This week’s Journal Quilt HAD to reference the Inauguration, of course. I started with the idea of pairing drab gray with splashes of bright color to capture the contrast between how I feel about Presidents 43 and 44. A dark gray piece of bark cloth that had maroon foliage the color of dried blood was a good starting point. It wasn’t quite big enough, though, and the ‘correction’ of using a corner to enlarge the piece introduced the idea of wounds. I used last week’s straw-colored linen (satisfying my Journal Quilt Rule of carrying over one fabric) to create X’s and sewed them and red floss (more dried blood) like sutures on a cut.
The central window was a new trick learned from the most recent issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. Initially, I had the obvious and perhaps corny idea of using some bright Hawaiian fabrics for the interior, but instead placed a recently-purchased piece of Australian blue-dotted fabric, which I realized when I stepped back, resembled cells seen through a microscope. So now, rather than referencing Obama directly, I let the quilt speak to healing more generally.
The dotted print is embellished with beads. The gray surface is embellished with sequins and a button. This process put me in mind of the recently learned word (thank you John Banville!) ‘ichor’ — which means both discharge from a wound and ambrosia — a funny contradictory combination that seems apropos to this particular changing of the guards…
I selected the window frame fabric because it fit my notion of hope — bright, cheerful images of spring flowers. As it happens, the fabric came from the dress I wore as a bridesmaid in my sister-in-law’s wedding and so further resonated with the week — nothing lavish and formal like what was seen at the inaugural balls, but still a fancy-ish dress worn to a big, happy event.
The sense of change is so welcome! Look! Lights are on out there!