Sunday, July 09, 2006

I have been working again on the quilting for the manatee quilt- and, have made quite a bit of headway. I'm more than half done! Quilting is the part I struggle with the most- I agonize over quilting designs, and when I finally make it over that hurdle, I agonize over doing it well. My free motion skills are improving, but not as good as I would like them to be. I've got the manatees mostly done- I think just some touchup quilting; the water is done, and I am almost done with the underwater "ground." So, that leaves just the sky. I've been using variegated threads, both YLI and Superior, and really like the effect they give. Here's a couple of detail shots. . .
First, the water--

Next, the underwater "ground"- some of which was done with small paper-pieced "Storm at Sea" blocks!! I love the effect it gives, but it was not easy quilting where there were lots of seams.

Given that this quilt was actually made by six different people, with six very different visions, the quilting is the one element I have to "meld" them into (hopefully) a coherent whole. My jury is still out-- and feedback is welcomed!

There has been an interesting thread about design vs. technique on the QA list, and on a couple of blogs- Rayna Gillman and Liz Berg's, especially. I've jumped in a couple of times, feeling very much out of my league. I know that my reaction to art is an emotional one- I can tell you if I like it, and maybe some reasons why or why not. But learning the language of describing, or talking about art-- I'm still a novice there. And it is truly an entirely new language for me. Liz Berg makes the point that quilters are too insular, we need to look and learn from outside our medium. I agree, and am grateful that I've had at least some exposure to painting and photography from my brother. But then, I'm sure he refrained from getting too technical with his artistically illiterate sister! Regardless, it's an education I will continue to seek out as best I can- simply because I must.

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