Friday, July 23, 2010

Stumbling Blocks

An integral part of any process are the stumbling blocks, distractions, interruptions, wrong turns and setbacks. They seem to be unavoidable a lot of the time. As artists, crafters, creators I think we are better off if we can just accept that there will be impediments to our progress and soldier on. I say all this because I am in the midst of that very experience.

Not that it's awful this time around. I know it will pass, and I've made some little progress in spite of it. But the fact is that my head is killing me as the result of a whiff (well, more than a mere whiff) of raw asphalt or roofing tar or something like that and my son is using me as a sounding board for his creative projects to an extant that doesn't leave me time for my own thoughts.

I am proud of my boy, my youngest son, who is deeply involved in the creation of costumes of Roman armor for the Shakespeare play "Antony & Cleopatra" in which he is also performing next month. He has made everything from sandals to faux swords to faux leather armor to actual chain maille (for four bodies!). And that's just for this one play. He's been in various productions of Shakespeare plays for several years now and has always made his own costume. But he's the sort who needs someone to bounce ideas and difficulties off of and I just happen to be the most convenient this time around. I'm happy to do what I can but my knowledge is limited when it comes to woodworking and metal!

The upshot of all this is that I don't feel I've had two moments together to think about my panel for my friend's quilt. I am leaning away from using the batik panel however. I think I want something less directional, a design that won't have an upside down aspect to it. And I am leaning back toward the more traditional quilt block patterns. If I could just focus long enough to choose a pair of colors for some experimental blocks I would be happier.

And if I could sew up a couple of experimental blocks I would consider it a real victory. (The blocks you've been seeing in this post are the liberated log cabins I've been making in my 15 minutes of play.)


  1. I love your use of the "stumbling blocks" concept in your quilt blocks. The idea would make a great quilt!

    Your son sounds very creative. What fun!

  2. Thoughtful and wonderfully-universal post ... the details of everyday life continue to get in the way of any "open" space for pondering, as so many of us know.

    Lovely "play" blocks!!

    Hope you find some "silence" soon!

  3. Sue, you expressed this so well. We've all had the experience of setbacks, interruptions, etc. I think it takes a few times of having it to realize that it isn't going to last, and we can work our way through it. I know I'm getting better at it now. Or more patient with it, maybe

    I've also had the same experience of being someone's sounding board/problem-solver. Your son sounds very creative, and it's wonderful that you can do this for him. I had the same relationship with my daughter when she lived with us. And sometimes I miss it! But, yes, it cuts into our own internal dialogue when we're doing this. I hope you get some space and quiet soon.

    I love your improv blocks! They look so fun!

  4. Oh, don't you just love kids, especially our own? I have a theatre major youngest child and drama does seek them out and vice versa. But oh, the creative energy is so amazing and just remember it most likely still sprang forth from you, and your own ability with creative imaginings! Love these examples, you make me want to play, too!

  5. Your son has no doubt inherited some of you creativity! I just love your free-pieced blocks, and as soon as I have finished quilting these 3 quilts that I'm sewing---etc.


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