Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thinking about "What If?"

I've gotten some very nice comments about the colors in my quilts (thanks everyone!), which got me to thinking about how I approach color choices, which in turn had me thinking about my "what if?" moments. I guess the bottom line is that I've wanted to see what would happen if I purposely put restrictions on my choices. This, somewhat paradoxically perhaps, seems to spark my creative thinking---apparently some variation on the "necessity is the mother of invention" paradigm. 

On the day I said, "What if I don't buy any new fabric for quilt tops?" I had to come up with alternatives, which led me to the incredible bounty of inexpensive used clothing in this town. But very few clothes provide traditional quilting cottons. My fabric love drew me to glowing silk ties, wonderful wool suits, linen that I couldn't resist, mountains of cotton twill pants in umpteen shades of khaki and beyond, and more men's cotton shirts than I ever imagined. 

There's a good reason most quilters use the fabrics they do. Most of the other fabrics are a pain in one way or another (and often several at the same time). But I'm completely hooked on the what-ifs and on the quiet thrill of ignoring the usual rules. I'm happily pairing silk ties with wool suits, and figuring out ways to use heavy cotton twills without too many piled up seam allowances. Some things I try don't work out, but most do, at least in my view, and they lead to even more what-ifs. 

2 comments:

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

LOVE the close-up on the khaki quilt. I don't think of them as having different colors, but yup, look at that.

those fabrics might be quirky to work with, but what a payoff. lovely lovely work. Love that picture in your header. Is there more to that quilt?

it's funny, speaking of rules. you're just ignoring the current rules. way back in the day it was common to see quilts made this way with a variety of clothing fabrics. Today's restrictions aren't doing us any favors. Wools and silks glow and cotton can't even begin to give the same effect.

Quilt Pixie said...

restricting fabric to that which is recycled is a great way to spark creativity -- make do with the amount you've got, find something that'll work and isn't necessarily a "perfect" match to the picture in your head.. You've gained beautiful textures and interest in the end product, as well as made a truly unique work rather then one with "all the right fabrics" :-)