I've been a little quiet, as you may - or may not - have noticed. Thinking about where to go, what to do, how to start.
Originally, I had one of those Ideas - the kind that stirs you in such a way that you think the thrill, the excitement of its power, will carry you forward all by itself. But I've been ... well, I've been in kind of a bady way, for a while. Not just jet lag, not just re-entry into life back here. Lack of inspiration, lack of creativity, all tied into larger, much more serious sorts of mailaise.
I was floundering, because my idea didn't make things happen on its own, all by itself. But fortunately, sometimes the universe sends your friends to stand by your side when you really need them. Or inspires them to send emails that actually jolt you creatively, and lift you up out of the quicksand you were sinking in.
Lene sent me an email and suggested that I try doing some small, simple projects. Things that didn't have to be anything at all in the end, just something to do, somewhere to go with my hands and my heart. She's been doing these amazing mini quilts in her "quilt a week" project, and she suggested I try something similar. I tried, at first, making a small appliqued mug. It was primitive, it was entirely freehand - and I didn't like it. It didn't express much for me, but it was something. I had a needle in my hand again.
It took a bit, days of marinating, stewing. But since applique wasn't going anywhere, wasn't starting things for me, I let that idea go rather than forcing it. I waited, and then it came to me ... quilting. It is my favorite part of the process of making a quilt, its where my heart is, what stirs me more than color, more than anything else.
Even though it turns out that the first step was the - often dreaded - basting part of things. I knew it was the right idea. I can handle basting together two fat quarters, no big deal. I can look at an 18" x 22" blank canvas and know that I can fill that space, start from nothing and make it come alive with texture.
The idea, as it stands at the start, is not for miniature quilts. I've done miniatures and I don't particularly enjoy them. I want to begin with small pieces, for now nothing bigger than a fat quarter - unless I decide to go bigger, I'm in charge here.
Honestly, I'm not shooting for a quilt-a-week. [Well, actually I was but then I decided to be a little bit easier on myself.] But I am making progress and it feels good - really, really good. I have more ideas - these can all be small, they don't have to be "complete" quilts in the traditional sense - although I'd like to make a bunch of small things I can bind, finish and hang. I got really excited when I thought about using non-traditional fabrics for them - but this is where I started:
I started where I'm comfortable, where I can fly - traditional Welsh patterns. For a start.