Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Healing and Stitching

When great loss strikes I have found that the most important thing I can do to come out from under the covers is to use my art to take the first step towards beginning to heal. Under those covers I feel immobilized… unable to breathe at times, but once I start to create something… anything… to capture those feelings in a creative, loving way that letting go starts. It may start with notes I start writing, or little sketches of seemingly overwhelming memories, then for me comes the fabric and the stitching.

As the process continues, a piece of art begins to emerge. The art is the outward sign of the healing, but the breathing in and out becomes easier with each stitch.

Back in 2000 when I lost my fur-buddy Vincent, I found myself in this space and it took a long time but what emerged was a memorial quilt to my blue-eyed boy. I am posting these here, possibly the idea may help someone else take a first step after loss to finding a way back. Then again, these pictures are acting as a placeholder for another memorial quilt that is underway for Edgar… making me feel better stitch-by-stitch.  


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Art & Healing

I have been floundering since loosing Edgar and have been trying to find something to get me moving again. It made me think about the loss of another beloved little soul - Vincent. Vinnie, like Edgar is one of those fur babies that always will be with me and when he passed there was a long suffering in my personal work, but I remembered what really pulled me through was making a memorial quilt for him.

This thought immediately made me feel like I had a purpose...making an Edgar quilt. Like Edgar himself the quilt will be larger than life. Then while chatting with my sister she asked me if I was going to use velveteen -- soft like the boy himself. 

Well, I think you can see where this is going. I haven't been in my velveteen bin for quite a while... such a perfect place to begin... thinking and developing ideas on just how to create a proper memorial quilt for Edgar.

Out came the bin and I couldn't believe what I found as I pulled, sorted and remembered the history of all this fabric. A considerable amount of the velveteen had been manipulated while in my Tuesday art group. There were pieces that were: Dyed, painted, waxed, stamped, indigo dyed, and bleached.

All of this fabric and leftover bits and pieces held memories of so many projects created over the years & also hold the promise of all infinite possibilities of things to come. Just what I needed.

Who knew what memories, wisdom and experience was in a tub of fabric?

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Cat's Tale

It has been a week since we lost our handsome black cat, Edgar. He has been a part of family for just over 16 years and even as I write this my heart is heavy and I have to remind myself to breathe. He joined our household back in 2001 as a bright-eyed kitten...

I had been working from home for a few years at that point, and friends told me to just tell David that I was in need of some office staff. First adopted was Nikki -- who was my 'administrative assistant', and then a bit later this little soul, known to many as my 'receptionist' joined our family. Edgar took his role very seriously. He greeted everyone and engaged them in conversation. Many a folk had to be told that he would not stop talking with them until they chatted back.

He was never far from the action. During the filming of my Simply Quilts episode, at my home, Edgar was still rather young and would chew on anything plastic. This included wires for the cameras, until he became intrigued with the directors monitor. On finding the monitor he sat down to watch intently the whole process. Silently, fully engrossed.

Edgar was always in the studio, for I was always in the studio, so he has appeared in a number of magazine articles along with me - or a bunch of quilts. You would have seen both he an Nikki mentioned in Quilters Home as my office staff, or holding down a stack of quilts in Patchwork tsushin, and battling with me for star billing in the very first issue of Generation Q Magazine.

Always the perfect gentleman in the studio he would gladly move off the project I was working on when asked and given another soft spot to lay on. It just had to be close enough by to the keep an eye on the action. One of Edgar's favorite soft spots was on the ironing station - in the middle of the room, right by the window.
It has been impossible for me to enter the studio this week for more than a few minutes. Today I am trying just to remain in here long enough to write this post. Baby steps.

A friend on FaceBook posted a poem this week that hit home.

“to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
~ Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1

Letting go is hard, but Dave and I continue down this long road...taking baby steps and reminding ourselves to breathe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Grey Day Stitching

Hi All,

This winter the weather has been a bit different than the years previously. Since it is only my 5th winter here in Paducah I can barely call it strange but the temps have been up and down, and down and up since November. No snow...for it seems these have been our dry days. But there has been weeks of rain.

Today the day is gray. It has been gray, wet and cool for quite a week and we are looking at another week of the same. With the gloom settling in I decided it was time to finish up some projects that have been put aside for quite awhile for one reason or another.

I was totally surprised when I opened this first one. I was just hours away from completion.

This second one was another story. I loved using these amazing Cherrywood fabric to stitched together this HOME piece. The rich solids begging for thread play - and playful mark making. I pulled the stitching kit out and soon had a big pile of thread bits. The piece is still underway, but there are a few more gloomy days ahead -- time to get it done and enjoy the process. I do love hand stitching!

Then the projects swimming around in my head  will have a clear go ahead. Til then....

hope you are finding a bit of time to be creative.
Would love to hear what you are up to!