Sunday, August 31, 2008

Did You Think I'd Forgotten...

... about the Take It Further challenge for August? I didn't! It's been in the back of my mind all month while I finished up the Studio Journal class and started on the Fungly quilt.

The challenge this month was to consider the issue of balance in our lives. Specifically, Sharon asked, "What is balance to you? Do you maintain a balanced life? How do you balance aspects of your life?"

My life is much less complex than many people's lives are these days. There's less in it to balance than there was even three years ago. Nevertheless I often feel torn or out of balance in my activities. I do not feel that I live a balanced life, and I am easily thrown off balance.

There seemed to be a lot of options for interpreting this topic in textiles. I made notes, even drew a sketch of one idea. Finally, a few days ago, this came out of my morning journal session: Sailing a boat to a destination is rather like the way we navigate through our days and our lives. Not everyone has had the experience of sailing a boat, but it still seems a very apt metaphor to me. You have to focus your energies and attention on different activities at different times, you have to change plans at a moment's notice, and there are times when you are becalmed or just sailing smoothly and you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes when you are becalmed it's up to you, the sailor, to make things happen. Balancing the activities and events in our lives is not a static thing. It is not a place we reach and stay at for any amount of time. It is constantly changing, and requiring us to adapt and change as well. Unexpected gusts of wind can throw us off course or threaten to dump us in the drink.

So I rummaged around in my stash and found a print of boats under sail. I was able to cut a 4" x 6" piece which I then hand quilted to a piece of batting. I may be a Quilter but hand quilting is not a process I particularly enjoy. I considered that my fulfillment of the "take it further" aspect of this month's challenge! I doubt that you can see it in the photograph but I tried to indicate the wind blowing with my quilting lines. In the 'water' part of the picture I quilted in horizontal lines.

I probably got more out of this challenge in the thought process than in the production of the postcard quilt. That's okay though. Maybe I'll be a little easier on myself in the future as a result.

Oh, and FYI, I have decided to just finish the Fungly quilt at the size it currently is. Thanks to those of you who contributed your thoughts on the matter :- )

Here's a shot of it on my kitchen floor:

And in keeping with the fun+ugly theme, this is what I've put together for the back:

The Mary Engelbreit print is just big enough to accomodate the width of the top, and the snapdragon print ("Petal Pets" from a long time ago) at either end give it the necessary length. Now all I have to do is get the layers assembled so I can tie it!


  1. very fun. I love how you combined the broken dishes with the stars.

  2. I like your fungly quilt, but don't think it is ugly at all. Your metaphor for the TIF challenge is very apt.

  3. Your fungly looks great! I love the combination of blocks - it's surprising! I think it works just fine without a border. Just my opinion, of course. How big are your star blocks?
    I like your TIF challenge piece. That's a great simile for life.

  4. Love the quilt. What fun to see it together. And the back is perfect. And you are getting in finished too. Congrats. I'm so bad about getting my flimsys past that stage.

    But what I really love is your look at life compared to sailing a boat. I'm printing it off to hang up and read every day. Why do we think our lives should be in the calm sailing place all the time? Just can't be. And we wouldn't appreciate those times without the ones where we have to be busy handling life.

  5. How fun is your fungly! I'm having a hard time getting my blocks together - fighting the inner "make it match" voice!

  6. That backing is truly wonderful and fun/ugly!! I love the analogy of the sailing - this is so true. I can remember also turning the boat over or running it aground while showing off and not paying attention.

  7. I agree with Katie. I want to have a copy of your sailboat analogy. I think your balance story is one of the best I've come across for this TIF. You are so right. We tend to think the calm time is the balanced or right time but it is all of it and sometimes we have to do it...well, you said it all beautifully. Please may I copy it off to put in my journal?

  8. here I am catching up- and I do like how this top turned out! quite liberated and fun! very nice work.


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