For example, Aotearoa Quilter's Great NZ Quilt Show is coming up in March next year (mark your calendars - it's on 8th to the 10th March, in Rotorua, which is a great place to visit.) The deadline for submitting a quilt is 14th February 2018. Ages away, right?! Well, not so, when I factor in upcoming travel, Christmas, camping and work. I really only have a few weeks to work on something new, and I have a couple of other exhibitions I'd like to enter too, and they have similar deadlines.
So am I knuckling down and getting to it? Nope. I'm playing!
If you didn't already know, I sell a dragon applique pattern on Etsy. I've had it there for years (I made the dragon quilt for my son's sixth birthday and he's now 14) and it ticks away nicely, giving me a little passive income for the original work I put in to drawing and writing it up.
Now that Dear Hubby is semi-retired, I'm looking for ways to boost our income a bit, without me having to drastically up my midwifery work. And I've always wanted to make a unicorn....
But unicorns aren't serious! They're flighty, silly work that 'real artists' wouldn't do, right?! Well, stuff it. Real artists have gotta eat, and if I can make a buck or two from some fun, flighty, silly work, then it's still work in my mind. And if can give someone joy by helping them make a unicorn for a grandkiddy or someone else special, then that's pretty satisfying too.
I started by drawing. I looked at lots of images of horses and sketched parts from several that appealed, putting them all together into a pleasing image. Then I added the flourishes like the horn and fluffy hooves and the glamorous 'blowing in the wind' mane. It took several hours, on and off, to get it looking exactly how I wanted it.
Once the sketch was finalised, I tidied it up and used my photocopier to enlarge it to the size I wanted. Then I traced each section, working out the order of what piece would go under or over it's neighbour (neigggghhhhbour....sorry, couldn't resist!)
Then it was fun with fabric time! My first layout was pretty good. I used a couple of my ombre/variegated hand-dyed fat quarters, which worked really well. But once I looked at him in a photograph, I realised I wanted more contrast in the mane. Luckily I hadn't ironed anything down (I'm doing fusible raw-edge applique) and I was able to swap out a couple of mane sections for a lighter colour. Much better.
Next I'll be stitching him down and quilting, and then finishing him off as a wall hanging. And lastly I'll write him up as a pattern and get him all loaded up ready for sale....but maybe not before I procrastinate by unicorn a little more. After all, we need to know what he'd look like in a different colour way!