the Nancy Crow workshop at Shakerag Finale

I must also tell you of another go getter of a woman who has a way with color and fabrics, my friend Cathy.  We met back in April at the Gee's Bend retreat in Alabama.  I was excited about my upcoming workshop with Nancy at Shakerag and told her about it.  Cathy was able to obtain a spot in the workshop and we had a fine reunion.  She is such a kind and giving person, full of energy and fun.  An amazing woman to watch in action.  Check out her blog, to see her progress on composition # 2.

                     Her composition # 1 is equally as beautiful, 
as you can see.

And now it is time for me to fess up.  I was one of the students that didn't complete composition # 2.  In fact, I didn't even get a good start on # 2.  We began by making more striped fabrics following certain criteria.  Thirty fabrics to be precise.  I got a good start with these 3 pieces, since the directions were pretty concise.  

Then, as you can see, I ended up all over the place as far as color.  Totally incoherent, er-ah, non-cohesive.  And if you take the time to count, I didn't even make 30 fabrics.  I was pretty burnt out by fabric # 27 at 1:00 am.  

After staying up way past midnight 3 days in a row, 
fog had set up permanent residence in my brain.  
Commenting to Nancy the next morning, that I didn't yet have all my fabrics completed, she said, "too bad.  We've got to move on."  And that was just fine with me.  What the heck was I going to do with this mess, I wearily asked myself.   
First of all, we cut a strip of varying sizes from each of our made fabrics.  

And from these strips of fabric we had our choices to work with in restructuring a new composition.  
Again, Ms. Cannot Make a Decision, was all over the place.  

I have 3 compositions in one.

Ok, let's divide these into separate compositions.

It was a start.  I won't be boring by showing all the configurations I tried.  Let's just say, that they were really bad.  The harder I tried the worse they got.
And to be honest, I think I must have deleted the pictures of my wall as it appeared on Friday afternoon.  Or maybe I just didn't even take any pictures by then.  I truly do not remember.  I packed everything up, loaded my car.  Had a delicious last meal at Shakerag and headed home.  After recuperating physically and mentally for, oh let's say 25 days, I began again.  

compo B, yet to be decided

I decided to begin anew with some of these parts.
compo A
I will spare you scrolling through the multiple arrangement pictures.

 Here is where I am today.  
approximately 50 inches x 70 inches at this point and growing

I wanted to work with less colors for a change of pace and try something totally unlike anything I had ever done.  I don't want to make a clone of the many, many
Gee's Bend-ish, Nancy Crow-ish pieces that I constantly see all over the www.  Still looking for something different.  As my blog descriptions states in the
About Me box

still searching, diligently.

I feel that each person learns at his or her own pace.  I can sew very fast, but I do not work fast.  I am methodical and plotting.  What I see in my mind doesn't always look good on the design wall and I constantly change my designs as I go.  Whether it be an improvisational piece or something taken from a photo to a sketch to a pattern.
In my mind, when I am sketching or drawing with pencil and paper, I will begin with an idea or a focal point.  From there, I expand and do lots of erasing.  The same with "drawing" with fabric.  I am still more comfortable beginning with a focal point and then  "sketching" or sewing more fabrics to add until I am happy with what I am seeing.
From there I can work on that vague vision until it becomes reality.
Constantly erasing and redrawing.

As much as I respect Nancy's methods, I cannot say that it is my preferred method.  Plus the fact that abstract composition still escapes me.  However, I am now even more determined to learn. I do plan to try and do more smaller pieces in the future using her methods. Granted, I am not likely to make a 5 foot by 6 foot quilt a week by my methods.
For now, I will incorporate things that Nancy taught and try and be more open minded.  
I learned so much in this 5 day workshop, not only about art, but so much about myself.  Even though I did not come home with a completed piece, those days and nights will stay with me forever, as a great learning experience.  Nancy boosted my ego tremendously. I got my money's worth and then some.    
Thank you Nancy Crow.