Saturday, September 17, 2011

the colors of mud

I wake up early one morning this week--now that is not surprising. I have been doing that a lot recently--3 or 4 am--if I am lucky I sleep until 5. Thanks Irene--and Good Night to you too.. But this time I am thinking of a new quilt instead of worrying about that to do list. Sweet. The way life should be.

Now I had been telling myself that my first quilt should be optimistic. Bright colors like first light. Happy and joyous. A quilt about hope and rebirth.

But instead I think of one in the soft colors of greys and taupe, steel blues and mist. I am scared to make it. The Deerfield River is still flowing strong and brown right now--remembering its rage and sorrow. I can see it from my new studio. Do I really want to go there? Is it too soon? Or maybe this is what I need to do? I am not sure.

I plow through the lovely boxes of stash I have received. Such gifts from the heart. Each one does cheer and encourage me. The one with two pieces--just the colors that I need. The customer who sent a lavender color that I had sadly used up a few years ago--how glad I am to have it again. The quilt maker who wanted to interview me--much like they do at the Animal Shelter--would I promise to use and enjoy the fabric as much as she had? I tore into that package.

Yes, maybe I need to be making the colors of the mud and river part of me. Yes, this is what interests me right now. It is my life.

Don't you just love these fabrics? And the new cutting board--thank you Notion to Quilt. And I start to sew--slowly at first. It is a challenge to figure out the fabrics. A few that I had stored high in the studio--these I know. Many from others that I need to learn about. To study and absorb.  But I am sewing. This feels right.

Gradually I regain confidence. Add the strips one at a time. Right now I can't add that dusky muddy green--that feels too close to home. Instead just a bit of the mauve and pink. That hint of sunrise and rebirth.

Not bad is it? Maybe the next one needs that green of angry water--not sure.  Probably I do need to work through that. But today I must finish this one--just a simple square--but from the heart. What do you think? What inspires your quilts? Do you ever find yourself making a quilt to deal with life?


  1. Ann, I have thought of a few quilts that I need to make but I don't have the courage. not yet. four years have past since my daughter did not survive a motorcycle accident. to make her quilt, to tell her story and mine, not yet, still. I have bought fabrics and have the dreams, but I can't go deeper. I still have not finished the one she wanted me to make for her little apartment. There is so much left unfinished for my girl, I don't know how I will do it. I don't know how to 'go there' and still be okay for my family who is also devastated. I hope one to do be able to.

  2. Oh Carol--my heart goes out to you. Certainly you put everything into perspective--things can be replaced but people never can be. Please accept my sympathies--I hope someday you can make that quilt.

  3. The quilt at the top of the page is stunning!