Tuesday, April 9, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Know Your Audience

You know that spring has truly come to Oklahoma when the forecast is saying we have the possibility of strong storms.  That's on tap for tonight.  I grew up in the Midwest and have lived in Oklahoma for a most of my adult life, so I'm used to the storms, but we still take them very seriously.  We have a weather radio and a safe room, we use both regularly this time of year.  Even Drama Teen knows the drill when she's home alone.  She's had to use the safe room a time or two.  She can operate the hand crank radio and knows how to dial in the local station so she can follow the warnings.  Which reminds me, I should probably give the safe room a once over and restock it with a few basics when I get home from work tonight.  

Being prepared for bad weather may not seem like a great intro to this week's discussion on fostering creativity, but just as you have to be prepared for tornado season in the Midwest you also have to be prepared to be creative.  April's theme is "become an observer".  How does observation impact your design and fabric choices?  When you start a quilt do you have an idea of who will be getting it?  Maybe not always, but sometimes.  

I'm in the process of making a series of quilts for some pretty significant people in Drama Teen's life.  I don't know these individuals real well, still I want them to have some chance of liking the finished gift, which means I need to understand the audience.  Drama Teen and I started by looking over projects that were underway.  There were three she picked out as potential gifts.  One was chosen because of the colors were ones that showed up a lot in this individual's clothing. Two were chosen because the fabrics just reminded her of the individuals.  The new projects were picked based on known likes of the individuals, one was an OSU fan and another loves cats.  The fabric and pattern for the last individual were picked based on her fun personality.  She's pretty much game for anything.  

Who is the audience for your quilts?  What affects your choice of fabric and quilt pattern? What cues do you use when you "design" your quilt for a specific person?  (I'm using design here to mean the combination of pattern and fabric choice).   What visual cues do you lean on (clothing, home decor, something else)?  Do you incorporate known favorites into your choices?  One thing that struck me as Drama Teen and I worked through all the choices is that I've known these people for years, but hadn't really paid attention to how they decorated, what they wore, etc.  In part, probably because that's not what I valued about them as individuals, but it sure made it hard to gauge what they might like in a quilt.  I definitely need to be a better observer.  

Moving on to the challenge part of the post, I've been busy working on several of those quilts mentioned in the above paragraphs.  Nothing like having a deadline to get one into the sewing room on a regular basis.

I've managed to find time to sew for 7 out of the last 7 days.  I'm getting pretty good at fitting in some sewing time most days.  This week was easy as we didn't have a lot going on.  The next two weeks will be more of a challenge.  

So how did you do this week at finding some time to stitch?  

1. Lesley A
2. Kate @katiemaequilts
3. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
4. Thea

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.


lesleyworth said...

Hopefully you don't have anything to severe head your way!

Way to go on the 7 for 7! Love that OSU quilt pattern and I'm sure the recipient will adore it!

Marti said...

Great post, on both the weather front and quilt design!

After listening to the weather report last night, I thought I should pack my ready bag today. I have a feeling the clothes that are in in from last year no longer fit. I wish we had a safe room but the best we've got is an inside closet. My oldest is in Tulsa and I hope she has an emergency plan. This one looks fairly serious, at least it's the first time they have mentioned tornadoes in the forecast.

I don't always know someone's color choices when I make a quilt. Sometimes I let the theme of the quilt dictate the colors.

I haven't done any sewing this week. I've been trying to decide what project to start next, and I want to put my energy into a house project. I am going to try to get some paper piecing done too though.

Kate said...

Ha, I vacuumed the shelter last night...just in case! Are you also supposed to get the winter storm tomorrow? Oklahoma, you're so weird.

I've noticed that I've become a better observer since I started quilting - if a quilt is going to be a gift, I want people to like it, so I pay more attention to what they wear or what they like. I think it's helped me a lot, in general, to think about what others might like.

Shay said...

Often when I make quilts for others I try to choose fabrics and colours that I think suit their personality. My sister in law for example is not at all girly so I went with brown and aqua. My sister is totally girly so I often incorporate florals. I find mens quilts quite difficult to make though. Many fabrics arent all that masculine !

seabreezequilts said...

Great week by the way. I rarely make quilts for others, but I when I do I try to always have the person in mind. It is sometimes hard to incorporate someones else's taste into a quilt that you are working on it may very well take you out of your comfort zone which I don't mind. But there is always that nagging doubt in your head are they going to like it.

Keep Stitchin' said...

Pray you don't get anything too nasty coming to you! We've had non-stop rain since yesterday; there have been flood warnings, but typically it is not an issue.

When making quilts for others I have a few things to consider; size, favorite colors or colors of the room it is to be used in, and then pattern. I know there are those that will appreciate my quilts more than others and those are the ones I will usually use a more complex pattern, unless requested otherwise. I used to always make bed quilts for people, but have gotten back into doing lap size again. Not only because of time and sometimes cost, but because I want them to be able to enjoy it as much as possible and not only at bedtime when the lights are out!

Lynne said...

A very interesting read, Kate, for the info about preparing for tornadoes as well as finding the "right" quilt design.

thea said...

I enjoyed the quilting/sewing/crafting tie in with the weather. Hope the storms pass you by.

Another great week sewing-wise.

make.share.give said...

I did a little hand-quilting last Tues and Wed, but it didn't merit a whole post.
I love your questions this week! Observation plays a big part in the colors and patterns I choose. New color combinations are everywhere- gardens, the mall, crafty blogs.
When a quilt is for donation to charity I pray for the person who will receive it while working on it. Some projects are special requests from friends and family. I try to do just what they ask. When something is just for me- anything goes.

libbyquilter said...

i hope/assume that the storm didn't do any damage too terrible?
i really can't imagine living with this sort of a threat. sometimes i think/dream about living somewhere with a longer growing season but i'm positive that i do not want to make that sort of trade-off~!
it does sound like you have the safety and preparedness thing down pretty good though.

when i quilt for someone in particular i do think about what i know of the person such as favorite colors, personality, etc.
i'm also pretty slow so i have to really think ahead in order to get things done on time and that limits how many quilts (or other projects) that i complete. if someone is getting a quilt as a gift from me it's usually a very important event/milestone and i do know them fairly well so that helps.
often i make small items for community fundraisers and there are people who tell me whether or not they received the item. if they haven't, they ask me to repeat a similar type of item so that they can have another opportunity to win. i live in a small rural town so "everybody knows everybody". anyway, it takes care of a lot of decision making for me.

stay safe and take care during this stormy season.