She's finally done and hanging on the wall!
Overall, I'm very happy with the changes to this quilt. Here's a photo of what she looked like before:
Yes, she's in desperate need of a good blocking to get the circle to hang flat and even. This was my first attempt at a really weird edge, and well...there's a first time for everything. It will probably never hang perfectly, but once blocked and dried, it will hang much better than this.
Comparing the finished quilt to the older version, not only does the goddess stand out better, her hair makes more sense, and her face looks a million times better.
Even still, there are aspects of this quilt that I cringe at. Looking at all the colors coming together over the surface, I can't help but feel that this could have been a bit better thought out.
Maybe this is excessive judgement of my work, but regardless, I don't feel the blind love and overwhelming satisfaction with this quilt that I have at the finish of Release Your Light and Shadow Self.
Don't get me wrong, I am really happy with Emergence, but more than anything else this quilt has finally ground into my head the importance of patience, of taking the time to flush out every aspect of a design, and to audition colors excessively before taking the first stitch.
Of course, there are times when staring down the barrel of a deadline, or feeling the weight of several projects piling up, or just the simple excitement to be on the machine quilting, that rushing through the small details or leaving them to "sort out later" seems like a good idea.
Ultimately, I've learned that rushing is never an option with a quilt like this. Time must be taken, care must be taken, steady attention and focus must be applied to every aspect of the design.
No, not all quilts need this type of time and attention. But these goddesses are far more than just quilts I slap together and stick on the wall. They represent cycles of my life, trials I have overcome, and lessons I don't want to forget.
With Emergence, I was far too willing to rush through planning the colors, background design, hair, and ultimate effect of the quilt because I just wanted her done, done, done.
Almost a full year later she is finally finished, but this hasn't been a fun or easy process.
I guess the ultimate lesson is about intention and attitude. I started this quilt in a hurry, made mistakes, got frustrated, and left her unfinished for months. Coming back to this quilt, I've managed to slow down and reassess my need for speed and ultimately learn that if I want to be happy and satisfied at the end of a project, I have to take my time and enjoy each step of the process.
So here's to the process! I'm heading downstairs to take the first stitches on The Duchess Reigns. Not on the actual quilt top, but on several small mock-up sandwiches that will allow me to test color, filler designs, and overall impact before the quilt gets started. I'm not leaving any questions unanswered with this quilt and planning to enjoy every step of the process, no matter how time consuming!
Let's go quilt!