afternoon off to sew.  It isn't a great time to take off since all of a sudden, the country has decided it's actually summer and they want to buy, buy, buy their summer clothes.  It's been kinda crazy at work and with summer here, crazy on the social front.  All of that adds up to no time to sew.  So I did it. I took the afternoon off to finally finish up Tessa's Mosaic.

I've been three weeks trying to get what amounted to 5 hrs worth of work done on this piece.  In the past, I've hmmm'd and hawww'd over a piece, procrastinating till I feel in the mood to do it.  This was different though.  I knew what needed to get done.  I even had an idea of how to do it.  I still couldn't get myself to sit and get it done.  Why?

Timna Tarr had the answer. (Another reason to surround yourself with women smarter than yourself!)   I was very emotionally invested in this piece.  Not only was it based on my Princess (and the wonderful time we had doing her senior photo shoot) but also it was the first piece I've done since having a creative block (aka Menopause..gasp!)  Add in there the fact that it's my first mosaic and my first portrait  and it had me kinda frozen in fear of failure.  

After 30 years of quilting, you'd think that screwing up a piece wouldn't matter much.  It's not like it's the first time I've failed.  Nor the first time I've made a dog. Or the first time a piece was so bad I didn't have the heart to finish.  But...this piece means a lot!  

So that's why finally,  I took an afternoon off and worked in my 82-degree studio to get the top done.  I won't say it wasn't a struggle.  First I had to finalize a way to pattern out Tessa's face.  YES - I did track down her roommate who has a copy of photoshop to use the poster filter on it.

Then made the pattern  itself

Get the blocks sewn...who knew so much work could go into 9 little blocks?

Finally, get the top put all together... correct the twisted block my husband pointed out, and tweak up the edges I wanted to smooth.  I decided not to smooth too many but just enough so it wasn't distracting to the viewer.  A good press and it's ready for Off the Wall Friday.  

Now that it's done, it makes me think what was all the fuss about?!?  It's really that it comes back to the fact that no matter how well a technician you are as a quilter/artist, you still need to stay mentally strong.  Honestly, that isn't a bad distinction between craft and art.  Craft you can do technically well and succeed,  but for art, it has to be technically well, original, and a piece of you.  That piece is the part of yourself that wasn't too scared to show your vulnerability. It's the part of yourself that was afraid to fail. 

Next step is a nice mental break of cleaning up my studio which looks like oranges, greens and beiges threw a big party.  Then layer it and start stitching.  Hopefully, since I've been pondering the stitching line that will go smoother!

So that's my angst of the week...

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Jenny K. Lyon said...

Ohhhhh, this is fabulous! I totally understand and relate to your angst. You wrote about it so well - vulnerability, afraid to fail. And then the feeling of relief and "what was all the fuss about"! I can't wait to see this quilted up. It's just so compelling and beautiful.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Wooooow!!! That is beautiful!!!! And I totally relate to your words of being emotionally involved. That was an afternoon well spent!

Melva said...

Well done! Most daunting projects are like that... we look back and say, "what was the big deal?" It is beautiful. <3