Monday, July 21, 2014

A Monkey Wrench Kinda Day

I spent Sunday making 6" black and white Monkey Wrench blocks for my swap partner. The most important part of working on these is, of course, the opportunity to practice accuracy. Its gotten to be a standard and a goal for me. And what is funny is that in doing my work like this, I realize that its more foundational in this fabric art. I don't think I can take the liberties needed for the more artistic pieces yet. I am still learning.

The first ones I made were the swirl ones, & I really like that pattern best of the ones with the Monkey Wrench name. I wasn't satisfied with either of them. The points were difficult at 6", one of the blocks wouldn't press flat, & even my camera blurred the picture.

The second version of the pattern with the same name worked much better. I'd like to say that the pics were blurry on purpose so they were still a surprise for my partner, but there is no shake-free button on the camera, and no matter the settings, they came out blurred. I am not sure if the black & white reads differently, but they are what they are. I like the contrast here, and all the cuts/joinings were successful.

As I continue to think about this fabric art and how I work with it, I know that it offers me great moments of spiritual evolution. We are all born into existing patterns in our life through our families. For the most part, if we chose to stay within those familiar systems or patterns, we try to maintain stability by negotiating our relationships, speaking gently and forgiving slights others might present. Changing habits and traditions is always a challenge, and we resist change. When we dare to do something different, its like we have begun to rock the boat, and that threatens us and everyone around us.

I see that in myself right now as I struggle to do what I know in my quilts, and resist doing that which is unfamiliar. I find myself criticizing the minor 'fail' in a block I make that really only goes beyond my comfort with with a pattern or fabric combinations. Its not that they fail. They present learning opportunities that push my comfort. My old system or quilting style is just protecting itself.

Sometimes, what I do is just not going to be right for it to be something that is either swapped or part of a quilt going out. Funny thing is that now I am making the B&W quilt for myself, I am willing to take a block that is less than perfect because of the nature of this quilt (scrappy sampler), where anything goes and anything works. Life. Anything goes and anything works.