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.
Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness. Meister Eckhart
(quoted in Julia Cameron’s book, “The Vein of Gold”)
I thought I was being soooooo productive and accountable to a blog-posted To Do list by hemming the jeans of Dan’s that have been transiting from pile to pile since Thanksgiving. Imagine my surprise when D. held up one of the two pairs and asked, “Why did you hem Kevin’s jeans, Mom?!!” (Kevin doesn’t live here).
Ah, so much for the satisfaction of a thing done. The cut hems could not be thrown out, naturally. The pictures above I hope demonstrate WHY not. Their ragged edges and variations of blue do a better job suggesting the blue shadows of winter than my first journal quilt (below).
I have ALREADY revised my rules. I started with a rule that at least some fabric must come from the floor. When I discovered over the weekend that I was reluctant to re-bin fabrics that had been dumped out (during some mad need for a container) because it meant I would have less interesting fabrics on the floor to pick from, I realized that the rule I had created supposedly to trick myself into cleaning up had already become a disincentive. So! I revised the rule to —
Each Journal Quilt must include scraps from a bin.
This rule, however, is meaningless, since nearly my entire stash qualifies, so I let it go. These two new mini-quilts (possibly one will be Journal for this week), put me in mind of perhaps a better rule…
At least one fabric must carry over from week to week.
Here, the deep blue with white dots (suggesting snow fall) was the background for last week’s quilt.
The process of putting Christmas things away is satisfying. Wrapping, tucking, safekeeping for next year AND clearing space. The tree is still up, but with only colored lights now.
I wish I could revel in the mess as much as the figure below seems to!
Lastly, here are two figures needing work. The grey unspun wool figure needs a body. I find that an interesting metaphor. I may attach him to a cross-beam and explore the notion of sacrifice while I’m at the business of examining how and why I become dis-embodied (such heavy requirements!! — but then, it is just where the thing wants to go. I merely follow!) I drew the head on Shrinky-Dink, copying a portrait of an African man who appeared to be an ecstatic trance. The priestly figure has a body, but needs arms. This guy holds interest all of a sudden because he seems to have changed sides on me. I made him during the height of the sex scandals here in Boston. Then he was, by virtue of his silence and passivity, a nasty co-conspirator in the abuses. But yesterday, when I wrapped him in that thread shawl (also made ages ago), he just struck me as sad. Perhaps he is one of the many priests that was not aware of what was going on. Perhaps he grieves the damage done — not just to all those victims, but to the Catholic Church itself. Amazing what passing time can do to a picture, image or idea!