Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Space Between, Part 2

I have made some progress on my latest piece for a juried invitational called “The Space Between,” which will be co-curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. I ignored my own advice, and quilted this piece, rather than thread sketching it first on just the top layer. So this piece is a bit wonky right now. It is exactly four weeks since my mother’s death, and I am still not thinking clearly. But it is helping me to work on this piece, to do something creative. 

I am hoping that with the rest of the quilting, it will lie nice and flat. If not, I will probably add another backing and perhaps some trapunto-ed areas behind the quills of the feathers or the whole feathers, and try to quilt out the wonkyness. Each piece brings with it its own challenges, and I try to not get too stressed out, reminding myself that such challenges often result in my learning new skills, or trying some new technique.



I am using only black and white thread, Aurifil Cotton Mako 50, a very fine thread. Black on the feathers, and white for the swirls in the negative space. The swirls make me think of air, or wind.



I thought you might like to see the photo on which this piece is based. I arranged four bluejay feathers on white paper, and shot them using the macro lens on my camera. Here is the photo:

24 comments:

  1. Three things...1. I am so sorry about your mom. There is no filling that void. Peace to your heart.
    2. Just so you know...you are one of my most favorite quilt artists right now...one of THE MOST inspirational and unique....so keep on keeping on...people out here are noticing and loving what you are doing and I hope it help to bring that sense of peace to your wounded heart. And 3. I love the word WONKY...thanks for that...If you dont mind I have been looking for a good word to use...that means exactly the way it sounds...Wonky...Wonky...I am going to be saying that all day. :) Its nothing short of genius!

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  2. This is truly a wonderful piece.
    I love it more each time I see it.
    I could live with this.

    Hugs with Good Thoughts,
    Gerry

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  3. Wow, Susan, it is amazing how much definition is created by the addition of the black and white Aurifil thread. I love the effect of the swirled background quilting. Thank you so much for the ongoing story covering this piece.

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  4. Your quilt is turning out so nice. It is really beautiful. Your quilting is fantastic. Hugs

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  5. Sometimes wonkiness is what we need. The imperfect beauty of life. I was sorry to hear about your mom. I'm sure life is really stressful right now so take it easy on yourself. I think your piece looks wonderful.

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  6. Susan, You are doing some spectacular work here. It is just exquisite. I know that your mother is looking down on you and is tremendously proud of you. My heart goes out to you.

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  7. I love how it is coming along and the way you did the feather. I think that might be a good exercise for me; find a textured object and just try quilting something small to get practice on thread sketching.

    Debbie

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  8. The piece looks great - in awe of your quilting and painting talent. No doubt your mom is looking down on you as you create this.

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  9. The detail shots you are showing are beautiful!! I look forward to seeing the whole piece. Thank you for sharing your process and allowing us to see that even someone who has produced some of the most beautiful quilts I've seen still faces challenges and continues to learn. I'm glad that working on this piece and being creative is helping you through your grief.

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  10. Such a sorrowful time, yet you are creating something that is stunning. Creating turns your mind to making swirls and feathers, healing your heart just the tiniest bit.

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  11. I can only second what Laura already said ... after my mother passed away in 2005, I felt like my head was in a big big cloud of cotton wool; the only thing I really felt was pain and sadness. You might not believe it right now, but that will slowly pass eventually. Take good care of you in the meanwhile - you'll need time and a lot of tenderness to deal with your emotions.
    On a more quilty note - this quilt is going to be gourgeous! I love your reduced colour choice, and if it's a bit wonky ... hm, I wouldn't care ;-))

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  12. This looks great! Can't wait to see the whole quilt.
    gr. Marjolijn

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  13. oh wow, that stitching is dreamy Susan!!! I love the swirls and could get swept away with them...just beautiful. =)

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  14. The quilting is beautiful. I love the dimension you are achieving. I love even more reading as you process and work through challenges. I am always inspired by you.

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  15. and, "wonky" is one of my favorite words!

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  16. What lovely quilt, very creative, thnaks for sharing:)

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  17. I missed your original post about your mom, but I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am. My mom died almost a year ago and it totally knocked me off my pins. I figured I'd get over it soon because she was quite elderly and ill, but it's taken me most of a year to get my head clear again. My thoughts are with you.

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  18. I can not wait until you are done. It is great. I love wonky things, I make them all the time. But mine do not turn out as beautiful as yours.

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  19. Your piece is coming along beautifully!

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  20. I was so very sorry to hear about your mother's passing. My mother-in-law was just diagnosed with cancer at 86. I've started a quilt for her. At least with this warning, I'm being given the opportunity to quilt for her. Your work as also is simply stunning. Be gentle with yourself as you move through these early days.

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  21. This quilt is amazing/just the painting alone. It feels good to work again I bet. I'm sure it will get into the exhibit. cant wait to see it finished.

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  22. Wow, Susan, absolutely gorgeous!

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