Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolution...Finish the Isle of Skye Quilt in 2009

This is the quilt that I MUST get done in 2009. I started it in the summer of 2005 when I took the On Land and Sea class at Quilt University. In the class I basically got the background and middle grounds done except for some details. I have been struggling off and on with the foreground because I am having a hard time translating the photo into fabric. So the quilt has been hanging on my design wall just staring at me for years. I have bought so many batik fabrics to use in this quilt I probably could make 5 more landscape quilts. I keep thinking that if I just find the right fabrics that I will finish it. I guess that philosophy has not worked up to this point.

The scene is from a photo we took on the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the summer of 2003. It was a really beautiful place and the reason I picked this photo when I took the class. I probably will not get a chance to work on it until this summer when I am not teaching. Or maybe I should work on it for 1 hour each week to see if I can make any progress. Seems like there is always another project that gets in the way of working on the Skye Quilt. Or maybe I use that for an excuse???!!! Yep...excuse...

I think the problem is the same thing that is always the problem when I work on quilts is my tendency to over analyze my fabric choices. I struggle so much with this aspect of quilting and really envy anyone that does this with ease.

This past summer I learned to threadpaint and free motion quilt so maybe this quilt was waiting for me to acquire those skills since it definitely needs both of those. Or just another excuse???!!!

Most years I do not make resolutions (except maybe to take off weight). But I decided to make this quilt my goal for 2009. Happy creative 2009 everyone!


  1. Chris,

    I'm also part of The Creative Life mailing list, and hopped over to check out your quilts

    Lovely work! I also make art quilts, and I understand your issue with fabric choices

    Be brave! Use that design wall to try some of those fabrics out -- you'll find one that works

    I'm looking forward to seeing this beautiful piece completed in 2009

    Happy New Year!

  2. best of luck with this lovely quilt--i know how it goes with projects that just balk. drives you nuts, right? grrrrr.

  3. Can't wait to see how this all works out. Be strong! You can do it!

  4. The sea and sky and cliff are incredible!

  5. Well, apart from some suggestion of minimal embroidery outlines of door and window shapes on the large house, I can't see a single thing more needing doing to it. It's an attractive landscape quilt. Layer it, quilt it, bind it and then let it go.

    I haven't seen the photo, but thee question in my mind is, if you already have a lovely, good photo of somewhere you like to remember fondly, why on earth would you try, no struggle, with re-creating it exactly as possible in fabric? The answer of course is to give some kind of INTERPRETATION to the place that so enchanted you. And you've achieved that - so let it go - hang it up, give it away to someone in the family, roll it up and store in a cupboard - but remove it from your work area and give yourself the mental space and freedom to move on and deal with more inspirations.

  6. I agree with Alison. You've achieved wonderful depth and perspective in the backgrounds (mountains) and there's nothing wrong with the foreground either that some quilting and/or thread painting won't take care of.

    I finished up several pieces last year that I'd been staring at for several years and it was such a relief to finally tackle the parts holding me back and get them off the design wall. Alison is right about that too. While you may not want to put stalled work away (to be forgotten or to miss the opportunity for mulling into solutions just because it's there), left too long these projects can hold back new inspiration and clutter your mind.


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