Saturday, January 09, 2010

Influences

I'm mainly working on blocks that will go into various quilts. As I work I mull about enjoying block quilts more than freely designed ones, although I make them occasionally. Sometimes I like what I come up with but often I feel I'm not very good at it, basically because it doesn't come naturally.

Yesterday afternoon I had another experience here in my new home town, of trying to find a house where a gathering was being held. The grid system is almost nonexistent here on Cape Cod; towns were laid out long before the Midwest, where I grew up, had even been discovered, let alone surveyed in neat mile square parcels which were then subdivided into 40 acre increments. How satisfying it can be to know that as you drive a country road, you'll come to a right angle road every mile! The towns and cities are also neatly gridded for the most part. Also, Manhattan, where I lived for nearly a third of my life is gridded north of Greenwich Village. To find the house I was looking for became an exercise in cul de sacs and winding roads -- that was difficult at twilight. Finding my way back to a known highway in the dark was almost as difficult. Fortunately a light layer of snow had fallen so there were tire marks to help me scout my path.

Since quilting is, for me, purely for my own pleasure, I will continue making mostly block quilts. They do get more complicated, like the Doak stars I'm making, still the lines are straight, I'm not doing circles and meanders. I know I'll challenge myself now and then with something abstract or needing curving lines -- it's good to break out of habits every so often. I must admit that deep in my heart, I'm a rather square person.