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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Finishing a project is always a relief.  
Sometimes the closing stroke leads me directly into
a repeat of the process so giddy I am with lessons learned
and a willingness to apply them again.  Other times...well, 
other times it takes a while to digest what was
gained and how to apply it elsewhere.
This is one of those "other times."

You may recall how I got into doing a church banner from a previous post on this project.  I seem to go where angels fear to tread and this was no exception: piles of mismatched cloth, no patterns, no experience...only a willingness to brighten the altar in some way with textile.

 When I last wrote I think I was having a "dark night of the artistic soul" moment, not at all sure I could pull it off.  I was consulting quilt shop owners unabashedly showing my ignorance in hopes of some guidance.  Which they happily provided.

I had never "quilted" on a machine before and having a dinosaur at my disposal there was no way I could pull off those fancy swirls and circles I longed to include.  And it would have been years before the finish line to do it all by hand.

I had read that taping it to the floor was an assist in lining up all the pieces if one did not have a large table.  So my husband consented to assist and we did our best to square up the front, the filling and the backing in our hallway.

A bazillion safety pins later i was able to trim off enough of the excess material to be able to get an idea of what this piece would look like hanging.  I still was not satisfied with the edges and I could also see that they were not even enough to stand as they were.  Head scratching time for sure.  Meanwhile I began to sew all three pieces together in what would appear to be the "quilting."  I chose to make the words stand out as single units and then to outline each of the interior squares on all fours sides and the trim just outside the ditches.  Quilt-speak I learned from the gracious shops I consulted.

Brainstorm on purple edging and miles of stitching later...husband stops by to hold it all up so that I can see how it hangs before completing the final trim and loops.

try out day: it fits!
also appears that bottom weights will be optional

less wonky when viewed straight on

Whew!  Brought it home to sign on the back and call it done!  I hope that when folks find their cloth pieces in this banner they will realize that the real message here is that only when we work together are we truly one.  I was challenged with making a lot of strange colors harmonize, with trying to get the loose weaves to cleave to the heavier pieces and with trying to include a little bit of way too many fabrics.  Reminds me of many committees I have been on, not to mention family gatherings or large parties.  But if it can be done half way pleasingly with fabric, just imagine what we would build with personalities?  I know, trite, but a lesson well worth being taught over and over again.

Glad to put this one to rest.

Colorfully yours,

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