Monday, February 18, 2008

Quilting For Pleasure

This has been a long week, in more ways than one. SO much happened, it has caused me to reevaluate priorities and think about what I want to be doing with my life. Two friends, plus my cat died this week - add that to unsmiling clients, and you've got a recipe for reevaluation, no doubt about it.

One thing I do not want to do is leave a pile of UFO's (unfinished objects) that give no indication of what they are or of what they are supposed to be.

By yesterday, I was feeling settled enough to go into the "studio" and pick up something small. The lucky piece was an exercise from a class taught by Cynthia Corbin at Empty Spools in Asilomar, in March of 2006. Other than my final project, this is the last piece for me to finish. The final project is close to completion, in that I'm beading it. Other than that, the rest are done.

I suppose I should show you what I'd put together in that class, so let's go to my computer's archives and see what we can find...

This was my final presentation on the last day. I'd focused on river studies, in preparation for a river quilt I've been wanting to make for a long time. One of these days I will make it!
This is another view of a conglomeration of my studies. (The colors in the first picture are more accurate.) The class was called "Deceptively Simple," and I think the name said it all. I tend to get drawn into details. Simplifying and throwing them OUT drives me nutty. I was very pleased with the birch trees in the river, but most of the water studies reminded me of glaciers rather than moving water. The top piece, with the larger river is about half of what it ended up being.

Back to this weekend's project:

This is the photograph that I began with. It was a gnarly old tree, on the grounds of Asilomar. I was to simplify it and convey the idea of the tree, without any of the detail. Thank goodness for printed fabric!!

11.25" x 13.5"

Yesterday I quilted this piece. It's been folded to the side of my machine for almost 2 years. It didn't inspire me to do anything other than finish it. But it was small, and I knew I could do it in a day.

Now that I've looked at the photograph, I think I should have done some lacy leafy quilting in the upper portion of the quilt. Then again, it was supposed to be simple, and I've definitely done simple. There was something restorative about quilting the lines of the tree, back and forth. And although I usually don't enjoy stippling, it was quite soothing to fill these small areas of background.

This is the back of the quilt - did I get carried away?

I guess the best part was that I could take my time and pause and reflect and not worry that I needed to "clock out" or that I might be wasting a minute of my client's time. I had no client. I was just quilting to quilt. I had a chance to do what I haven't done in a long time. Quilting used to be a time for me to pause and reflect, to think and to pray. It's been a long time since I've had that option, because it's been a long time since I've quilted "off the clock."

I do think that THIS is what I need to be doing more of, because it is MUCH better for my soul. I can feel the desire to create beginning to kindle once again. It's only a small spark, but it is much better than the dried up deadness I've been feeling recently. Ahh, to really be quilting again. What a gift!!!

1 comment:

Jan Krentz said...

Hi Suzie,

Oh, I am so sorry to hear of your friends and your cat's passing. It has been a week of loss and reflection.

Hugs - Jan