When I hung this (nearly) finished quilt top on the line, a whole new quilt emerged.
This quilt has been in the works for a long time.
As some of you know, when I began this quilt, I was thinking a lot about how physical trauma changes us. In 2010, my younger son broke his left arm twice, shattering more than just bone. My first impulse was to create a kind of postcard of cheer, which I later called “Happy Hut”. It used bright colors, and sunflowers, and pieces of some plaid flannel pj’s that I had made him one Christmas.
You can see most of “Happy Hut”, as well as a comparison of some of the bleached fabrics, here.
The next impulse was to describe the trauma. I bleached a bunch of the fabrics and started including blue tie dyes that looked like Xrays and made a pale version of the same house motif. The quilt, now dubbed “Ghost House”, grew and shrank, went away for some periods, grew and shrank some more and finally, just last week, when one corner went rogue (here), arrived at its final dimension.
Once I let that corner have its say, the rest of the quilt quickly and easily fell into place. It became, now, about the size of “Happy Hut”, which pleased me, given that they are companion pieces. And, it turned into a quilt that was going to be finished, which pleased me even more.
But here’s the thing. In between the beginning of this quilt and now, life has changed. A lot. I am NOT thinking about physical trauma these days, and thankfully, neither is my younger son. Part of the struggle to finish the quilt top had to do with this very fact, the fact of life moving along, rendering the theme of the thing not only less compelling, but even a little off-putting. I didn’t want to keep dwelling there.
So, when I hung it on the line and the light streamed through and totally transformed its pallid surface into something gleaming and popping with color, I just said, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” (to quote a fellow blogger). Here is TODAY’s quilt – something that more nearly matches how the world looks to me this day, of this month, of this year.
I have not yet decided, but I don’t think I will back this quilt top. I want it to be able to catch the sun and have these two very different moods.
It’s still not done, actually… have to trim that strip of shibori (mine!) off the left edge.
To achieve the pale palette, I bleached some fabrics, but for many rectangles I just used the ‘wrong’ side. When the sun shines through, the more intense colors of the ‘right’ side of the fabric come through… especially the flannel sunflowers of the sky.
Here’s the final seam.
And just so you don’t have to follow the links to see the non-illuminated difference, check it out:
This picture also shows the piece that went rogue. The nice thing is, there’s another piece, roughly the same size, that I came away with. They will be a pair, I think.
eeeeeeeeeeeeee back to you, it is rather wonderful to look through your cloth and experience the excitement you must have felt, seeing it in a different light!!
i think it’s beautiful and how great is it that you were/are able to transform trauma into Art;
and in my excitement I forgot to mention how much I Love your shibori
thank you Saskia.. I feel like time and sunlight made the transformation, not me!
Love this”Ghost House” quilt–how do you plan to hang it so that the light will shine through? It looks good either way. Julierose
I could create a top edge that will loop onto a spring curtain rod.
wow–I got shivers reading your post on my phone, but didn’t see the pictures until I got online now with my computer–the descriptions were great, and the images really “illuminate” the process and product!
thanks ali … yeah, the sun really changed the piece!!
ok, so have read through twice so far and now can go back slowly and
go through it all again…
it”s truly Wonder Full.
and to hang it on a rod…oh, eeeee and sigh, yes. let that light shine
ok. now back to see it all again. this is So Great!
thanks Grace and for the echoing enthusiasms!
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