When I left to go to International Quilt Festival in Houston last fall my design wall was entirely blank. I had anticipated coming home as I always do, full of excitement, energy and enthusiasm. The empty design wall would allow me to start a new project without any preconceived ideas of what I was going to do. A nice, clean, empty palette.
However, my balloon of enthusiasm was punctured as soon as I got home. Because of a family crisis, in the subsequent two months, November 5 through January 3, I was home exactly 18 days.
During each of those short visits home I was weary and depressed. But I decided to go up to my studio every day nonetheless. The first time, I sat at my sewing machine and stared at the empty design wall. And I cleaned the studio. You would not believe how clean my studio was! And, frankly, I moped. But as the days went on, I found that the studio was the place to help work through my depression. I started to pull fabrics, shades of blue, black, rust and gray, and to make strip sets. At the end of the first week home I had made a ton of strip sets. And had cut them into pieces. I left my design wall looking like this. None of it was sewn together:
The bottom half is not sewn together in this picture.
I have named this piece "Turmoil." Working on it helped calm the chaos in my mind and soul, and, although it may not be the best quilt I've ever made, it may end up being one of the most important. It's the quilt that gave me back my creativity.