I was tacking my latest quilt when I stopped to watch a Bobby McFarrin video and noticed how he uses his whole body when making music. As I went back to work I realized, for the first time, how my body is a part of my work. I lay my quilts out on the floor, constantly bending and straightening, I crawl around them rearranging pieces of fabric and pinning them together, I stand on my desk to get a different view, sometimes I even step on them. I hang my quilt from the ceiling when tacking, walking from front to back to pull the yarn through and tie it. I circle it and lift it, walk around it and crawl under it. It drapes over my arms and I bunch it up in my hands. It’s like a dance, an embrace.
I never thought of the physicality of my quilts before. Once they leave me another dance begins with the person who buys them. They hang the quilt on the wall encountering them face on during the day. They place them on a bed or chair, personal and intimate furniture. They wrap them around their body or lay them on their lap. They are about beauty and comfort, warmth and nurturing.
Making them makes me feel good and people loving them and using them make us both feel good.
Bobby Mc Ferrin said he wants his music to make people feel joy. He said “When you take them to that place, you open up a space where grace comes in.”
Whether I’m sharing the process on my website, showing or selling my work or curating a show at the Pig Barn Gallery, I want to do the same.