Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cheap Therapy

It feels good to finally feel good. At least it did before I made the mistake of going shopping again. {sigh} But I needed some more beads (!) and other, less interesting, things. I do feel better now than I did when I first got home.

There has been no progress on the Fabric of Life challenge piece. Instead I have been working on the second version of my third journal quilt (he he). Once I had it pieced I seed stitched the background area around the two main figures. Then I spent quite a bit of time going through my beads and buttons and charms, looking for appropriate embellishments. I found some possibilities but wasn't completely happy with all of them (that would have been asking too much anyway!). This morning I went through the Shipwreck Beads catalog and made a list of things they have that I thought might work for me. Twentysix dollars (plus shipping) later and a few days from now we'll find out what works and what doesn't! Still not content, I went back out to my LBS. They are taking 20% off of all seed beads this month so in addition to looking for colors for my journal quilt I was sort of keeping my eye out for anything else I might want to use someday. ;- ) That was another $14.50. At least I'll be able to do some beading on the outside borders of my journal quilt while I wait for the goodies to arrive from Shipwreck! (By the way, if you're a beader and you're ever in the Olympia, Washington area you really ought to try to get to Shipwreck's warehouse/store. And plan on spending a lot of time there!)

Okay, for whatever reason, I wasn't able to share with you why I put aside my first attempt at my third journal quilt when I posted a few days ago. I think I can now. With pictures even.

I worked my way through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way a few years ago and at that time learned about the strengths and proclivities of the right side of the brain and the left side of the brain. It was easy to see that my left brain had been allowed, in fact had been encouraged, to be the more dominant of the two. Since then I've been working to counteract or damp down that dominance. The idea behind my third journal quilt was to portray the battle I feel takes place in my head everytime I start a new project (or want to stitch, for that matter). So I intuitively pieced, in lots of colors (but not the purples and greens that I showed in an earlier post), what would represent the right side of my brain (the creative, emotional - 'female' - side). For the left side (the logical, analytical - 'male' - and often overly judgemental side) I used black and white and precision piecing. Getting the look I wanted for the bit in the middle where the two sides meet took several attempts but I finally came up with something that I felt worked. (Basically two flying geese units turned on their sides.) As I said before, the composition was fine but it didn't feel "right" to me.

During the course of my paper-journaling over the next few days I discovered that it was the negative nature of the idea behind the journal quilt that was the problem. I was looking at the two sides of my being as adversaries. What I needed was to see them as companions, partners in crime as it were. My major goal for this series of journal quilts is to achieve a sense of healing that will hopefully have a positive impact on my physical body. Well, here was a prime opportunity to do some healing work. I was so pleased and proud of myself for recognizing it! And then I found the perfect piece of fabric in my stash...



It was a scrap someone had given me some years ago. I don't remember when, but I think I remember who. At any rate, there were two or three images of courting couples on the fabric. The one that ended up in the center of this journal quilt had already been fussy cut to size and really was the most appropriate of the available couples. By this time I was thinking of the left side of my brain as "Body," possessing male characteristics, and the right side of my brain as "Spirit," epitomizing the female characteristics. I plan to use buttons and charms to emphasize the qualities of each character and to show them coming together in co-operation. Beading in the border areas will help hold the layers together and function as quilting. And now I'm a happy camper!

1 comment:

Michele's Quilting Journey said...

You are not only an intuitive quilter, Sue..you are intuitive..period. The sensitivites you battle are more than just chemical...I know because we have an awful lot in common. I am reading every single post in your blog this morning...starting at 4 am...and as a person who has also 'battled' sensitivies of all kinds (and still does) I can feel you through your writing and I just have to say...you're on the right track here. Go into the 'battle', hang on to the edge, and then flow with it...