September 22, 2013: Controlled Chaos

Greetings!

Twice in the past week I have read articles about recent studies that seem to  indicate that working in a cluttered environment promotes creativity.  I think this could be true but there’s likely a limit to the amount of clutter beyond which it promotes stress rather than creativity – at least that’s true for me.  This reminds me of what is felt to be true of anxiety/stress.  Mathematically speaking, you can plot anxiety/stress on a horizontal axis and “ability to function well” on the vertical axis and get a bell shaped curve.  A certain amount of stress is actually good for you and promotes better functioning.  However, at a point beyond the top of the bell shaped curve the stress makes it harder to function and you get the downward slope on the other side of the bell shaped curve.  So…..same thing for clutter!  Some is good, too much is bad!  

The above being said, here is a shot of my work table this weekend – the picture of “controlled chaos” as I worked on the wheels:

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I had fun cutting circles for the centers of the wheels and playing around with which ones looked good with which wheels.  I also cut sashing strips to pin up for each wheel, but, because I don’t have a lot of some of my pieces of authentic Japanese fabrics and have to save these for the actual quilt, I used other fabrics of similar color to what I will eventually use.  Following are a number of pictures of the 16 wheels pinned to the design wall.  Keep in mind that none of the pieces are sewn together yet so the circles look a bit out of shape.  All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this is coming along:

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In this last picture above, I experimented with some pieces for the the background of each block.  I am not at all settled on how the background should look and will take a lot more time to think about that.  That’s OK because now I will begin to cut 4 individual pieces for the insides of each of the wheels and will applique these to the outer wheel rings rather than use the sewing machine to sew them on.  I’m more comfortable appliqueing curves than doing them on the sewing machine and I prefer not to take the paper off the backs of these pieces just yet – that also makes applique the easier method here.  Next post I hope to have some pictures of those pieces.  Each circle has 4 so with 16 circles there are 64 of these to do before I need to make final decisions about sashing and background.

I have some pictures to show of the University of New Hampshire Faculty and Staff Arts and Crafts show that opened on 9/13.   First 2 pics are of my quilt – it was nicely displayed!

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Next is a nice view to the left of my quilt showing several other pieces:

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The above is a lovely hand embroidered piece.

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The above beautiful watercolor of irises in a vase, viewed from above, was done by Peter Welch, a health educator who works at Health Services with me.

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The above gorgeous picture was painted by my neighbor, Tom Foxall.

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The above interesting and lovely small art quilts were made by Mimi Winder who has been a member of my quilt group.

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The show wasn’t large and there was a nice mix of art and craft – painting, sculpture, wood work, stained glass, furniture, photography, and textile work.  There were only a few quilts.  The above are a quilt and a table runner.

In addition to the “wheels,” I also worked on appliqueing leaves on Spring Sonata border #3 – almost done and ready to go to border #4.   I’m not really that close to finishing, though, because all the leaves need embroidery embellishment.  Lots to keep my busy!!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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