What with all this eye business, including two surgeries and a million appointments and tests and drops and fiddle-dee-dee, this has not been a very productive year artwise. I basically took the summer off. When I tried to to do a little sewing I found it harder than expected. I just was not seeing very well. I couldn't clearly focus on my sewing machine's needle. I was seeing two needles, unless I took my glasses off and got as close as possible to where the action was, just short of risking that I would accidentally sew through the end of my nose. Doing something like this made me cross-eyed, cranky and exhausted.
You can probably imagine how (not) conducive this was to the creative process. Most saddening of all, was when I felt like it was really time to get back to work I was empty. No ideas, no excitement. I puttered away at a new take on an old idea, but the result left me feeling even more uninspired. Perhaps I was finished with art quilting. I could retire to knit, read, write, travel! I cleaned up the studio, opened my doors for my sixth (maybe last?) Open Studio Tour and wondered what was next.
Then one day I went out to the studio and began pulling fabrics out of my collection of solids until there was a stack that made me a little giddy with the color and I started cutting triangles—I've always had a thing about triangles—then making stacks of triangles that I began sewing randomly together. And it made me happy. Matching up two triangles and sewing a quarter inch seam didn't even require my eyes to work that well—I can do this in the dark—well, almost, although it's been years since I actually "pieced" a quilt in this traditional way.
The more triangles I sewed, the better I felt and I began to see actual possibilities for this to be something more than therapy! That night as I was drifting off to sleep I saw that it needed handwork, embroidery, another something I haven't done for years, something soft as counterpoint to the geometry of the triangles. And so I've come full circle, back to the basic skills I learned long ago. You will be seeing it soon. I think this small piece is leading me both backward and forward at the same time.
Maybe it's my new thing. Maybe not. But now I'm working up a stack of log cabin blocks and they are looking pretty great. My happy is back, for now anyway.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad