Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Whole Picture

I have posted dozens of times about my quilting and sewing projects.  Even though the things I sew aren't elaborate, I know there are a lot of other beginning sewers out there looking for similar projects, so I have no problem posting what I've made.  I have even shown pictures of some not-so-successful items.  So why is it difficult for me to post pictures of my paintings?  I've been painting, off and on, for almost two years but, other than my long-suffering husband and sister, most of my work has been for my eyes only.

Last week I was visiting with a lady from church who I heard, through the grapevine, had done some painting and even won an award in a competition.  She admitted that, yes, she had won an award but she quit painting after only four pictures  "There was no joy in it."  The next year, she started making ceramics, and entered her creations in the same competition.  Because there weren't enough entries in that category, they got lumped into a broad "crafts" category.  In her words, "I didn't stand a chance against the elaborate entries because the judges couldn't see my joy in my ceramics."  Cue the bells, whistles and flashing lights -- this was an "aha" moment for me!

I don't paint to make money or win awards - although I wouldn't mind those things.  I paint for fun, for the challenge of creating something without instructions or a pattern, for making something unique.  I admit up front that my paintings so far are not totally unique - they are my take on photos or images I've seen elsewhere - but I'm working on a couple pictures that, as yet, exist only in my head.

In the mean time, I'm going to display a few of my paintings at home and post them here.  What if everyone who sees them thinks they are amateurish, or ugly, or just plain bad?  It's ok!  It really is ok, because no matter who is viewing and judging my paintings, they can not see the joy I feel while painting them.  They aren't seeing the whole picture!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Now What?

Over the winter, I spent more time in book stores than fabric stores.  Cold weather found me curled up with a book, or knitting in front of the TV.  But warmer weather - and a good bargain - have lured me back to the sewing room.  

A local lady advertised a huge lot of quilt kits for sale.  I have no idea where or how she came to own so many kits, but I went to check them out.  Most were wall-hanging size with  "primitive" applique or embroidery - not really my thing - but I did find two Moda charm packs.  I had no plan in mind, and to be honest, they aren't even colors/patterns that grabbed my attention, but I'm a huge fan of pre-cuts (because  I don't care for cutting) and they were less than half the sticker price, so I hoped that they would inspire me.  Not so far!  That's where you come in.

The first pack is "Plum Sweet" by Blackbird Designs.  I actually had a few fat quarters of the darkest florals at some point.  I have no memory of how I used them, but I remember having them in my stash.  The shades of purple are pretty and I like the variety from large flowers to simple polka-dots.  I would probably leave out the center row.   It seems to have too much yellow/gold to blend with the others.  

The second pack is "KT Favorites" by Kansas Troubles Quilters.  When I laid them out, the colors struck me as odd - for lack of a better word.  There are dark blues, greens, browns, reds, neutrals that run from barely-off-white to an orange-beige, and four purple/blues straggling along at the end.  The whole thing is a bit boring.  It needs either a fun application where the individual fabrics blend into a neutral background, or it needs to be mixed with other, more interesting, fabrics.  

So, ideas?  They can always become doll quilts for the kids in foster care, but neither pack screams "little girl".  I found ideas on Pinterest for charm pack tote bags and table runners - neither of which I need.  For the moment, they will go into the stash, but I am trying to use what I buy, so someone help me with this impulse purchase.  What would you make?