Monday, October 7, 2013

The Chicken

Got your attention, have I?

Good. I have a good story to tell you.

Julie and I are in St Louis Missouri at the Quintessential Quilt 2013 quilt show. I taught a class in free-pieced letters on Saturday and on Sunday I gave a talk to the group. It went very well.

So anyway. On Saturday, we had to go to Office Depot because the power cord for my laptop got stuffed in somebody else's bag and traveled about sixty miles in the opposite direction.  I had to go buy a replacement. After buying a new power cord, Julie and I went to the Applebee's restaurant next door for dinner, rather than driving all the way back to our hotel.

We were waited on by a delightful server named Brenda. We got to talking about our Moms and how they loved to cook for us.  It wasn't that busy, so Brenda told us a story about her mother. "She always makes too much. The first night we have Chicken. Then we have Chicken Salad, then Chicken Casserole, then Chicken and Noodles... then Chicken with chicken." She rolled her eyes. "I want to tell her, 'Let The Chicken Go.'"

We all laughed, but Julie and I looked at each other. "Omigod! Wouldn't that make an AWESOME letter quilt? 'Let the Chicken go!' That would be so much fun!"

Let the chicken go.

OK, so maybe it doesn't ring any bells for YOU, but that's not really the point. The point is that SOMETIMES totally awesome Ideas can quite literally fall into your lap. It's your job to RECOGNIZE them and either act upon them, or write them down in a notebook or something for future reference.

The idea doesn't have to be something famous, or profound. Let's face it, "Let the chicken go" is about as silly as it gets.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about that phrase, "Let the chicken go." (And, btw, Brenda said it this way: "LET the chicken GO!" There was SO MUCH CHICKEN she was TIRED of it. She never wanted to see it again.)  So if I make a word quilt from this phrase, what kind of elements do I use?

Do I want an image of a real chicken?
Does the phrase mean I need to show a pair of hands?
What colors do I use? White background, cream?
What style of letters? Formal and precise (Nah!) Crazy, silly? (Yes!)
All lined up neatly? (Hell no) or jumping around? (Yeah! Yeah!)
What kinds of images should I include? (Chicken tracks?)
What kinds of ideas does the phrase suggest? (Release from captivity; Escape from prison; chicken feathers; chicken tracks; arrows, green light...)

It's important to generate a lot of different ideas, and I mean A LOT. If you stop with the first idea that pops into your head, it's probably not very original. Keep thinking. Draw out a plan in a notebook.  Eventually you'll get enough to start work.

Yes, I have done all the above. I have a general plan in my head, and I know which of the elements listed above I want to use. I am going to start a chicken quilt as soon as I get home, because I haven't been doing any sewing in the last couple of weeks and I really want to play with this. I'll tell you all about it. Just watch this space in the days to come.


Did you notice that word? That "play" word. Very important that. PLAY. Experiment. Have a little fun.


Megan said...

I'm so pleased to hear that your lecture went well. Well done Lynne.

Sydney, Australia

Sew This N That said...

Oh my gosh! I can relate to this, my Mother is the same but with beef...sunday dinner with beef, next beef sandwiches, next beef stew and that can last all week let me tell ya.

Can't wait to see your finished quilt, it sounds exciting :)

*hugs* Heather x

joe tulips said...

thought about you all weekend! It all looks like a great success.
the chicken...
it got me thinking about turkeys
about Thanksgiving
The same thing happens here, turkey this and turkey that.
Need to get ready for work, but you had my brain cells flowing already!

Susan R said...

Oh I love reading about your creative process Lynne. I have my notebook sitting here next to me; its full of ideas for future projects and inspirations. By the way we use the same mechanical pencil, (I've never used anything else.)

You can bet I'll be following your latest "lightbulb" moment.

Anonymous said...

LOVE it!!

Rebecca said...

How about a black dutch oven with chicken feet sticking out of it some where....

Brenda Scott (Pore) said...

Thank you Lynne, I love it and my mother told me to tell I forgot to mention the chicken pot pie also! Which I don't eat either! lol