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.