Friday, February 1, 2013


I now have a clear excuse for not making major progress on my artistic journey this year. While visiting our children during Christmas, Tom and I bought a house. This, of course, was not a spur of the moment decision but the product of much discussion and soul searching and then six months of house hunting with several adventures along the way.

But now that a real house is in the picture, I am realizing all the physical and emotional energy this transition will take. We will be living in two places until Tom retires and then will move completely into the new house. We will be moving into a house we love and into an area we are excited about getting to know, but we are leaving a house we love and a place where we have put down deep roots.

And the two places are polar opposites.  We now live among mountains and farms in rural Pennsylvania on 24 acres.  We will be moving to a city setting north of Boston, where we are a ten-minute walk to downtown in a house with a tiny backyard--but it is a backyard full of trees that terraces down to a "pond" that is more like a small lake.  So we will have close neighbors on either side but only water in the back.

While I am telling you all this to explain why the amount of my posts and my work in general has not lived up to my expectations in the past couple of months, it also is a rather circuitous way to introduce a quilt I finished before Christmas.

Perhaps you might remember what I, for want of a real name, called the dotty quilt, begun after I had been working with lots of grays and blacks on a very structured piece and felt the need to just abandon myself to color for a while. So I made lots of somewhat circular shapes--didn't even want to force myself to make nicely rounded circles-- from a great variety of hand-dyes.

I finally put it up on my working wall last summer and decided to devote some time to making something out of it. As I played with arranging the dots, I began to visualize a more structured, more dense central section with perhaps only a few dots on the perimeter. For a while I even had the outer dots escaping or fleeing the over populated center.  But soon I began to see this quilt as a reflection of the choices Tom and I were making and the two sections became perhaps more balanced in my own attitude--as if the value of each is still being weighed.

The quilting as well emphasizes difference:
The quilt has developed other meanings for me as I have worked on it and I ended up christening it "Many/Few" to keep all those meanings as possibilities.

The dots are hand appliqued and the blue frame is hand couched.

And now my main New Year's resolution is to somehow keep experimenting with fabric, thread, dye, and paint while life descends into chaos.  Can she do it, ladies and gentlemen?  Stay tuned.

And if you are still reading, thanks for the company!


Anya said...

"We live in a rainbow of chaos." (Paul Cezanne)

I'm green with envy....

norma said...

What is it about circles that always make them pleasing? Nice quilt!

Gypsy Quilter said...

You and Tom are very lucky to be able to make the transition slowly, taking time to get to know the new area and all it has to offer. What a wise decision. The quilt is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.