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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Meditation : The Next Steps.

After the red herring, I was a bit cautious about where I went next; this piece is tiny, 4" square.

meditation in blue and purple 
Making this one was particularly interesting...I discovered some of my own assumptions were absolute nonsense!  I've worked at small scales before, notably in the ACEO format of 2.5 by 3.5.  I assumed that small stitches would be 'right'; they weren't.  And that a lighter colour of stitch would be A Good Thing; it wasn't (see below).

This is the piece in the early stages of stitching, with a gold coloured thread.  It doesn't look too bad in the photograph; it looked dreadful in real life.  I discovered that part of the point of these quilts, is that the stitch is purple. Being tempted away into gold disrupted the flow of the quilts.  I wanted the stitching to be an inherent part of the piece as a whole, rather than an entity that attracts attention to itself at the cost of the rest of the piece (if that makes sense?).   Reader, I unpicked it.

However, I did replace the purple metallic thread I had been using with a variegated purple Decora thread, and made the stitches uneven, but large.  I think that the small stitches allowed the strong gold stripes running down the centre of the piece to dominate too much.  And finally, adding two small pieces of the purple and gold fabric running horizontally across the piece, restored the balance completely.

I'm beginning to realise that I could work in this format almost indefinitely.  And I am reminded of a poem, entitled Piecing, by Robin Morgan, the first section of which seems to sum it up nicely...

"Frugality is not the point.  Nor waste.
It’s just that very little is discarded
in any honest spending of the self,
and what remains is used and used
again, worn thin by use, softened
to the pliancy and the translucence
of old linen, patched, mended, reinforced,
and saved.  So I discover how
I am rejoicing slowly into a woman
who grows older daring to write
the same poem over and over, not merely
rearranged, revised, reworded, but one poem
hundreds of times anew."

This is my work.  Similarly, this is who I am.  On a good day, I can't tell the difference between them.  Both series and life continue..  It is amazing, what art does. 

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