Funny thing, though. After two days, I was already schlepping around the house, restless and antsy. Even at night, I was tossing and turning. Couldn’t sit still in our lovely garden; couldn’t read a novel from start to finish. What was going on? “Ah,” said the wise one, my resident sweetie. “You are missing your writing.”
Hmm. If I were to be marooned on a desert island, and could only take two things with me, what would they be? Duh! My computer and my sewing machine, of course. And if my desert island had no power, I’d take the equivalent in unplugged equipment: my sewing basket and paper and pens. With these basics, I could write my own books, construct my own fig-leaf clothes and fool around with decorative art. My family and those two things: that’s a quality life. And here I was, poking around the house trying to avoid the studio because I thought I needed a break from it. Nobody needs a break from quality of life.
Then one morning I woke up and thought, it’s time to play in the studio. I will stitch up something without resorting to rules, colour wheels, patterns or even pictures to copy. It may be a big failure, but that is okay.
And as to writing – yup, that’s why there’s another blog in your mailbox. But not a deep-insightful-oh-so-serious piece of writing. Instead, I will document how I go about such a project. A blog I read occasionally, awaytogarden.com, sports this theme: “gardening how-to and gardening woo-woo.” Well, this blog is not a woo-woo piece! This is quilting how-to. It satisfies my need to write, and is, in part, a reply to a friend who said she’d love it if I took her through the process of making an art quilt.
It started that morning with a cup of coffee in the garden, feasting my eyes on the loveliness.
The colours of summer-flowering perennials are brilliant: fuschia, yellow, orange, purple, red, and all kinds of green. Some folks think a garden should be a haven of peace. They say people who put all those clashing colours into their garden are gauche. So call me gauche. In our garden, like in the world, all colours live happily together, and I find it beautiful.
I took that mental image with me into the studio with a vague idea of capturing the beauty of our garden in a quilted piece of art. I began pulling out fabrics from my stash, laying them out like a deck of cards. As you can see, pastels and greyed hues need not apply for this job.
|From bottom left, clockwise: rose, coreopsis, clematis, cosmos, and gazania.|
After I’d worked all day in my studio, I had the best sleep I’ve had for weeks, and I no longer prowl the house restlessly. If there’s a woo-woo lesson in that, I’ll let you figure it out, dear reader.
This blog has gotten long enough. Next week, I’ll continue, showing you how I created my version of the flowers and what I did with them. And yes, I'm having fun.