Dots in the trunk…

Christmas came a little early! I met a jeweler in October, who is married to an upholsterer, who called me last week and asked me if I wanted some fabric.

I tried to limit myself to two bags, but took three, and I may go back for some more silks. It was all so beautiful and neatly folded and sorted by color and/or fiber type.

Truly made my day — my week — my month?

But, here’s the thing. As I fall down the rabbit hole of blogging and find one amazing quilter after another, three of whom, say, then lead me to another set of amazing quilters (perhaps in the comments of the first batch of fiber artists), and then I find ten other amazing quilters on a sidebar somewhere in there, and I am feasting my eyes in wonder and appreciation…. I am falling, falling down this seemingly endless tunnel of creation thinking — can I possibly slow down long enough, commit long enough, pursue long enough, to create a signature?

And here’s another thing, I am starting to wonder how I can continue to be a quilter who merely SEWS when all the work that most excites me these days seems to involve dying, bleaching, wringing, aging, distressing, and intense surface embellishment.

So, while I LOVE, love, love these dots — part of me is judging them for being premade dots — dots that I have not fashioned with my hand, dots that are not imposed by rust or clamps or applique. They are velour-ish designer dots.

There is more to say about this that has to do with learning/imitating/finding one’s true palette/tempo/scale/approach, that I am much too tired to take on at this moment.

But let me say that in falling down this rabbit hole lined with pictures, I am aware that I have to preserve a rhythm, a confidence, a pursuit, that is all my own.

Which is difficult this time of year because even though I have some time my basement-space is too cold to work in right now. And for some reason, I am feeling determined to keep the upstairs looking festive and if cluttered, cluttered with Christmas things.

I guess I am taking a break.  I am wondering if I want a “word” to inform a series of quilts, like Jude Hill and others who follow Jude are thinking about…  And what would my word be?  I have been collecting fabrics for awhile now that have a script-like quality — perhaps what I want to explore is the shape and nature of writing itself, and not a particular word.  Take this wisteria, for example — I feel its twists and turns as a kind of language, one that very definitely resembles writing.

Lastly, I am mulling over the idea of taking on one master quilter a month and consciously making a single piece that does homage to their style, content, and approach (as I understand them), as a way to learn, as a way to more directly work with this whole tricky business of learning by imitation and making something one’s own.

But don’t worry — I love my velour-ish designer dots and have the utmost faith that they will be well used in the coming year!

6 thoughts on “Dots in the trunk…

  1. arlee

    Oh my, i do love those pink and orange hexagon dots! Lucky you!

    I’d like to follow your “writing” excercises—what a great idea–and WRITING could be a perfect word for the year—“Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols”–from Wiki–but change that word to “textile” or “textural” and you’re set!

  2. deemallon

    Yes, yes, they are marvelous!! I may have to have a blog give away to share the loot!

    Writing COULD be a word, a practice, a visual exploration….

    love the WIki definition…

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by as you bead/stitch in a race to your deadline… it is much appreciated!

  3. yolie

    such luscious fabrics!

    and BRAVO for taking a break. this time of year is overwhelming and resting is composting as far as i’m concerned. always something churning even in stillness.
    i haven’t learned complete stillness. yet!

    i like this idea of “studying”one master at a time. maybe working on a smallish scale so as not to eat up too much time. isn’t that how artists learn to find their own voice? by working through what’s come before.
    it’s a daunting task when you are considering dyeing, bleaching aging etc…
    maybe task isn’t the right word since all these techniques are more magical than taxing.
    sorry to be rambling but this post brings up so many interesting points.
    down the rabbit hole we go!

  4. Dee

    never apologize for rambling, yolie, otherwise, I might just have to shut up totally myself!

    you’re right about the necessity of constructing the Masters’ Project in a way that feels do-able — certainly small is good… I don’t know how much dying/discharge will be involved. I am still trying to figure out how it is that I quilt.


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