December 13, 2011

Approaching the Crazy Quilt Journal Project

While I wrote notes and made outlines for the various projects I have planned for 2012, I couldn't help but think about some of the ideas Jane presented in her comments to my suggestion of a Christmas quilt for the CQJP.

I began wondering how intensely do each of us plan to stitch for the challenge?  Is this going to be a significant piece of work?  Will you consider it "showworthy"?

What's your plan?

It might be interesting to hear what everyone thinks of the challenge, our general goals and how each of us plans to accomplish our goals.

Is this that significant of a challenge? or are you more laid-back about it?  Why are you in the challenge?
Inquiring minds want to know.  Well, at least I do.


Cy said...

I'm half afraid to answer your questions Debra because it will be like confirming things that are so far only loose ideas in my head.
Maybe that's not a bad thing really, so here goes.

The CQJP will be most significant to me in my 2012 work. It will be intensely stitched and will be my main 'body' of work. Whether it will be show-worthy or not will be dependent on the quality of the stitching and the design composition etc. That will be decided at a later date.
I want to use my stitching time as relaxation therapy, so I will not be stressing the small stuff over it, but I still want it to be of excellent quality of course. I will be ripping out ugly stitches that didn't work.
Why am I in the challenge? Huh! Seriously, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. To be a small cog in the bigger wheel. I have a yearning to be a part of something big, something global, something shared, something to educate and encourage others. Something like the CQJP.

sophie said...

I am always thinking about making a crazy quilt project, but never have, so my primary goal is to simply cross that off my "bucket lust" of quilts I want to make. Also,I enjoy handwork, and the CQJP means I'll have a go-to handwork project for a while.

Deborah McLaughlin said...

I've had the idea to do a crazy quilt in my head for a long time. Since I dont' have a lot of time available, it will be the main thing I work on next year. I want it to be a learning experience, too. It's also important from an emotional standpoint. Showworthy? I guess that's not for me to say!

Suztats said...

I am relatively new to CQing (less than 2 years) and have many projects in my head, some of which have been started. But time seems to flit through my hands, and I felt the need to have a timetable to meet, so that I would work conscientiously toward my goal instead of saying 'maybe tomorrow'. Thus, my reasons for joining both the CQJP 2012 and the Tuesday Stitchers. I was also looking to meet other stitchers, to share ideas and knowledge since I live in a remote area, and have no contact with other CQers except online.
TAST 2012 will give me the opportunity to expand my stitch knowledge and skill. I have a smattering of embroidery know-how, but I wanted to learn more to improve my CQing.
I have to date only participated in a few 1:1 RR's, and two donated works, plus one finished white piece I made as a practice for a future project. So this challenge of a block a month is quite significant for me. My CQing usually contains hand embroidery, raised embroidery, and tatting: all of which can be very time consuming, so I may find that I have to adjust my expectations, or learn to stitch and tat a lot faster! lol I always try to do my best work with each project, so time may be an issue.
I had originally thought to make a table runner and small wall hanging, but when I saw all the wonderful plans for your quilts, I was enticed to follow suit. I have waffled over the design, over the block size, and spent a whole weekend wondering what I was going to do.
I finally decided. My decision? Not to decide at this stage. I think I was totally overwhelmed with all the decisions I would have to make before I could cut into my fabric. Would I use the panels? Or part of a panel? Would it form the base for the block, or be added as an applique, or perse broderie? Would I focus my design on Christmas flowers, or trees? Or have both? Would I have borders around each square, or only around the whole quilt? Would I include raised embroidery? Tatting? .......Too many questions!...
Since I've never created a quilt before, I decided it might be too much to expect with the other challenges I've set myself for 2012.
Using the same groups of fabrics for all 12 blocks, I hope to have cohesive results that I can join together at a later time should I decide to do so. I may yet end up with a table runner and a small wall hanging. Or not. We'll see.
I'm feeling a lot less anxiety having decided not to decide! I've begun to stitch the muslin backing for my blocks, and will soon cut into the fabrics. Onward!

Peacock said...

My biggest challenges will be:
-- finding time in my schedule to reliably work on my project and finish the target amount of work each month
-- staying enthused about the same project all year long
-- blogging about it all

I used to blog often, but fell out of the habit after a particularly devastating knee injury. I didn't want to fill my blog with never-ending complaints about how poorly I felt, how much pain I was in, and how little support I was getting from the people I had invested my trust and energy into, and in keeping all of that to myself (which was really the most important thing in my life at the time), I found I really couldn't work up a half-hearted light chatter about anything relatively meaningless, and I couldn't expose vulnerability by talking about anything that I really cared about that hadn't already been damaged by the injury and loss of friendships. ... so my biggest challenge in attempting this CQJP project will be to redefine my connection with the wide world of the internet and to re-establish some sort of comfort zone with blogging.

The cq blocks themselves should be not too much of a stretch, as long as I can find time and space for sewing. They will serve as one of my canvases for the TAST challenge, but I don't expect that to be too much of a technical challenge, since I've already done a wide variety of handwork.

Mostly it will just be a matter of keeping on track and not falling SO far behind that the humiliation keeps me from catching back up again. ;)

It will probably turn out to be reasonably show-worthy, but I will need to consider carefully whether or not I want to take the risks of displaying it, and if so, where. I expect this piece to be pretty meaningful to me on a personal level, and I would be disproportionately distressed if something awful were to happen to it during public display.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I am excited about this challenge. I am a goals person. I have been crazy quilting for just over a year and have yet to do a project of this size. I do take this project seriously but I also look forward to enjoying the process and learning new skills. You've heard the story of the turtle and the hare? Well, I'm usually the turtle in everything - slow and steady to the end, but I do finish. Unless my life gets put on hold for some unforseeable reason, I will work steadily on my blocks. My husband says when I do anything I am so focussed (I'm sure he means obsessive). I intend to do the best job I can and will do a job I can be proud of, but I know there are some amazing crazy quilters that I wouldn't even dream of comparing my work to, so I guess whether it is show-worthy remains to be seen. It is a learning process and if I learn and improve, I will consider it a successful journey.

Debra Spincic said...

It's hardly fair for me to bring up a topic and then not address it too! It's been an intensive "think" day and I wanted to accomplish my goals before spending time on the computer.

In a nutshell, I am the Eveready Bunny. I work constantly on quilts, in one form or another. I keep regular studio hours and have been known to go weeks on end without leaving my neighborhood. I like my stage of life and am having a good time.

I like small group challenges alot. In 2010 I hostesed a yearlong challenge that helped members produce a serious amount of artwork each month. I was pleased to find out that during 2011,

Debra Spincic said...

Really? I hate this keyboard sometimes!

some of the pieces either sold or were the basis of commission work or were accepted into shows. While people complained each month, the success for me is that they still worked. It's been interesting that out of the group, few continued to produce work this year.

So, I took 2011 off from group challenges. But, I missed them. So, when the TAST and then the CQJP were announced, I thought this would be a way to connect with stitchers devoted to a common idea. I started the group because I knew I would flounder in 400+ signups.

I plan to produce work that is show worthy. I have very few venues where spiritual based work is accepted. So, entering the Sacred Threads show has become a personal goal. It is hosted every 2 years which will give me plenty of time to work. I feel I can finish the CQJP piece this year--I am feeling confident it be Beautiful Mother in the Garden (although I may rework the title for less emphasis on the Mother).

My secondary goal is to finish some UFOs. I plan to use them as "warm-up" pieces where I work out the stitch logistics. While they are nice enough CQ pieces, they were learning tools for other techniques. I would just like to get them done at this point.
My other concern is helping the beginners understand and move forward with the stitches. I'll have a nice book (or wallhanging) from that experience too.
I have a feeling I will be completely immersed in the TAST challenge. I have to be very, very careful that I don't become obsessive with the CQ because I still need and want to continue my patchwork and quilting & contribute to my quilt ministry.
I'll be looking for specific times when I can handsew. During the day I tend to be production driven so maybe my handwork will be at night.

Anyway, this challenge has my full attention and I plan to continue developing my personal style while interpreting the stitches.

Debra Spincic said...

It's interesting to be in a group with varying levels of skill and talent. For those who are fairly new to CQ, please don't hesitate in any way, shape or form to ask questions. Everyone starts at the beginning! Everyone.

While most people will say. "there are no rules" with CQ, I think the small print is that there is a serious amount of planning if you want success.
Vintage CQ appears more casually arranged and truly made with what was on hand; but, contemporary CQ has more of a controlled feeling with selected fabrics. Because it is so handwork intensive, it's prudent to work through ideas and questions before starting the handwork.
So, ask away! We all have opinions and one is bound to strike a chord or further your thoughts down the line.
I expect there will be alot of experimenting with stitches and combinations as we go too. That is definitely a good idea and in showing the results we can all share in the experience.

Jane said...

It's taken me many years to realize that although plans and goals are good, they are not my best creative friends... much has ended up in "UFO" piles because of these 2 things.(and not just stitching things either)
My plan may not be what I hope to put into the CQJP, but instead what I hope to get out of it. I have a tendency to berate myself when I perceive myself falling short and as far as comparing, we all know where that takes us!

So in a nutshell, I'm going to let CQJP take me along this time, cohesively, I hope, but one block at a time.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

Wow Jane! I couldn't have said it better. CQJP, TAST and BJP are all meant to help us learn and is not a competition but something we do for ourselves. We should look forward to it realistically, not doomed to failure if it doesn't turn out exactly as planned. Move on and take another approach if needed. We should enjoy the ride. Thanks for the reminder! All that said, I am pumped and excited to get started!!!

Peacock said...

Jane, I totally agree. A plan is like a roadmap-- it's a good concept, but it doesn't show the actual terrain very well. what looks like a nice straight road might be all up-and-down-y and way too steep for my struggling little 4-cylinder put-put car, so it might take longer. Or maybe there's a detour because of a fallen tree or a rock slide, or maybe it just takes three times as long because someone ahead of me had an engine stall or an accident and blocked all the lanes. (I have such a metaphor-philic mind).
Besides that, my destination might change based on things that I discover along the way! Maybe I was headed out to a familiar restaurant, but NPR runs a great review of a new restaurant that sounds wonderfully appealing. I might change my mind and go there instead! ;)
An author friend of mine puts it this way: "The menu is not the food, and the map is not the terrain."
I think it's great to have a plan (especially because I really enjoy making plans and dreaming up ideas and such!), but I think it's also wonderful to allow yourself the freedom and permission to veer away from those plans, and that doing so can lead you to discover fabulous and interesting things you would never have been able to plan for.
On my morning walk, for example, how could I pre-plan the opportunity to take the photo of water droplets from my distant neighbor's sprinkler all beaded up on his purple cabbage? I don't know what time his sprinkler comes on or finishes, or what the angle of sun will be like at that moment, but if I am at the right place at the right time (often because I took a detour from my "plan"!), I might get a photo like this:

Jane said...

Tahlia, you have a way with words and I do enjoy reading your thoughts/takes on things. Your author friend puts it well. What a great pic you took (you must of found your camera? LOL) I could only hope to find a purple cabbage head under the snow here.
Connie, I'm excited that your excited, hows that?

jenclair said...

I often wish I could plan better, but like Jane, too much planning (or expectation of a certain outcome) tends to derail my creative process. I'm just doing TAST, and the original goal was simply to enlarge my stitching vocabulary and comfort zone. I'm not so concerned with a finished product and often feel resentful when I put too much pressure on myself to achieve a particular vision. I, too, have a large UFO pile!