It’s not clear to me when the intentionally chaotic Global Warming quilt (a jumble meant to depict the effects of climate change) shifted from design to “visual clutter”. But, it did. Which means that I have changed.
Two questions emerge: How much do our aesthetics change over time? What makes them change?
Looking and learning online has decidedly been a factor. All those gorgeous eco-dyed fabrics. The Slow Cloth movement. The classes with Karen Ruane (contemporary embroidery) and Jude Hill (Spirit Cloth). In particular, I have learned to appreciate a softer palette, unprinted fabrics, and embroidered surface design. I will always be a sucker for polka dots. And paisleys. And certain florals. And stripes. Well, okay, a collage sensibility means that in all likelihood I will forever love printed fabrics, but something has shifted.
Nowadays, I want the prints to have SPACE around them. Breathing space. Space to rest. This is exactly parallel to how I feel in life – there is too much shit everywhere in my house and the calendar has been ridiculously chopped up. Not enough space to breathe or rest.
Because I have worked too long and hard on making all the sections on the quilt pictured above relate to each other, I won’t cut it up. It’s nearly done anyway. The four or five companions in the series, though? Maybe not. Because I am itching to see what happens when I take a section of vibrant, crazy, patched color and surrounded it with pure blue or shades of white. . .
ONE THING AT A TIME. I will add breathing room on the NEXT quilt. Jack is teaching me the unbelievable value of taking one thing at a time. With a quilt, that can mean very simply, taking one thread at a time, or one patch at a time, or one quadrant at a time. One can rest in that, too.