Its been a while since I posted anything - and indeed its take a while to get my head around the larger world of quilting and fiber arts. I have certainly bee overwhelmed by the complexity of it all and how much there is to see and experience. I think the major challenge was asking myself where my own voice was int he midst of it all. And while I certainly haven't found all of that, I have found some small corner of it that I enjoy and can relate to. I have made a beginning at finding some few skills and a comfort zone. I find that I am heavily influenced by all the embroidery I have done. Karen talks about a quilt being something you can wrap yourself in - or wrap a child in for comfort. And I get that; I really do. I see the ladies int eh quilt guild turning out blanket sized quilts so casually and I really admire that. But when I sit down to think about what I really want to do myself my brain automatically defaults to what I can hold in my hand and manage with a needle.
It was only a matter of time before I found applique and wonderfully
intricate small things. My first discovery was Shelley Swanland and her
technique called Cathedral Windows. Its base on an old technique form
the 30's but way more updated and versatile - a way of layering and
folding fabric that gives color layers and tactile possibilities that
are really exciting. So after a test piece or two I found her little
flower "twilt" (that I donated to the AAQI) and a framework she did for a
large centerpiece that was just too intriguing not to try. So it
started out as something to do for that frame. A piece for my daughter
to celebrate her new apartment. A
hamsa hand for good luck and prosperity. Well... simple is how it
always starts, isn't it. I found colors that felt like her and the it
just had to have more - like shisha mirrors and embroidery - and then
tassels - and after that bells on the bottom. And finally I got around
to that frame. Fro something only 14 inches wide it certainly has a lot
to say for itself.
Well - are we there yet? No, not quite.
After a grand and glorious project like this the only logical question
is "What next?" And with such an open question of course the Universe
by way of the Interwebz will, of course, be quick to oblige. I saw an
odd posting of a detail from a quilt that someone had taken at a quilt
show. So sad she didn't have the name of the artist but it gave me a
good idea. And with a few adjustments (of course) it became a dragonfly
that I used as a front panel for a carryall for my cousin. She's going
to be traveling here and there - doing readings, giving lectures, being
out on weekends - she needed something special to carry her things in -
something really uniquely her - and she loves dragonflies. Then not to
leave anything out I gave it flowers from that first flower pattern.
And of course the mirrors in the flower centers - and of course all
kinds of embroidery. This caused Phillip to describe it as"yet another
Cistine Chapel project" and yes - he's right. I mounted it it as the
front flap on a bag with lots of pockets inside and out. made out of
sturdy faux suede upholstery fabric so it will go the extra mile and not
fray or break.
once its done - and shipped - and she has it - and she was so pleased
with it that she got all teary eyed - I am once again faced with the
question "What next?" Since I've given my first 3 away, maybe its time
to make one for me. and lately I've been looking at lots of pictures of
Each time I do one of these smaller
projects I learn things and get more certain of what I'm doing. I feel
less at sea and more in control. Those larger projects are getting
designed and drawn up. I have them tucked in my sketch book and I'm
saving back fabric for them as I find it. They will come in time. But
for right now I'm being all happy with my little tempests in teapots.
And we shall see what kind of tempest that peacok will provide