Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the Next Step

(since there are no pictures I have added some of my earlier pieces for your perusing pleasure!  They are all from 2008 and they were all gifted to my friends and family)
Laurel Burch Cats
to Cousin Karen

The Challenge piece is coming along.  I am happy with the quilting.  But there was some self doubt.  I talked about that in a prior post.  Of course it is not solved!   But I wanted to let you know that we all have these feelings.

I am in a small fiber group with some really impressive artist friends.  Way above my level!  And they still bring pieces in to the group and say, Does this look good to you?  Is there more I need to do to it?  Did what I already do enhance the piece?

Most likely the question will be, What is wrong with this piece?  They have come to a place where they are unsure.

So in that vein, I sent photos to Carol aka Landscape Lady.  I am always amazed with her drive and her talent.  She seems to say, I want to do a dog, this is the photo, here are the perfect fabrics, and here is my beautiful finish!

The Skier
She makes it seem effortless.   But I know that she feels the same twinges, probably less often then I do though!  But that is because she has more experience with great pieces than I do.  But I am working to change that!  LOL

Anyway, she gave me some great suggestions,  But best of all, she encouraged me.  I have seen people look at someone's quilt and the only things they can say are the stuff that is wrong with it; she didn't use my favorite fabrics and I don't like her choices, the pattern is not in tune with her piecing (yes I have actually heard that one!), she needs to learn a 1/4 inch seam, too plain, too complicated.

And look, you can stand in front of my piece and whisper that to your friend, but I still hear it in your body posture and lack of positive statements.

 Amish Butterflies for my mother
This sounds like I am an insecure artist, maybe I am, maybe we all are somewhere in our depths.   But I wanted to make a point of the generosity of quilters (and the not so generous statements) and how it makes such a difference to each of us.

Thank you Carol, I do appreciate you!  A lot!


  1. Maybe I have it all wrong, but it sounds like that group is more than a little toxic. Critique groups are great when they are encouraging, supportive and the critiques are something you can DO something with ... some of your examples sound like they are coming from unhappy "artists" who, rather than deal with their own stuff, bring it to the group and pour it over others. If your group is worth saving, maybe it could use some rules on constructive criticism (and etiquette). I recognize that because you feel that most are at a "high level" than you, you might not feel comfortable calling them on their stuff, so maybe the next time one of the unhappy campers says something UNcontructive or offers their negative criticism through whispers and body language, you might offer a neutral observation or follow-up question, like "can anyone help me/us understand how one designs or selects patterns and piecing that are in tune?" or, "I notice that you often turn away and whisper your critique to your friend. That feels negative. "

  2. Beautiful quilts from 2008! Look forward to seeing this years reveal!


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