My brother is on a plane to LAX. It’s snowing here in Massachusetts. The power’s out in Georgia. Rainsluice is posting heartbreaking but clarifying articles on Twitter. K is walking the dog. Who knows what William Barr is doing.
Today: we will enjoy a fire. I have two chicken carcasses to make stock. I’m dreaming of a bean soup with sweet potatoes. Cilantro. A little heat. Mmmmm
I’m converting masks with cloth ties to masks with elastic (remember when elastic ordered online took three months to arrive?) Two ties ended up on the quilt above — they’re the orange and white fabric strips with a line of machine stitching on one edge. I like that quarantine energy found a way in. A friend on Instagram liked that I called the black fabric, “the moon ground.”
This was one of those pieces where I kept adding things and then rejecting the additions. Spare horizon and a disturbed sky with an indistinct shelter speak to the moment, I guess.
In the one below, the paths need work. Should they cross over into the green?
In the meantime, it’s worth singing in the shower: I am healthy. I am happy. I am ho-oh-Oh-lee.
Please notice that I am not ranting. I am not. Even though the tree and fence above could be a visual for me and our technology problems of late. Think: “Upgrade”.
The Black Screen of Death, which was not the Black Screen of Death really, but more like a Coma Interlude, occurred multiple times yesterday. Eventually the system restored itself each time, but not without freaking me out. “Walk away from the screen, Ma’am! Walk AWAY from the screen!” What choice did I have? Days of not posting here or for my online class have me feeling a tad crazed. And now the taxes are REALLY, really due.
The good news? Scary glitches and slow processing are making learning a few simple tricks on the new Photoshop Elements seem like a piece of cake. And more good news: I managed to finish Schedule C this morning in spite of it all.
Back to quilting. Less screen time invariably means more sewing, which is also good news, I might add. Continuing with white, white, white for the Jude Hill class I’m taking over at Spirit Cloth has been productive. Interesting. Lots of white to share. But not now. I took a small intermission from white to construct the little row of houses below.
The formulaic nature of this design means they are relaxing to make. And yet, each set is different enough from every other to stay interesting.
The tiniest chips of fabric can be employed for this project (“Oh-oh!” you say with dismay. “You mean I can’t throw them out?!!”)
This drawing came after the cloth construction. It gave me this fun idea of a multitude of paths running to and from the doors.
The original impulse for ground and sky fabrics lies just above the drawing, and here is where I want to suggest that this project — though full of pink, blue, rose, lavender, rust, and indigo — bears a relationship to white. If you can stand to — keep reading!
The ground is that wool challis I’ve talked about before. The sky is a piece of a vintage silk from a deconstructed handmade bodice. The colors worked and they were the very first I chose. They were the INITIAL IMPULSE. The circuitous route back to the original choice got me thinking about white as a process or a state of mind. Specifically, about white as pure expression.
I fiddled. A Lonni Rossi broccoli fabric had potential but was rejected for being too literal and for adding visual clutter.
This shibori sky, suggestive of aurora borealis, was also too much. Stars, also too literal.
This started the return back to the original choice.
Here, I shrunk the scale and added a moon. The moon stayed, but the scale was revised back to original premise.
Here I am back to the original sky, only now with the moon, and a much too busy foreground. Departing miles from the original feel, it looked like I was trying way too hard and furthermore, the woven-strip foreground would have prevented stitching all those paths, and they intrigue me.
Now, almost there.
So, what if “WHITE” is purity? What if ‘white’ is an original impulse? The original set of colors? The original thought? I’m not suggesting that refining ideas and radically departing from an initial idea are not essential and exciting ways to create. I AM suggesting that there may be times when sticking with that First Thought (in this case a pairing of challis and silk) might be just right. A way to honor an intuitive and spontaneous creation.