Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Every year I make Valentines to send to my friends and relatives. I don't send Christmas cards anymore, so this takes the place. Sometimes it is digital art, sometimes a block print or silk screen or some other kind of print. I decided that this year I would make a little piece of fabric art and scan and print for my valentines.

I think I was a little pushed for time and fresh out of original ideas when I attacked this chore like it was, well, a chore. Above you see the result. A clunker. That's what my Dad always called something that just didn't work no matter what you did to it.

This little piece is stiff and clumsy and uninspired. I could see that as I was working on it, but I just kept pushing it and hoping something was going to save it. I should know by now that uninspired work doesn't ever suddenly get good just because you will it to. That's why I decided to share this embarrassing little relic rather than simply stuff it into a corner somewhere. As I thought about it later I realized several things about doing art.

First, it just doesn't work to start with a ho-hum idea and then hope that your color choices and fabric choices and execution will make it shine. Nope, ho-hum is ho-hum. (and you squander your favorite fabrics on unworthy projects--like that red stripe--boo hoo!)

Second, this project started out with the focus on the final product and the process was unimportant. The result was that it really wasn't any fun to make at all. You can tell that, can't you? There is no fun in its gloomy little face.

Third, I actually tried to copy myself here, which is as bad as copying someone else. I made another heart several years ago that I really liked (you can see it here) and it seemed like maybe there was a formula there that I could just plug into to produce something quick. Doesn't work--different time, different place, different inspiration.

So, I'll just chalk this one up to a clunker--not my first, nor my last. And my valentine will be something else. Actually, I had this idea pop into my head and I made a little sketch. I have been working on it. If it turns out to be the perfect valentine image I'll share it. But I may not. I'm not sharing another clunker.


  1. I really like the sketch, so I hope it works out just the way you want it to in fabric.

  2. Terry,

    Thanks for showing your "clunker" to us. It is good to know other quilters sometimes make what they consider "duds". It's a lesson well-learned. And good to be reminded of.

    (Obviously, you set high standards for yourself)

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