Monday, September 15, 2008

Alexander McCall Smith and I....

.... seem to have something in common. Having written his serial novels for the Scotsman he was asked to do one for the Telegraph and ( according to an email my husband received from him today) "Without thinking about it my mouth said yes." Fans need not buy the paper - you can sign up to listen to it /read it online here.

Now, I'd like you to believe that the commonialty is that I too am being published in an national newpaper. (No, it is not that unbelievable - I did once have a charming article about acting for paedophiles published in The Times.) But sadly its more that 'mouth-saying-yes' thing.

Which is how come I came home from working three days in London gave up my day off today to work in Liverpool and am driving from Salford tomorrow to Carlisle for a days work. Which how come I feel that I am not really touching the long list of quilting related things I want to do. At lunch today I read Rayna Gillman's new book teaching me how - inter alia- to print using paint from a top a wobbly slab of gelatin. Tempting, but impracticable in a first class Virgin train carriage. (Or indeed a second class one but my yea-saying mouth is a snob and checked what my expenses covered before it spoke).

Really my moan is nothing to do with work (but see how I made that link to Mc Call Smith?) and more to do with the fact that I have so many ideas for things to make and so many new techniques to try and so many magazines to read that I can't do it all fast enough. Travel does not help even when you think it should. For example, I earmarked my train trip home on Friday for some hand embroidery time but a lovely ( and clearly lonley) widow lady sitting across the aisle used it as an ice breaker to talk to me all the way home. What are you going to do? Write a serial novel about her? [ Murder on the 19.17 to Liverpool ( with a no 6 embroidery needle).]

What I want to know is how to focus down. Sandy Lush for example hand quilts. Wholecloth quilts. Handquilted. All the time. Focus. That what she has. Me? I went to the Britsh Museum looked at masks and decided that they were an excellent inspiration for a quilt (or hanging or even a fabric book, if not a bag) with the masks embroidered on. Or appliqued ( reverse or onlay, fused and needleturned for variety). Maybe some stencilled with Markal paintstix, some monoprinted, or no, no screen printed. Or quilted then painted on. Or just foundation pieced And if course I need to learn all kind of art techniques to use in my sketchbook to prepare for the design. Which might easily be extended to the whole costume that goes with the mask......and of course there is that idea from The Quilt show of applique over traditional blocks. So which to choose? I love log cabin, but bears paw look good......

..... where to stop? How do people just do one thing over and over again? I was only at the museum for half an hour and look at the frenzy it started. I went from there to St Pancras station to get some supper and , oh, the lines in the roof..... what inspiration! Requiring hand dyes I think. Or maybe stamped fabric..... but I can't even start those until I finish the umpteen ideas I have already started and by the time that happens I will have umpteen new ideas..... none of which can easily be made on the train that it is necessary for me to be in on in order to earn the money which I need to earn to buy the materials which I need to buy in order to make the ideas which cannot be made on the train......

HELP!

5 comments:

Jackie K. said...

(giggling) I know that feeling! How to pick a focus when so much inspires - and the endless curiousity of techniques to try.
I came home this summer from a week long creative conference with the same dilemma - I was exposed to so much and have so many ideas - yet the overwhelming mantra in the background of what I heard and saw was Focus.
Sigh - don't know that I'll get there.

Kristin L said...

If you figure how to focus, please let me know -- I'm all over the place too!

Rayna said...

Argh - I am still sitting with your glorious photos and can't get time to concentrate on using them as inspiration.

How can I resist Alexander McCall Smith? Thanks for the link - and you'll get to the gelatin sooner or later. I promise, it's not wobbly.

Margeeth said...

This sounds really familiar. I am having the same 'problem', can't seem to focus, ending in me not starting at all.
Someone once told me I had to write all my ideas in a notebook, that way they would get out of my head into the notebook. Have no idea whether it works, as I cannot seem to focus enough to write them down in the first place.....

June Calender said...

I've decided "focus" is akin to "diet" -- at least for me. I can really stick to it for a few weeks and maybe accomplish something but I always fall off the wagon.
There'll always be chocolate and ice cream and there'll always be new ideas and techniques that are too good not to try. From my point of view God and quilt show judges bless the focused ones but that's not really how I can live for long.