Friday, July 1, 2011

Finding Out More About Myself

     I signed up and took part in two workshops at the Vermont Quilt Festival: Small Silk  works by Sonya Lee Barrington and Introduction to Long arm Quilting by Debbie Brown. Both are excellent teachers with an eye for detail and great skill in making you feel at ease in a workshop and getting the information to you in a clear manner.

   The first class was a day long workshop and I took it primarily to see how to work with silks. I had dyed a bunch this past winter and before I cut into the silks , I wanted to know what I was doing.  Sonya makes beautiful pieces large and small, purses and many of her pieces are framed very nicely. The packet of dupioni silks were gorgeous that we used for the class kit and the instructions well written.

     I was a diligent student opening the packet and piecing things together as the pattern indicated but by about 1 pm, I could do no more. I am now officially an improvisational piecer.  I can’t use a pattern anymore. I don’t want to use a pattern is more accurate.  There was not a scrap of my brain that wanted to use a pattern.  I think she thought I was crazy when I spent the last hour just piecing randomly as everyone was dealing with tiny one inch pieces which fit so nicely together. 

It doesn't look a thing like the pattern above, does it? I couldn't do it. 

I do appreciate and admire people who can use a pattern. I am too far gone I guess !  I learned how to do a Y seam, how to fuse pellon 880 f to make the silk easier to handle while sewing but most importantly I learned something about myself as a studio artist : I don’t want to -use a pattern and I am not at all about precision anymore. A sketch- yes, a pattern- no.  I am not sure why this was such a revelation to me but it was.

    Then on Saturday, I took an intro to long arm quilting workshop . I had it in the back of my mind that maybe this was a route I wanted to take. 

      Buy a long arm machine( money is a slight issue- ;) and be a quicker worker producing oodles of artwork. Oh where do I dream these things up? Now, I tried a big machine for about ten minutes. I knew right then and there, it is not what I want to do either. Too big for me. I don’t want to have to add another tool  to learn to use, maintain or justify. It just wasn't me-right now. 

     I spent I think about 100 dollars to learn these things about myself.  I could feel really guilty about that. But I figure it was much less than a semester at a local art college taking a 4 credit class that would have cost a lot more and been more painful to finish. Or a huge expensive sewing machine...

     Oh the things I am learning about myself thorough this whole process!!!

     Thanks for listening to this very long post .  Slow down and enjoy the journey. I think I need to. It was a relief to eliminate some things and not wonder if I was missing something. :)

      Slow down and enjoy the journey, my friends.


  1. Glad to hear you got to experiment with that long-arm before making an investment. It is so important to discover what it is that you don't want. To me, it is money well spent. And think of all the money you will save by not purchasing patterns!!!

  2. Apollonian and Dionysian
    welcome to the dionysian world

  3. Never feel guilty about learning! I think you are very clever for what you did! And yay for no patterns! :)

  4. Hang onto that ability to learn about yourself!

  5. Not using a pattern huh? You rebel!!

    Would love to have coffee with you soon - before you know it the summer will be over. Hope you are having fun.

  6. But at least now you know!! Amazing how much we really learn about ourselves isn't it! I do love your silk pieces...

  7. I haven't used a pattern in a long time but it was the realization I can't turn back. Only moving forward. Thanks for the encouragement. No, I will never stop learning about myself!