I make quilts because I have to - I don't have a choice in the matter as some force compels me do it. What interests me is the process of creating, not the finished quilt. The "making" is me trying to figure out some problem that I have created for myself, but what actually comes out in the quilt are my ideas and emotions at the time. Once I let the quilt out into the world, either physically or in images, I lose all control and it takes on a life of its own as other people experience it. Letting go is always interesting because viewers see things that I did not intend, and I love that. It's a lot like raising a child. As a parent one can only control so much, but a kid's own individual personality shines as s/he grows and moves out into the greater world.
"Colorfall" is one of those quilts that is having a life of its own. It went to QuiltCon last February and received oodles of internet attention, much to my surprise. I learned today that it is headed to Houston for the International Quilt Festival (as is my egg quilt, "Twelve Dozen".) When I made Colorfall I thought of the shapes as being seed pods, but I have heard from many people that they see coffee beans, eyeballs, and leaves. (I am particularly fond of the coffee bean idea, since I am particularly fond of coffee.)
By letting my quilts into the world, I open them and myself up to critique. That's ok. Sometimes it is uncomfortable but I have pretty thick skin. Plus I learn more about myself and my work when people are critical than when they praise. Letting my quilts into the world, also pushes me into the world to do things I that normally wouldn't do. Because of quilting I have been able to travel all over the U.S., and teach, and meet loads of wonderful quilters.
Colorfall is taking me on another fun journey as I am going to spend a retreat weekend in January teaching other quilters how to make their own versions of Colorfall. I love a good quilting retreat, and this one is going to be good. It is at the Strong House Inn in picturesque Vergennes, VT. If you are interested in learning how I made Colorfall, and would like to spend the weekend hanging out with other quilters and eating delicious food, please visit the Quilting in Vermont website for more information.
Colorfall also brought me to the attention of Stephanie of the Modern Society Podcast. She recently had me on Episode 94. It was fun to talk quilting and it was enlightening to listen to myself speak. I have a much slower speaking cadence than I think I do! You can take a girl out of the midwest, but I guess you can't take the midwest out of the girl.
I am looking forward to seeing where else quilting and Colorfall take me in the next few months. It's always a surprise.