“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay
I lost my only sister several years ago. The hole is your heart just doesn’t go away. She went through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation over 5 years. Some of those times I went to sit with her during those treatments. Being a quilter, I had to have something for my fingers to do during those periods of time. I cut out a lot of blocks and sat and did hand piecing waiting for that drip to be complete. Over the years of her treatment, that is the only time I worked on them. Since she has passed away, the project has been buried deep in the quilting room. I’ve brought it out a few time and just couldn’t bring myself to finish what I had started. Last month, I finally pulled it out and put it together.
I couldn’t bring myself to put any more of the blocks together. Then it struck me that making the pieces fall away from the central design was the process that I watched with my sister. I watched the pieces of her fall away gradually during the years of her treatment. To me this piece represents the process that I watched play out in front of me.
It is hand pieced and hand quilted. 42″x approximately 5?”
“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
This morning I woke up to this scene in my backyard!
My quilt guild has an annual quilt challenge and show in December. This year the challenge was to take a picture from nature and use the colors in the picture to create a quilt. It didn’t have to be a copy of the picture by just the colors from the picture. I had taken a picture last winter of a leaf desperately hanging on to a branch after the first snow.
The quilt is approximately 40 inches by 26 inches. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted. The picture frame border is finished with a piping edge and the center design is outlined with double piping.
I was asked by a good friend to participate in this blog hop which I am happy to do.
On to the Questions – – –
1. What I am working on . . . Recently I have been exploring more vibrant colors. I have always loved jewel tones, but especially this one is a step beyond jewels. I loved the background fabric the minute I saw it and it has been on my table waiting for inspiration for a couple of years. I recently got the book “APP is for Applique” by Diane S. Hire. I love the way she had the same designs interpreted by various artists and how different they all looked. I also used a Chinese Porcelein book as ideas for many of the pots and flowers.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre… I haven’t figured out what “my genre” is yet. I love the history and traditional quilt blocks and also often combine those with more contemporary applique or in new colorways or ways of setting them.
3. Why do I write/create what I do… Because I can, because I must, because it is an expression of who I am, because it brings me peace, because it makes me learn new things, because it makes me stretch my boundaries, because it keeps me centered, because I meet great people!
4. How does my writing/creative process work… It works all the time, waking and sleeping. I’m always finding inspiration and ideas everywhere I look, a book, architecture, music, nature, a flash of color, a book, etc etc. Sometimes I do detailed planning, but most often the ideas just grow.
This particular piece started with the glorious fabric. Then I wanted to incorporate some of the fancy stitches that were available on my sewing machine, you know the ones that never get used. . . It is just another one of my flights of fantasy. It is machine appliqued and hand quilted.
“I think of you often. Especially in the evenings, when I am on the balcony and it’s too dark to write or to do anything but wait for the stars. A time I love. One feels half disembodied, sitting like a shadow at the door of one’s being while the dark tide rises. Then comes the moon, marvellously serene, and small stars, very merry for some reason of their own. It is so easy to forget, in a worldly life, to attend to these miracles.”
― Katherine Mansfield, The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume 1: 1903-1917
I recently ran across a couple of book illustrating the use of ironworks in architecture. I miss seeing this kind of detail on the new buildings. Ironwork adds unforgettable detail to buildings!
Size 48×62. Black ironwork is machine appliqued on to batik background. The quilt is handquilted with dark maroon thread and using gold thread to highlight some of the design.
“A woman’s life is nine parts mess to one part magic. You’ll learn that soon enough….and the parts that look like magic turn out to be the messiest of all.” – George R. R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
This is the outcome of “Right Brain Left Brain” seen previously here.
Today brings looking back on the past year. Lots of changes, messiness and magic” This quilt incorporates them all. Don’t ask what my plan for it is, it’s just the magic of creation.
Hand quilted, machine pieced, hand appliqued
Life is much different from the days when there were lilies in my mother’s garden, and all my secrets fit into a paper cup.”
― Lauren DeStefano, Wither It is really hot here in the Great Basin. Three consecutive days of 105 degrees. This is really unusual for June. All the more excuse to head to the basement and sew! The day lilies are out in full bloom all over the valley.
This is a piece that I completed in 2005 and is my interpretation of day lilies.The piece us machine appliqued and hand quilted.
“The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil’s fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.”
― Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl
The Yucca have come into bloom in the high desert. They defy the usual image of a dry, brown summer that one often thinks of in the desert. The blooms are beautiful, white and lily-like.
The spiky leaves become a beautiful and fresh green.
Here is my interpretation of the yucca.
machine appliqued, hand quilted