Sunday, September 14, 2008

Book Review and 52 Projects

It's not often enough when a book comes along at the exact moment that I need it, but this one did. A friend re-acquainted me with Jeanne Williamson's work and I was instantly enthralled. Jeanne's creative spirit spoke to me and her year-long projects starting in 1999 have inspired me to start my own weekly version. Basically, she has chosen a size to use for each year and creates one small quilt a week using materials from her stash and found objects such as dryer lint, vegetable net bags, newspapers and other items that enter her life. It's always a good reminder to look at surroundings with an eye for usable items; I'm grateful to Jeanne for opening my eyes.

The title alone, "The Uncommon Quilter," should alert artists that the book might not be for everyone; for the fans of Jeanne's work though the book is a gold mind of ideas, simply brilliant! 52 projects can't help but change how one thinks about small quilts. To me it's a book about experimenting, unleashing stagnant creativity and becoming playful.

Each project is broken down with a list of materials and step-by-step instructions along with insight into why Jeanne chose the materials or medium she used. As mentioned in the foreword by Kerry Patterson Bresenhan, "freeing one's imagination from the constraints of expectation is a huge step toward maximizing personal creativity. How delightful it is that for once maximum results can blossom from minimal size!"

My Guidelines for the 52 Projects starting the week of Sept. 14Th.
Use fabric or fibers for a base. Stitch or needle punch each piece. Sizes: 4x6 or 5x7 inches only. Try new techniques. Anything goes regarding embellishments especially found objects. The piece “should” be created within a seven day time-frame; make-ups are allowed. Throw outs are not allowed; much can be learned no matter how awful the result might be. Try to chronicle events. Keep reference notes about each piece. Additionally, the following weeks project(s) can be prepped in advance; this might help to relieve some pressure, after all this is meant to be fun!

Why start this particular week? My birthday is the 18Th and I'd like to celebrate the end of this tumultuous decade by creating a lot of work; what better way to do that than learning something new each week? I have absolutely no idea if I can pull it off, but a few friends are joining me so hopefully we can keep each other on track.
Feel free to join us. My first 4x6 inch piece will be posted tomorrow.

Quote: Whether you're an experienced quilter, a beginning sewer, or a creative artist looking for a new medium, it's always important to experiment with new ideas, techniques, and materials. The more artwork you create, the more you grow and the stronger your work will become. Jeanne Williamson

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