An Eternal Dispute

“Look, I’m making a random pattern!”

“No, you’re not. You’re being deliberately random, not completely random. There’s a difference.”

“It’s random… I mean, I made sure no two like fabrics were next to each other… but other than that…”

<heavy sigh> “You strategically placed each strip, making sure there wasn’t too much blue in one area, or that no other polka dots were within a few blocks. That is not, emphatically NOT, random!”

“Well if I totally left it up to fate, it wouldn’t look right.”

Right?”

“Good. It wouldn’t look as good.”

“Ok. Here’s what we’re going to do.”

“Yes?”

“We’re going to carefully take down all the blocks.”

“Ok…”

“Neatly stack them together.”

“I’m with you so far…”

“Then throw them down the stairs.”

What?!

“Just do it. Pick ’em up, sew ’em together however they fall.”

“Are you joking with me right now?”

“You need to do this. Free yourself.”

“You are absolutely insane. This is Anna Maria Horner. This is expensive.”

“Is someone going to throw you into a vat of leeches if you don’t get this right?”

“Funny.”

“Is Mike Neir going to leave you because you’re a creative failure?”

“Of course not.”

“Are you going to get it just exactly how you want it so you won’t find all its little flaws when you’re done?”

“…Well…”

“If you meticulously ‘randomly’ put them exactly where you think they should be, and you don’t like the end result, are you going to whine and moan about how you ruined all that gorgeous fabric?”

“Maybe, I…”

“Whereas, if you leave it up to Fate, the chips fall where they may and you’re just the unwitting craftsperson.”

“I’m never unwitting.”

“But you get my point.”

“Fine, yes. But I’m still not throwing them down the stairs!”

“Ok, baby steps. Take a couple of each piece, toss them in the air and go from there. Nothing’s permanent. This is just a design wall. It’s going to be alright.”

“Promise?”

“I promise.”

—————————–

One should not be alarmed that both sides of this conversation are me… I’m an only child. It’s what I do – I have a vivid internal monologue.

On the left side of this design wall photo is me trying to find a pattern. On the right side, is me trying to be random. I’m about to try the whole “let the pieces fall where they may approach” for the next segment, although I’ve run out of places to pin, and the thought of unpinning all of these things I’ve just pinned up is a bit unsettling (the fabric doesn’t stick to my old sheet terribly well – someday, I’ll get a proper flannel wall.) That’s the actual width it should be, but only half the height. Multiple all that vibrancy by two! Will this quilt blind?

So... much... color!

So... much... color!

There is so much bright color on this wall… I’m not sure I can actually make this quilt top all pieced together without something breaking it up. “Don’t be afraid of color,” was the advice when I was “getting my colors done” back in the 80’s. Afraid? Of color? I could totally kick color’s ass if I wanted to. What a silly idea, afraid of color.

And yet. I avoid bright colors in my clothing. When I wear bright colors, I feel… conspicuous. I’ve never wanted to be conspicuous. I like blending in physically just fine. Intellectually? I’m fine standing out, but no thank you on the physical side. Especially being as overweight as I now am, I have no desire to call attention to myself. Red makes me feel like a tomato. Orange? Giant pumpkin. Pink? Oh, let’s not get started on the pinks. I will wear my earth tones and my greys, thank you ever so much.

Reading the 8,000 quilting and sewing blogs I have set up in Google Reader, I’m slowly seeing that bright colors aren’t necessarily sent straight from hell. They can be fun. Flirty, even on non-petite women. But, looking at this wall absolutely COVERED in vibrant, unabashed, somewhat psychedelic Color… I’m unsettled. It’s flashy. It’s showy. It’s ostentatious. It’s presumptive. It’s Too Much. It might give hippies flashbacks.

Man, do I have a long way to go in recovering from Being My Mother’s Only Child.

But ok, let’s get these neuroses wrangled, shall we?

Looking at the photo, using the distance and perspective it provides, is a lot, lot easier than standing here and looking at the actual fabric-covered wall. This may just be the key – using a lens to truly see something.

I am not letting color kick my ass.

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