Friday, December 17, 2010

Why I haven't blogged this month

Red Carnation, a fabric mosaic

I have finished the custom orders that will be Christmas presents for people I don’t know, several of them given by people I don’t know. There is a relief to being done with these. Often the people that hire me say “I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished” and I want to reply “me, too,” partially because then it will be done, and also because I will know if it came out well.

Yes, sometimes I have doubts. While I can see the progress in my art that seems to get better every year, sometimes when I start a project I doubt my abilities. Often it seems that the client is requesting something that I’ve been thinking of trying, but it just hasn’t made it to the top of my list yet. Like…

Making a quilt from clothing (aka "Heriloom Quilts"): A few years ago I was asked to make a wall hanging out of a wedding dress, bridesmaids dress and flower girl dress. Cutting the fabric was a little difficult emotionally, if I ruined this I wouldn’t be able to just refund her money and give the dress back. But it all went well and the client loved it. This year I made some t-shirt quilts. The stretchy material that makes t-shirts so comfortable also makes them difficult to work with, unless you attach some interfacing, which means more time needed to finish the quilt.

Fabric mosaics from actual photographs: Most of the fabric mosaics I’ve made have either been abstract or an abstracted representation of something. One client asked me to make a fabric mosaic of a carnation (see above). Daisies, sunflowers and tulips all have defining characteristics that make them obvious what they are. Carnations, not so much. This client has also asked me to do a fabric mosaic of a house, place of business, and this year a sport event and a relative’s pet.

Using an ink jet printer to print on fabric and then quilt it:
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. I’d love to scan in some of my original watercolor paintings and quilt on them. For this client I scanned in pages from a favorite children’s book (with permission from the author and illustrator) to print on fabric and then quilt.

I’m happy to report that all of the custom projects I worked on this year actually came out better than I had expected them to, and the clients that I’ve heard back from are all very pleased with the results. It is a wonderful feeling to know that someone is going to receive a gift that I made and that it’s possible it will be one of the most special gifts they’ll receive this year.

I promise to post photos of these projects soon…while I know it’s a long shot, I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise by someone accidentally coming across their gift before they’ve received it.

(You can see the photos of the custom quilts I made for Christmas 2010 here.)

I've also noticed that this is my 100th post.


Pamela said...

I can so relate to this! Happily, my work has been well received also, but it's really hard to try to translate someone else's vision into fabric. Especially when they say - you're the artist, I'm sure it will be fine! I'm not always so sure!

Unknown said...

Happy 100th post!

I can relate. Blogging has been slow for me, too. I've been so busy with work and Christmas. Unfortunately I have lots to say and share, but no time to do it in :)

Libby Rudolf said...

beautiful! thanks for your lovely card too...

Holly U said...

I love how the carnation turned out Pam! Look forward to seeing the other projects you describe too.