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They go together at least as well as ebony and ivory and possibly as well as peanut butter and chocolate. The last part of that sentence may seem a bit audacious, but check out the pillows I made this past week at my teaching stint at the National Quilt Museum.
In the interest of absolute accuracy, I only made the tops during my class and I had dyed much of the fabric as samples before I ever got to the workshop.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the students devote the last day of the workshop to sewing with the fabric they had created. Well, they were busy and the museum provided me with a machine, so, in order to set a good example, I got busy too.
Towards the end of the last day I asked each student to tack their work up and talk about the design decisions they made as they constructed their blocks and/or tops. I did the same, in fact I began the session, and I talked about focusing on one shape in each of the tops and combining pieced versions of that shape with ones that had been created via the dye process. What I didn’t talk about, because I didn’t realize it until someone else mentioned it, was how important play and experimentation had been to crafting these three pillow tops.
At home, I’m so married to my to-do lists and my awareness of deadlines that I almost never gather some fabrics and just move bits around until they make sense. I’m always busy sketching and planning. As is probably true every time I teach, I learned something new and really valuable. I’ve got to have time to experiment and potentially find new ways of working. I’m so excited about working this way: combining improvisational piecing with indigo and procion dyed patterning and not just shibori dyed patterning, but wax resist patterning as well. Maybe the next experimentation session should involve a newly learned dye process?
I’m almost always excited about the work that I do, but this newly discovered area has energized me in a new and different way and taught me something about the value of allowing myself time to play and possibly fail, but certainly try new techniques.
I’m definitely adding THAT to my to-do list.
BTW, quick, shameless self-promotion: these pillow covers are now available in my shop.