Last year was The Year of Writing. Like any huge undertaking it had its trade-offs. It was all consuming, the equivalent of making several successful competition level quilts in one year as far as I could tell. It filled my brain and my days. It was isolating. It will be all worth it and I’m really happy I did it. But lots of things went fallow during that time, part of that whole trade-off thing.
So once I turned the corner at the beginning of this year and normal life returned, I realized there had been a long dry spell of textile creativity. All my creative juices were poured into my book during The Year of Writing. Not a whole lot of time was spent on creating something outside of the book. So I was so relieved and excited when I finally got time to sit down and create….and this happened:
So here’s how that happened. For some reason, Aboriginal art turned up on my FaceBook timeline. I loved it! I had of course seen it before, but it resonated with me. Also, I had been perusing old photos of a family trip to Fiji and some similar images emerged, even though they are entirely different cultures and art forms. I did a little bit of doodling and my own image emerged. I took that image and ran with it.
A little background on what I learned about Aboriginal art. This all is based on internet research so I do not hold myself out as being an authority from having studied in depth. It is believed that the dots used in Aboriginal Art are used to disguise the sacred and private messages contained in their images. There is a lot more to that story but I will save that for another time. Those dots got in my head!
I started this piece with simple lines around the edges of the areas of my doodle. I free motion quilted some and hand stitched the rest. I really enjoyed the combination of hand and machine stitching. Making all those French Knots and other hand stitches was soothing and meditative.
Here’s an aside: Remember “candlewicking”? It’s essentially using French knots to define a decorative line. In the early 80’s I made a Queen-sized candlewicked quilt that contained over 3000 French knots. So me and French knots have a history!
My lines and the markings in this piece were made by free motion quilting or by hand. All are random, unplanned. It just emerged. It was so. much. fun to be creative again, to let my mind flow! It has been a long time.
If you look at the image of my black and white piece, do you see a partial female figure on the right? It’s just her relining torso and legs, no upper body. I hope you can see her waist and how it flows into her legs. Yeah, her right leg is cut off, but that was before I saw a form in the doodle.
I’m calling the piece “Surrounded” because it’s how I feel right now, surrounded.
I will be making another similar piece for the upcoming Spotlight Auction of the Studio Art Quilt Associates auction. This is how far I’ve gotten and it needs to be done in the next 2 days…
I also needed to make a sample for my “Start With a Square” class. It’s become quite popular as of late. I’ve already made 4 samples and needed yet another.
If this one had a title it would be “Done is better than perfect”. I had a few issues with this piece. I chose white thread on the white background. I love that white-on-white look, BUT, 63 year-old eyes trying to quilt white-on-white at night is not easy! It was impossible to see sometimes.
I also picked up the wrong white to make the binding-see the different white of the binding? And do you notice I put the binding on backwards-the hand stitching is on the front, not the back. If I did it over again, I would have at least used a gray thread to quilt the background. I do love the piece, just wonder what I was thinking when I made a few of those decisions! I enjoy the Start With a Square method. It was fun to quilt this and I know it illustrates the class well. And it’s done! The guild needs it right away so I’ll be shipping this off today.
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I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday where you’ll always find lots of great links.