Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Creative Space: Embracing ‘Wonk’ and Wising Up



I have my arms in the air. I’m victory-lapping. I’m motorcading on parade, blowing kisses to flag-waving, wide-eyed children, bearing the Olympic flame into the opening ceremony arena. And guess what? I reckon I’ve grown up a wee bit.



Not ever, never, ever, has anyone complimented me on anything without the prompting of my awful, internal, eternal: ‘Yes, BUT...’. It’s a vile and nasty affliction, that infinite, fruitless search for absolute perfection – and by crikey, it’s BORING.



This quilt is my first, from go to woe. There had been a whole lot of dithering over what should become of some hoarded fabric treasures and I’d, predictably, bored myself senseless. It took a craft camp and a ‘suck it and see’ approach to cutting into a colour palette of everything red, grey/blue, natural/whitish to get things moving. Move they did.



Even though there were so many things I would angst over and unpick and tweak if this was, say, a design job for a client, damnation it was refreshing to just let fabric strips stay where they (pretty much) fell. Not disillusioned by a long and drawn out editing process, I have since thoroughly enjoyed the meditative process of the hand quilting, the handsewing of the binding and lo! there is actually something to snuggle under – just like I said there would.



The bit that brings me such great joy, is that I actually love it more for the mistakes. The ‘horsey’, uneven stitches at the start of my hand quilting efforts, a discovered typo I wouldn’t change for the world, the brown and white stripe binding (that works better than a charcoal/white stripe which I was so sure would be the way to go). The brown and white was there in my stash and guess what, Myrtle and Eunice Graphic Designer Lady Who Should Know a Thing or Two About Colour – suck on them lemons! The overall effect is softer on the eye and the brown ‘reads’ as a warm grey anyway and how’s that for learning something new?



So, apologies for all the pics. I couldn’t help but indulge and celebrate a wee while. Right before I throw the thing in a nervous first wash, in an attempt to get that nice wrinkled quilty thing happening. I did not pre-wash any fabrics, and hooley cadooley, there are quite some number in there, clanging alarm bells.



I’ll be less convinced about all that victory lapping bizzo, if what I end up with, is a quilt gone PINK.



I’ve been up to the eyeballs in real life lately and am very much looking forward to grabbing a cuppa (or ten!) and checking out all the creative happenings via Kirsty’s place... (right after I pick myself up from the floor after a Prime Ministerial leadership spill of gobsmacking, breathtaking expedience).

68 comments:

Leah said...

Oh I love it. The fabric and the colours youve done an awesome job an amazing first quilt!

willywagtail said...

The colours are awesome and so are you!! No 'ifs' 'buts' or 'maybe' Just plain awesome. Cherrie

Kirsty said...

Just absolutely gorgeous. I LOVE the hand stitching...so much. Wonderful work.

Rosie said...

I love it. And I love your approach. All the little 'mistakes' add character and make it even more special and unique. Congrats!

sue said...

It is simply stunning, and no such thing as a mistake, it is a designer choice you know!

sophie said...

It's absolutely stunning - well done!!

Chicken Willow said...

Just stunning, love the colours, love the hand quilting, love the typo...just beautiful. Well done Tania.

teddybearswednesday said...

Tania, it is utterly utterly stunning. I love it. and I love the most that you love it, and while I'm struggling to see the wonks you are speaking of, I'm so glad you are getting on the wonky wagon. GO YOU!!! xo
PS soon you might go as far as me, wonking things on purpose.

Stomper Girl said...

It's absolutely gorgeous. I roolly rooly hope there's no washing machine related disaster, make sure it's NOT on hot wash, kay?

Linda said...

wow Tania it is sooooo GORGEOUS I am totally in awe of you now, and you have inspired me to bite the bloody bullet and give a quilt a go I have always been too scared!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it xx

Lola Nova said...

Oh, it truly is a beautiful sight! You absolutely deserve your own parade...for finishing your first quilt (and rather a good one at that) is a dance about the house accomplishment. Well done, it seems as though the angst is not as crucial as we may believe. Your "just have a go" with the fabrics has turned out brilliantly. I applaud you.

M* (Melanie) said...

Go Tania. Go Julia. Today is indeed a day to embrace change and celebrate it.

Well done to the both of you!

Becky said...

Is it pink yet? I hope not because it looks wonderful in red!

One Flew Over said...

It deserves celebrating and so do you. A marvelous quilt!

beck said...

I am no quilter but I am not crazy about a too perfect looking quilt. It's somehow not homey enough. I'm liking the way you are embracing the wonk and I'm loving the result! Great colours, ace typo, pretty impressive hand sewing = nice one honey! xo

Andi said...

Stunning!!!
Absolutely L.O.V.E. it!!!

Sophie said...

It's fabulous!!!!! I love the colours and the binding is perfect and I know exactly how you feel about even loving the little flaws... they're not mistakes or errors or even imperfections - they're character!!

I also know how you feel about that 'first wash'... I hate pre-washing and with each of the 3 quilts I made I didn't pre-wash any... So far so good despite a near disaster with some hand-dyed fabrics (fixed by throwing said quilt back into the machine for a second-less-gentle wash and came up a treat!!).

Enjoy your beautiful quilt!!!

ecoMILF said...

It's great and I am so glad you love it and are embracing the imperfections. (Which by the way no one else in the world can see!) xx m.

Michelle said...

Just stunning!! The hand stitching is beautiful. Wash it on cold and you shoud be fine. (and Go Julia!!)

Christina said...

Go the wonk! My inner perfectionist is usually pipped at the gate by my resounding impatience in those things craft related. I having been leaning towards project where "It'll do" won't do and being more of a perfectionist with my embroidery and crochet - so it is fun to see you leaning the opposite way.
And it has worked. The quilt is awesome. I hear a quick soak in some hot water with a handful of salt is a quick way to set those naughty reds.
:)

PS. The political news is still sinking in. How very strange it all is!

Catherine said...

I love love this. The colours and all the stripes, it's just perfect. Yeah for you! xo

Little Ted Canvas said...

It's a work of art, I absolutely love it!

Jenni said...

a gorgeous, modern, vibrant design.
the after wash crinklyness will only add to it's beauty, well done you!

Sue said...

And the winner is....fabulous!

Nikki said...

You did good. It is wonky perfect... which is the best kind of perfect.

Sarah said...

I love your quilt and your wit in describing it - thanks so much for sharing!

Melanie said...

Not only am I a huge fan of 'suck it and see' (both phrase and approach, as applied to, well, anything!) but I am also a huge fan of that quilt. Gaw-juss. And inspiring and hope-giving - that perhaps maybe someday I might also finish a quilt from go to woah (did you use woe intentionally for the giggles?) Good job!
Btw, the current prime-ministerial shenanigans have a bit of the 'suck it and see' about them, don't you think? I'm waiting to see.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

good on you!!! it is so fab and all my fave colour schemes too. I lvoe it and I love that you finished it.

Sandrine said...

It is beeeeauuuutiful! I can not even imagine how long this would have taken...Well done!
PS: Yes...I nearly fell off the treadmill this morning :)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I love it ! As always , the colours are unexpected and perfect .
AND you've finally made something the Toddler will condescend to wear this winter . Who knew she was just waiting for something quilted that draped flatteringly.

Suse said...

'Embrace the wonk' became our craft camp mantra last year!

And now that I've seen your quilt finished instead of tantalising little teasing cropped shots, I realise it's the same style as my random strippy quilt (except mine is green florals). Great minds :)

Angus in Northcote said...

suck it and see

wait until you see the new deck on Saturday. No better way to learn than on the job.

Fer said...

Just stunning!

I rarely pre-wash my fabrics before making a quilt and never really have a problem. I always do a coolish wash and will add a good dash of vinegar if I'm worried about colours running.

Cass said...

I love it, well done

Fruitful Fusion said...

It's beautiful! I love the colours!

Tamara said...

Hey Chick... It's ace you know? Very impressive indeed...as was today's leadership spill...having well earned cuppa with you-for you, good work T, xt.

Rita alias alatvian said...

Lovely!
Thank you so much for sharing!

Kylie said...

Yes, love it too... and yes, I suffer from that same affliction and still waiting for it to leave the building. Maybe I should start a scraps quilt... Is that the magic answer? Needing a bit of magic - thoroughly suffering under the weight of four kids for two weeks while my sis is in NYC (how do people do it??!) Totally blown away with political shenanigans too - talk about a shot in the foot! But hey, we have our first female PM! Smiling about that :)) Kx

A Peppermint Penguin said...

I get it. I soooo get it.

So from me a huge CONGRATULATIONS.

As indicated above by the masses - it's lovely, gorgeous, fabulous... and the rest.

Well done. What wonk is next?

Cheers,
AJ

Posie Patchwork said...

Congratulations, it's timeless, classic, genderless, so you made one & you have a family of 5, good luck!! Love Posie

Copper Patch said...

Woot woot! Not the noise of an owl, the noise of quilty celebration. Lovely job - the un-quilty boy next to me even said so. Well done.
Abbe x

melissa said...

That is fantastic. I seriously seriously love it!

Real Life Reslers said...

I love the quilt! And I think I'm going to try and start using the word wonk in my daily conversations.

Katie B. said...

It is perfect. Have you started quilt #2 yet??

Madeline said...

Ooo...I love it! Hope it came out of the wash sans pink.

Allana said...

oh wow! You did an amazing job, it is stunning!! Well done!!
holding my breath that the colours stayed pure, I'm sure there are colour fixers available from the supermarket if something went wrong though :)

Cute as Buttons said...

Hooray for you! Have you been reading FlyLady, again? She'd be ever so proud of that post. Very jealous of quilt in a nice way. Leadership spill seemed to happen in the blink of an eye or maybe I have my head in the sand. Enjoy that tea. Lisa x

Megan said...

Yay!!! It must be the time for embracing the wonk, I know I certainly have been doing just that lately! Congratulations, I think your quilt looks just marvellous and super snuggly warm. I've got my fingers crossed for no pink bits appearing.. surely there's some fancy colourfast stuff you can put in the washing machine with it to help the crossed fingers along the way a little bit??

perchesinthesoul said...

It looks gorgeous, the colors and fabrics so very lovely together.

Jenny @ Ohjoh said...

I LOVE it! Well done. I can relate to every word as I'm 3/4 through my own very first quilt and it is full of "wonk".
Fingers crossed for the wash.

Munaiba said...

Just beautiful. Well done!

koralee said...

Soooo pretty...I am loving the red white and blue... have a creative weekend my friend. xoxo

leslie said...

it is so, so beautiful - wELL DONE!!!

Mel said...

Phwaor!! Love it love it! And I see no wonk? Now considering you hand quilted and hand bound it and you only started it at quilt camp it was bloody fast too! And I wouldn't worry too much about it running in the wash. Nowadays fabrics don't seem to do it ... famous last words?

Enjoy snuggling under it!

p.s glad to see your poor freezing child is finally getting warm thanks to the quilt. Will she go out in it?

Cat said...

Wow, it is stunning. Words fail me.

74 Lime Lane said...

fantastic work ~ it looks so cosy in those beautiful pictures, loving, that's what is!

Leonie Guld said...

Bloody hell woman am I to late..............Have you thrown it in the wash yet? If you haven't yell out and I will send you some color stay that will prevent any runs and stop fading. Buy the way it's down right SENSATIONAL!!

Magdalena, The Craft Revival said...

I must tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed all the pics. That is an amazing piece of work there my dear. Go you.

always Sunday said...

Well chosen patterns, colours and placement. Yes, it's going to be a very interesting election this year. I'm just waiting to see if Abbot says some silly comment that will make him look even more incredibly silly:)

Anonymous said...

Tarn,
Your quilt is fantastic, the best I've seen actually! Seriously!!
I love your choice of colours, pattern and style.
Now Mrs. Are you ready to take orders?
Love Jen xo

Darcy said...

Stunning quilt, I love the colours and the binding sets it all off perfectly.

heather said...

oh me oh my oh. i love it ENORMOUSLY. the brown and white striped binding is my favorite part!!!! i need that fabric. as i get older, i love how i see the mistakes often actually carry the most soul in any work i do. so odd. so charming. so surprising. i LOVE your quilt, lady. you are now officially a quilt lady!! woohoo!!

Gina said...

Obviously meant to add my own quilt lurve a while back but came down with dreaded lurgy and have been lying around croaking at people since J's return. LOVE your work. As does the rest of the world, obviously. Binding is fabulous. You growed up a whole lot. Over and out.

quirkygranolagirl said...

i think your quilt is just *beyond* gorgeous. however, i'm frightfully too aware of my own "yeah, but..." tendencies. (i just made a wonky star for a quilting bee that i'm afraid has too little "wonk.") all of this is to say that i'm proud of you for loosening your grip a little when placing your fabrics and i'll pledge to try the same.
good luck in the wash pretty quilt.

RED PEPPER QUILTS said...

Love the new quilt - thank you for abundance of wonderful pre-wash pics. Let me know how you go washing this quilt.

Rita

Megan.K. said...

Love it! Clever you xo

Di said...

Gobsmakingling great work!!! Very, very immensely impressed that you HAND QUILTED it! Awesome.
Hoping it isn't now a shade of pink (you've heard my rant on the pre-washing I think).
I think that Craft Camp was a stand out on the quilting front!

heather said...

i just want to say again how much i LOVE this throw thingy.