Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Playing with Blocks

I'm playing with fabric scraps and making blocks these days. The more I play, the more inspired I get. I wish I could show you what I'm working on for the new book but it's a big secret. I'm pretty good at keeping secrets, though, and you'll all have to wait awhile to see a finished product. That means no inspiring photos for awhile either.

Wonder what shape these will eventually take? Can I fit them into a quilt somewhere? Do pink and purple and green really go together?

Here's a block I decided NOT to use in a quilt. Too matchy for me I think so I "scrapped" it. Like those prints though and will use them somewhere else.

I finished making a couple of small quilts already and, along with making and finishing the other quilts, I have to write the patterns and draw the step-by-step sketches of the projects so the designers at Martingale & Co. can eventually translate them into illustrations so you can figure out how to make them too. Here's a design sketch from my last book, Remembering Adelia, not the one I'm working on now, to give you an idea of how a book comes together. There will be 16 projects in the new book, so I have to make a series of these little drawings for each project, check and recheck and then draw new ones when I find a mistake, which I almost always do. This part and writing the actual instructions is hard for me and I have to stay focused and make sure I don't leave anything out.

The older I get, the harder it is to filter out distractions, of which there are many in the summertime. Aside from kids and playful, barking dogs, simply having to work at home is a distraction. I keep telling my husband I need a studio like the "real" quilt designers have. Maybe in a secluded woods somewhere (difficult, since we live in typical Midwest suburbia). He tells me we'll work on that when we're finished with college tuition (six more years!) and if and when I get over the starving artist phase of my career (craft book authors make very little money, sorry to say, but it's the truth--it's all fame and glory, unless I'm missing something and nobody told ME about the BIG advances other authors get).

Some days the writing part goes like this:

Clearly, that part is hard, too. The only easy part is playing with the fabric and putting colors together and choosing which prints I'll use in a quilt.

Our typical '60s suburban colonial, probably older and smaller than most, needs some work. The gutter guys were here last week making all sorts of noise putting up much-needed $$ gutters $$. My brother-in-law Steve the painter guy is still scraping and painting the outside windows and trim, which means I will NOT have a quiet house for a few more days. I'd be lost without my ipod while I work.

Steve the painter guy helping us make it look a little better (it was looking like those shabby, distressed antique furniture pieces, which I love, just not so chic, especially the shutters):

Andy, Steve's painting partner, looking much happier than I'd look if I had to work so hard on the outside of my house:

I'm counting on my ipod to save me.


Ingrid said...

Nice pics of your house! BTW, if anybody can make pink, purple and green work together, you can.

Kathleen Tracy said...

A little paint can do wonders.


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