Thursday, March 13, 2014

the sun is a low, west-slung sun.  6 pm. i'm at home.  tom is playing guitar.  stella is in front of the fire.  there is too much snow for march. and too much cold.  
i cleaned the studio last week.  changed it around a little and organized fabric and treasures. readying it for the coming season of work, i suppose.  it took a couple of days and when i was ready to work again, i just stood and looked around.  i had killed the chaos and chewed up a bit of the energy with it.  i couldn't find where to begin.  there were no tangled piles of fabric.  nothing half finished and flung over a chair.  for most of the day i was more than a little displaced.  eventually i sunk into auto-drive, nothing inspired or even fun, but the blank fog of work found me a direction.  and I've had a great week of work since then. 
i've begun to gaze at vintage quilts.  absorb them in a new way. they slip into me now and engage parts of me that i had allowed to drop into a darkened and forgotten place.  this week a quilt brought the painter to the surface again.  i do most things in a painterly way, for that is how i work, what i know, who i am. and the real painter comes up for air now and then too.  but this time i found myself lost in the motifs that at one time would drive me to fill wall sized canvas.  and from that tickle, the same spot that used to birth paintings, i made a quilt.  a quilt of crosses. i often see cross quilts.  but the motif, the shape, the idea hit me differently. i had to make a quilt that would dream along beside me as i fashioned it.  red and black crosses. strong and knightly.  yet soft and grandmotherly.  speaking in contrasts.  

so, i've broken through a self imposed barrier. i won't have this type of experience with every quilt i make, but it's worth something to know it's possible.