Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Failure


A month or so ago, when the lilacs were glorious, I wanted to try to make a little piece with stylized lilacs. I thought, "The leaf is a heart, and the flower cluster is a sort of rounded cone, so I should be able to do that." So I stamped some heart shaped leaves for a background, and then appliqued one fabric leaf and the cone shape on top. Here is the result.

I wasn't very happy with it, and when I asked the men I live with what this is, they both said, "It's three leaves," and then when I asked why the leaves were purple, my hubby ventured, "Well, I guess it could be some sort of seed pod." My son then added (after reading the label), "The individual flowers don't show up enough to be a lilac." He's right. I tried to suggest the flowers with the quilted circle design, but either the thread was the wrong color, or the whole concept is faulty. The circles show up much better in the picture than in reality.

I like the way I did this, though. I wanted to quilt around the stamped shapes, so I did that before I did the applique instead of after. I fused the lilac shape to interfacing, stitched the circles, and then zig-zagged the shape in place, outlining it with another row of stitching. The border was added last with a flip and sew method. With a busy back, I think this approach works fine, and I'll do it again on something small.

When I make something small, my husband often asks, "Is that a hot pad?" In this case he may be right. But maybe not. It still looks like lilacs to me--sort of.

14 comments:

The Calico Cat said...

Does is fit the size parameters for donating to the Alzheimers quilt thing?

Allison Ann Aller said...

Not a failure since you tried out so many new techniques that you will use in the future....more detail in the edge of the lilac bloom would have helped, but so what?
Next time!

Libby Fife said...

Funny how men can sort of distill a problem down to its essence.

Maybe a suggestion of stems would have been helpful to define your stylized shape. Some ability to see through the shape? Maybe the quilting of the individual flower parts should be a different shape?

I sure liked the stamped background being quilted around first. I thought that was a great technique and one I would like to try. Good for you too for trying some new ideas-keep going!

Debra said...

chuckling: Is that a hotpad?

This is the part of experimenting I don't like and don't do much-although I should, probably. You really don't know if you don't try.

I do find it useful to show something to Wes because I figure, as a non-quilter, he looks at the work in a totally different way so he is going to see what I may not see. I like to think of him as the "average public" viewing my quilts (whoever that may be??!)

His comment is always, "More birds??"

Debra said...

P.S. Really like your new photo!

Vicki W said...

It doesn't matter what it is, at least you tried something new! You could get that experience from an all day class.

I've made lots of hot pads!

Deb Geyer said...

Hey, we learn from our mistakes. I'd be willing to bet the lessons that you learned will soon show up in other pieces.

paulahewitt said...

i think that is it difficult to try new things on a new design and get everything right first go. im in the learning phase of quilting so nothing i do turns out quite like i imagine it will. ive never seen a lilac so can't comment on how realistic they look, but i thought lilacs drooped from the stems (or is that wisteria?) anyhow i find it useful to show things like this to the men in my life too, they see past the stitching and techniques and look at the picture - which can be helpful.

Joyce said...

That's what creativity is all about. Try and try and try again. If it doesn't work out, there are always hot pads. I have lots of them. Maybe you could do something a bit 3D on them like buttons or beads...

Nellie's Needles said...

You never know until you try. Just take the good and learn what does and doesn't work.

The stamped leaves combined with the one appliqued leaf is very appealing. I like the multiple visual textures.

Candace said...

Well in my opinion, Kay, art is an expression in the maker's eye - I think you've done that! Who says it has to be an exact replica! I like it!
Cheers!

Liz said...

As a closet perfectionist myself, I struggle with the "failures are learning experiences" concept - so I won't be saying that to you! But I really, really like how you did the leaves (the green ones!). So, how many potholders does one need?

jenclair said...

Given what you've learned through your experiments, I'd say it's a success!

*karendianne. said...

I couldn't even think of what a lilac looked like. Sheesh! So when I did look I though "hey, yeah." :)