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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Farmlands, Day 5: Editing

Sometimes you make something beautiful, but it just doesn't make the cut...
In my past life, I did a fair amount of writing - I was an English major in college, and had a few freelance jobs writing training manuals. There were many hours spent at the keyboard (or typewriter!) that yielded nothing... or so I thought. I would type away for hours and only have one or two usable sentences at the end of the day. The act of writing, though, is not just about the finished product. It is critical to eliminate the unnecessary in order to make your point. Even the rejected work is part of the journey to getting to the final product.
Farmlands is meant to be calm and peaceful, a piece of artwork that is evocative of freshly plowed and planted fields. The field pictured above is edgy and fun, but it is not at all right for this quilt. The background is too dark, the rows are too bright, and the design is much too bold. So why did I spend three hours piecing it? The answer is, I just couldn't tell while I was sewing that it didn't fit with the rest of the quilt. It now is residing in my "rejected" pile, which grows daily as I work on this piece.
As a writer, I always save the many drafts of my papers "just in case". It is amazing how many times I am able to salvage a line or two and insert it somewhere else. I know this field will find a home in a future quilt. Just wait and see.

3 comments:

Karen said...

oh, but I keep thinking of all the hours...

Ruth Anne Olson said...

You are so right about the writing--and rejecting the parts of the quilt that don't work. I know this section that you made will be beautiful as another project.

Rayna said...

You now have another piece that can stand on its own. You didn't waste a minute!

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