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.