Sunday, January 21, 2018

First Quilt of 2018

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:
During the next visit home, I sewed a few more chunks of the quilt.  And sewed the top section together:
 And right before we left for Maryland for Christmas, the piece looked like this:
The bottom half is not sewn together in this picture.

When we got home after New Years I was feeling more like myself.  I moved some of the bottom chunks around and made some more.  And hung up some mini Cleveland Browns pennants my brother had given me for Christmas.  It's a very festive look, and it made me smile:
 And this last week, I sewed it all together.  It is not quilted yet, of course, and it is currently 33"w x 52"h.  And I think I rather like it.
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.

7 comments:

Marianne said...

Très émouvant

Julierose said...

Good for you--I like the results a lot...hang in there hugs, Julierose

Maria Shell said...

It is a great quilt and like you said it holds the tough days you went through at the end of 2017. Safe travels!

Margaret said...

I read this with a head muddled by a bad cold, and at very low energy; it reminded me of something I read this morning:

"There is a power that comes through the hands. It is a power that builds confidence. It is a power that assures you that you are all right." -- Marge Engelman, from an essay entitled Fiber Arts and Healing, quoted in the article "The Push-Pull of the Doily", Piecework Magazine, November/December 2017.

Your strong work and working through your hands is doing just that for you.

Louise said...

I see your turmoil and sadness in this quilt. It's powerful and healing. I hope it continues to help you and give you comfort!

Mary Keasler said...

The sadness and loss you have gone through comes through with this piece. It is powerful and will be a comfort in the years to come. I often find that almost every quilt I make is a reflection of what is happening in my life at the time of the creating. It's good that you have been able to express yourself through creating. It does calm the beasts within. Just remember to take care of yourself even though all may be a temporary turmoil.

piecefulwendy said...

I'm fairly new to just sewing strip sets together with just my rotary cutter and no ruler and letting the fabric take me where it wants to go. I find it is something that just surfaces things I'm holding in. It's a very therapeutic experience. I think your quilt will always remind you -- in a good way -- about this season of your life. That makes the making worth it.

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