I am lost in the world of stitching large quilts. My back aches from rotating the 100" x 90" piece, my eyes hurt from looking at hundreds of parallel lines, my sewing machine is choking from industrial strength quilting, and I secretly wish that I could send out these large pieces to be stitched by someone else. But I can't.
1. It would be prohibitively expensive, and I am not willing to spend thousands of dollars.
2. I don't trust anyone else. If there is a flub on my quilts, it is my fault- no finger pointing or excuses.
3. I feel like the stitching is an integral part of the quilt and gives the quilt top many different layers of meaning.
4. I can't get around the fact that someone else would be producing my piece.
Sure, there are lots and lots of examples in the art world of artists working in workshops where others produce art under their expressed direction. From Nancy Crow to Damien Hirst. In fact this morning I was reading that the Gagosian Gallery is going to show a retrospective of Hirst's spot series. He, and his minions have produced 1400 of these. Hirst worked solo on the first 25.
So, is a Spot painting done solo by Hirst a different price than one that he has art directed and someone else has painted?It is a complicated debate, and one that I refuse to take a side on, except for myself. Is a Dale Chilhuly installation any less spectacular when you know he has not personally blown each piece of glass?
As laborious as machine quilting is, I have seen how my line work has changed and developed as much as my quilt tops have. I have morphed from simple line work, to varying lines, to overlapping lines, to rather dense, somewhat brutal stitching for my latest Conflict series. I have experimented with 1/8" lines- so dense that it feels like board, as well as 1/2" apart- which I think is too wide. I have increasingly overlapped lines- creating interesting patterns- lines and puffs of fabric. My line work is still fairly angular and hard. And for the most part, it is blended into the background. And there are so many decisions that go into where lines start and stop that I can not imagine having to let someone else make those decisions for me.
And I have cursed the gods when my finished piece waves and will not lie flat, due to the variations in texture and stitching. Or the bubble that will not lie flat and causes a crease in the stitching making me want to howl at the moon! Or the lines that make once straight bands of fabric undulate more than I want to.
If I sound like I am complaining a bit- well I am. If I can't complain to myself in my own blog- then where can I? So, I am stuck with it- a problem of my own making. And as much as I bitch and moan-secretly, I can't wait to get back to it, and finish the damn piece!