Jackie K.

Alignment is interesting. Being on a course which I felt was not giving me what I wanted/ expected made it quite difficult before Christmas. It switched me off the textiles I was doing for the course and I spent a lot of time thinking about it and trying to work out what the issue was. In the end I decided just to go with what felt right for me and focus on what I needed and not go where I at times felt I was being pushed. What I can see now was that I was most definitely not in alignment. I worked it through but it would have been much quicker to work out had I been aware of this as a concept at the time! And writing would probably have helped...

Second interesting idea is Perfection. I am not sure I strive for that. I do aim to do the best I can in a piece ....so the best I can I the circumstances I am in and with the knowledge and skills I have at the time. And I always try and improve my ideas and my skills so one piece leads to future developments. I can look back at a piece I was pleased with and feel I would do it differently but that is OK! That does not mean I was wrong before but I have learnt more and developed which is really what I strive for. Now if I looked at a past piece and felt I had just not bothered to do as well as I could that would be different. But perfection? It sort of feels like an end point. Where would I then go? Each piece is a stepping stone to something new …...it is just that sometimes the steps are bigger than others. 

Being clear what I love doing and what I am good at in the main I a pretty in tune with. Having done C&G diploma I have tried many things and am happy to go with what I like doing. Was interesting to realise how much I do NOT want to teach though. I know many textile people do and I have done plenty of experience of teaching in my paid job ....I shall bear that in mind wherever textiles takes me.

Critique of a piece

I have attached an image of a large quilt I made for my C&G Diploma a couple of years ago. I had changed tack on this my last piece, having previously used the Anglo Saxon Staffordshire Hoard as my theme. This change came about as both my parents had died in the space of 3 years . The quilt taught me the importance of personal meaning in textile work.

things I love about it:

The use of the outline of my parents on their wedding day.

The words from a poem read at my mothers funeral

Surrounding words thermofax screen printed on so only partly readable

The idea of incorporating images from the past

Using some of my mother's lace to bind it.

Things I would do differently:

Might make the outer section smaller especially at the top

Use a different technique for the images. I did explore several and wanted fragmented images but I know more methods now 

I would also make the images more overlapping/ closer so perhaps incorporate more

I made front and back separately and part quilted each before I joined – really that was a LOT of work for not much gain!

And I am sure others could point out more things to try differently!

When people have seen this piece some pass it by and some really understand it which for me is such a reward. (One woman even told me it was one of her favourite quilts ever – I will of course love her forever!) For me the meaning behind is what mattered (and in itself making it was very therapeutic) and to see others understand is a great boost.

So I would do it differently if I made it again but it has been hugely important in helping me develop as an artist.