Saturday, September 13, 2008

To Sketch or Not to Sketch?

To Sketch or Not to Sketch?
I started making art quilts by drawing everything first. Then I would carefully transfer the pattern to freezer paper, or some other technique, and effectively duplicate my design in fabric. Then I tried NOT sketching first. It was scary! I mean really frightening to me. Without even trying, a picture of what I would be creating would just visualize in my head. I worked with the fabrics in a raw form, cutting and placing until the composition was just right, or even good enough. Yikes! Letting go of perfectionism is not for the faint of heart. Now I alternate between the two. I decided that different artists have different processes and it is important to honor my own process. If I feel compelled to draw my idea first, there must be a reason to it, and that's okay. Or sometimes, I will just be sketching and an idea forms from the shapes I've drawn, and then I decide to make it into a quilt. The most surprising thing to me has been the art I made without drawing first, it always comes out much better than I expected.
Full size quilt block, 16" x 16", the quilt varies slightly from the sketch below, but incorporates many of the same elements

3" x 3"
For the next example, there are slight differences. The jay's tail was placed lower to allow more room for the quilting motif, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly." This sketch was full size.

No sketch was made prior to making this quilt. This is a close up of my new quilt, Garden Girl and Kite Boy. I'll post the full view later. It will be at the Austin Area Quilt Guild Show,Sept 26-28.

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