There is the sense, with this Global Warming panel, that I could continue quilting for as long as time permits. The process of ‘connecting up’ some of the lines and colors between rectangles could just go on and on and on. Nevertheless, I think it is nearly done. Down in the studio, I have MANY other sections of this series pieced up and ready for something. Pondering, as I clean downstairs, what will become of them. Maybe some sections will stay very small. Maybe others will be surrounded with white. We’ll see.
A section of the Global Warming quilt backlit reveals layering that won’t necessarily be visible when the quilt is hung on a wall. I like to know the layers are there anyway. I am surprised and pleased by how much the stitching is making the piece cohere — even with all that pattern and color.
Once back home from the Cape, I took advantage of the boys’ absence to really clean their rooms. An earwig invasion in C’s room (above) further inspired action. When I cleared out the basement freezer in order to be able to freeze one of D’s pillows, look at what a prize awaited me!! Freezing, by the way, kills dust mites and their eggs (which D may or may not be allergic to).
I discovered during our brief but idyllic sojourn on the Cape that I truly need quiet. It’s not something I’m cooking up. And it’s a real thing, quiet. I thought maybe I was just turning into that cranky old lady who screams at the neighbor-kids to get out of her flowerbeds (and I may be), but I am thinking about it all differently, now. Being away in such a beautiful AND QUIET place was a gift.
The second gift was discovering upon our return that our road (which the city had been threatening to grind and pave for weeks) was ground and paved in our absence. Oh my goodness, this almost gave me religion.
“How much can you need quiet if you sullied it with cellphone talk?!” you ask. Well, it was a quick call to one of the boys, and the only spoken communique during the whole week, so I won’t make excuses for myself — or did I just?
Jack is panting harder today, but continues to eat well and relish his treats.
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.
Clearing a small footprint in the cellar to install a darkroom for D. It acquaints K & me with the volumes of ‘stuff’ we have — not just in the basement, but everywhere. It took all morning to clear the space you see, and many piles have yet to be resolved! Some decisions are easy. All those cake pans that I found here and there and that are duplicated? Give away! Ski parkas of the boys that they have long since outgrown but that fit me beautifully? Not so fast! A beautiful red, plaid kilt, that was my mother’s, or her periwinkle pleated dress embellished with sequins? Hmmm, don’t know.
That’s the ‘clearing’. I am continuing to connect sections on the Global Warming quilt above. In some places, patterns draw the eye across seams. In others, as in the above, using both cream and red threads, I am employing a split running back stitch to cross the seams and connect up some lines.
I am also expanding the spiral patterning with stitch. It is difficult to avoid a ‘nippling’ effect when stitching in a spiral. Any suggestions? I can tamp and press it down and make the circular stitches behave, but perhaps there is an order to stitching that would prevent the inward and upward pucker in the first place?
These are the kinds of scraps that I vigilantly save when vacuuming, as I have done this morning. “No wonder you have too much stuff,” you intone or kid, depending on the kind of Saturday you are having. Yes, yes, I know. I know.
P.S. My wordpress dashboard looks dramatically different these days, with fatter fonts and much, much bigger pictures. Does it look different to viewers, I wonder?
P.P.S Thank you for the technology tips! The phone was fixed (at least for now) by a second trip to the Apple store. They wiped it clean and I reinstalled stuff once home, and I have had no issues connecting since. As far as Photoshop Elements perpetual crashing, I will look into storing pix in a separate hard-drive, to see if freeing up space improves matters on that front.