Beth Markel

Getting back on the horse…Getting my feet wet…

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Beth Markel

First, I genuinely want to thank everybody who responded to my last post about not making it into Quilt National.  I received literally hundreds and hundreds of hits on the blog, and many public and private email responses….many beginning with…”Hey, that’s exactly how I felt but didn’t tell anybody!”  The world of quilting, textiles, and art is filled with wonderful, caring, kind people, and apparently rejection is universal!

I didn’t actually touch my sewing machine for a couple of weeks because I was in such a funk, and have now jumped into my next project.  When you wrestle with failure, and yes, that’s really what it felt like for me, starting again was challenging.

I questioned my color choices, moving more toward surface design, or worse yet, remaining in my comfort zone.  Doing something “safe” and familiar would be an easy out.  However, as an artist, I want to push myself.

Push boundaries.

Learn more.

Examine what is evocative to look at & study.

Taking the traditional elements that make up quilting, I want to wander into new territory.  For a couple of years I attempted to learn something new with each quilt I made, from making my own fabric, resist to indigo, machine applique, beading and dying, etc., each quilt was a new challenge, or CONTAINED a new element that I wanted to learn & master.  Now I feel like I have excellent “intermediate” to “high intermediate” skills in most areas of quilting, I’m masterful in a number of areas, but still learning when it comes to surface design, so that’s the next big project.

River Rocks

River Rocks

So, just a quick update.  I did a small piece (12” x 15” H) that I have long wanted to translate into a much larger piece, 7’ x 8’ H, or something close to it, and am now attempting that.  Scale is much, MUCH more challenging, as well as what will eventually be some large scale thread painting.  I’m just getting started, but here’s my inspiration piece, and I’ll keep you posted.

River Rocks - Detail

River Rocks – Detail

Find something that inspires you today.  Enjoy it.  Learn from it.




Barb Walsh on December 18, 2014

I think your work is beautiful.

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