Tag Archives: soldiers

The dilemma — to finish or to move on?

8.5 x 11", collage

8.5 x 11", collage

(Notes and collage from last week):

Well, after many days working outside at a garden site and shuffling school forms around, calling guidance counselors, dropping off forgotten track items to the high school, ETC.!! , I have been downstairs, which is to say, in my studio.

I just made three things — none of which I set out to do, all of which I like very much, and all of which make the pile of things UNDONE even bigger.

So, what to do?  Force myself to finish before I play?  Just stop binding my pieces?

That last option is not a bad alternative at all.  Arlee, whom I discovered both in various flickr pools and in this month’s Cloth Paper Scissors, showcased a beautiful quilt with texture galore and unfinished, tattered edges.

The collage above was one of the pieces I made when I perhaps should have been finishing other things.  The text is printed on linen and on fake vellum — both fed through an inkjet.  They are scraps from my quilt, “Valentine to Iraq” (below), made some time ago.  I made the off-white paper with newspaper inclusions while teaching a UU religious ed class a couple of years ago.

Quilt, about 3.5' x 20"

This quilt was coming together as the American death toll in Iraq reached 3,000.  I originally planned to stitch 3,000 “x’s” on the quilt, representing the final kisses of mothers to their never-to-return soldier children, but stopped at a little over 1,000.  It gave me a sober appreciation for how large a number 3,000 is.  And now, of course, the toll is much higher.  And we’re not counting Iraqi deaths.

This is a chop-and-rearrange piece — some areas, therefore, have as many as six layers of fabric.  I’m not sure this is technically a quilt, because there isn’t batting behind every single square of this piece, which is mounted on felt.

The X-stitch-kisses at times resemble sutures.

Crucifixes found their way into the piece, representing the enormous sacrifice both the soldier and his mother make (and his father and other family members/or her — forgive me, as a mother of two boys, this piece references our genders).

Here, half a heart is depicted, meaning what it is — a broken heart.

The original statements, which I fractured and reassembled, were:  “All mothers of sons want them to live,” and “I now have sons and I want them to live,” and “I want all wars to end.”

Another heart fragment, covered in kisses/sutures.

I wanted some of the embellishments to take on the look and feel of maps, or again, the edges of wounds.

Here you can see how the varying thicknesses relate to each other.