Most quilters I know have a hard time letting even the smallest pieces of fabric go. I have seen entire quilts made of selvedges! I don’t keep the “dog-ear” scraps produced by clipping 1/4″ seams, but I do save miniscule pieces of felt (two large drawers full), pockets of old pants, and every shred of favored commercial prints.
While saving scraps is in keeping with the resourcefulness of early blanket-makers, it can get out of hand. Cleaning up this weekend, I put the scraps that were on the floor to use (above & below) … which was fun and productive. It got me thinking about Script Quilts again (and working on one of them, last picture, below) because to me the scattering of different-sized scraps, some of which repeat, is a lot like speech.
The problem is this – now that I am reminded of what graphic punch a teeny, weeny shred of fabric can have in the right project, I am Loathe to throw them out!
Since I am taking inventory of my studio and labeling everything, I figure as long as I label WHERE these itsy bitsy pieces are going, and limit the amount to the small-ish bin designated, I’ll be okay.
Just added another poppy to the Cement Sack quilt. This one is ON TOP of the tulle.
Transferred two black and white xeroxes onto coffee-stained muslin. The trombone did not come out so well, but a trident on the same page did. Both are in the upper left.
Here is that figure that has shown up in the Witness quilt and the wet-paper-basement-calamity collage. She is the one who dreams, who has seen, and who seeks to go beyond all that lodges in the past. She is part of all of us. This recent posture is one of burdened grief, but she has other moods as well.
Perhaps “moods” is the wrong word — “patterns of consciousness” more like.
And speaking of drugs (the opiate reference in the title), here is the holder of my current drug of choice — a coffee mug! Suitably chipped, stained, and very much in use.
A busy day of gardening and travel ahead. A good thing. A change of perspective and some fresh air will definitely do me good.
In spite of earlier declarations, I spent some time machine-stitching the Script Quilt today. Went gingerly, so as not to break any more needles. The gessoed section was bowing. I wanted it more flush with edges, even if raised, due to variety of layers. The edges are begging for attention. The edges are where we come undone. The edges are where we meet the world. I am tired today. Very very tired. Feels like a soul-tired, not a body-tired.
I do like it when the machine gives me direction.
There have been too many times to count where the bobbin runs out just as I’m about to use the wrong color thread somewhere… or just as I am too tired to keep quilting with any control (but would have kept going had the thread not run out).
On this script quilt and its companion piece, I keep going to add machine quilting and something goes. After breaking TWO needles and running out of bobbin thread once, I get the hint!
I ‘wrote’ on the woven Journal Pages by couching cotton threads on top in cursive-like loops. Sometimes, I stitched with ecru thread, other times, red.
I fiddled with the sides by folding over the bottom floral — which I had placed right-side up, so as to have the more subtle wrong-side showing when folded over. On the left, though, I inserted a strip from another upholstery sample in order to pick up some of the warm tones of the sharpie and to define the edge a little more.
After the couching, I gessoed the piece, wrote on it with pen and pencil, and hand-stitched a few micro-bits of fabric. Then, I applied quite a lot of machine quilting in a basic grid, mostly, sometimes in a jagged, frantic tight mess, to look like another ‘woven’ strip.
I kept a lot of the quilted thread tails on, stitched them to the surface for some added ‘writing’.
Finally, I brushed some pigment (Pearl Ex super bronze by Jacquard) mixed with ModPodge lustre lightly over some areas and a little less lightly in others, mostly to give added dimension to some of the couched threads.
It’s almost done, I think. Not sure if I’ll do anything to further finish top and bottom edges. Maybe.
Purposefully, about the size of a piece of paper.
Many directions suggested by this initial 2010 Script Quilt — some suggested by talented readers. Thank you for the ideas… can’t wait to explore more!
And, now, back to the BIG PIECE which keeps getting BIGGER,