I slept long and deep last night and had lots of dreams which I now only have small snippets of images left in my memory from.  But I have a feeling it was the sleep that helped cleared the clutter from my head that allowed me to be able to work on my quilt today.

It still took longer than usual for me to make my decisions and I’m still not done.  I’m working on putting a last thin edge of reds around the border of the quilt.

I think part of the reason this quilt was so difficult for me was that in a way it’s new for me.   I’m not used to working with all that white.  And I kept pushing the design, even though I wasn’t sure where I wanted it to go.  It was more that I knew what I didn’t want to do.

When I first made the piece I was thinking about snow and Robert Ryman’s paintings ( He’s been making paintings with only  white paints since the 1950’s) which I’ve always loved.  When the center was done it reminded me of some of  the abstract modernist paintings, but not one in particular.

It felt tribal when I added the black fabric around the blue.  But I deviated from that direction when  I sewed on the strips of fabric from the Zodiac blanket that Cindy gave me years ago.   I kept seeing words somewhere on the quilt. Not whole words, arbitrary letters black on white.  The Zodiac blanket was not as simple as I was imagining, but it brought another element to the quilt.  One I wasn’t expecting.

After cutting it into strips and sewing it on I tried lots of  different colors, patterned and solid next,  but it wanted white.   It needed space to expand.  The color in my photo is off ( I took the picture after it was dark and relying on my studio lights and my iphone, this was the best I could do) but the faded blues and greens from the table cloth that I used to make the center piece is similar in color to the white around the outside of the quilt.  That’s  two different fabrics.  One  white with blue dots and the other white with pale green and blue strips.

Looking down at it on my studio floor, the word, Cosmos, came into my head.  Not surprisingly the title of one of Alexander Von Humboldt’s books.  Cosmos  meaning  beauty, order and seeing the universe as a complex system.  Humboldt used the word to “express and encapsulate both heaven and earth”.

Before I added the other fabrics to the black, Jonne left a comment on my blog saying:  “I see a dark surround of outer space, turning into a blue sky, and then an up-close, perhaps microscopic view, of seemingly random (but really highly organized) particles going about the very important business of life.”   She saw what I was doing before I did.

I think the red edge, (which will be thinner than in the photo) will hold it all together.

That's Flo making her way around the quilt. It's the first time she's ever been in my studio.
The red edge that I’m working on.  (That’s Flo making her way around the quilt.)


13 thoughts on “Cosmos

  1. Maria –
    The quilt continues to grow in an extraordinary way. Chaos (or snow…), surrounded by the cosmos, wrapped up in peace and tranquility. Very moving. I know some people have already expressed an interest in the piece. I’d like to add my name to that list. If the previous potential ‘purchasers’ don’t work out, please, please consider me.
    Your design speaks loudly, yet softly at the same time. It is life.

  2. It will be lovely with the red border and personally I like the thickness of the border in the picture. That is totally cool “space” fabric.

  3. So interesting to see how this quilt expands both literally as well as artistically. The addition of that black border was so arresting, and now the red just adds a sense of completeness. Lovely!

  4. I love seeing the cat checking out your work & coming to join you. My Mom always told me that cats & dogs are good judges of people – so there you go!! I also love the “explanation” of the quilt, especially relating to the Cosmos!! Your art speaks to so many & so much. Thanks for sharing!! Mary Ann Cauthen

  5. Maria, this is so very interesting. I just love this quilt and am amazed at you! The red is perfect. The Cosmos is filled with passion.

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Full Moon Fiber Art