Taming The Confusion

horses and zebras

It started with the Zebra print.  Then came the horses and riders.  But it was deadly serious so I sewed on the orange and yellow flowers.  The red and white plaid gave it some structure.

horses and zebras2

I started it yesterday, when I was feeling the anxiety coming on.  It’s partly menopausal, part  just who I am. Every month I think maybe the blood won’t come this time.  Maybe it’s finally over.  But then the symptoms start to show.  What feels like an electric pulse coursing through my body,  a humming under the surface.  My friend Suzy sends me a video of snow geese and I cry even more easily than usual.  Little things start to irritate me.  The cold air helps, walks in the woods.  And the slow and rhythmic sewing of two pieces of fabric together.

I’m often in a frenzy when I design a quilt, pulling fabric off shelves, piles of it on the floor.  This time I went slowly.  Every piece of fabric I used, I folded up what was left of it and placed it in a neat pile on my desk.  I did the same with the pieces I didn’t use.

horses and zebras4


I set out to make a confusion of color and pattern, then tame it with some blocks and strips of solid colors.  I  had less control over it than I thought.

I’m volunteering at the Cambridge Co-op this afternoon, so I’ll leave my quilt as it is for now.  But I think it might be done.  Having some space from it will do me good.  It’s keeps calling me back to make sense of it. My eye wandering around making connections.  The humming inside of me a little more distant.


13 thoughts on “Taming The Confusion

  1. Maria, the colours and shapes are all nicely balanced. Love the red around the outside and the little touch of turquoise. I know what you mean about being in a frenzy starting a quilt, pulling fabrics, it’s almost as though you think your mind is going to loose the visual image you have in it that you want to recreate in fabric. And then there is a quilt I’m starting right now and am afraid of it, afraid I can’t interpret it, or sew it, it’s intricate, my hands are getting stiffer with age, not knowing if I can pull it off. Avoidance leaves a mess sitting around too long on my dining room table. It will be fun to see how this quilt turns out for you, so far, so good, to my eye,
    SandyP in Ont. Can.

    1. I know what you mean about being afraid of it Sandy. Mostly when I’m starting on something new, that I’m drawing I have that feeling. your work is so beautiful and well done, I know you’ll get your quilt done.

  2. you may have started this in a state of some anxiety and confusion, Maria……but it is bold and very striking and very balanced. I sense that you worked the anxiety out (hopefully) during this creation! Lovely. And those zebra’s are so familiar!!! LOL!!!
    Susan M

  3. Hi Maria! I highly recommend Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book “The Wisdom of Menopause”. Everyone
    experiences menopause differently…some breeze through it, others try to roll with it and through it,
    others need the hormone treatment in order to stabilize. In my leadership position at my job I was known as the “M” woman…I was really intersted in how menopause impacted us, our concentration, our creativity, our moods,our sleep patterns, our ability to lead, etc especially at the time of life when most of us are hitting our stride and really finding ourselves and for me, I almost allowed menopause to set me back. And many don’t want to or are uncomfortable talking about it. But at the time, I even had executive men coming to my office to talk about how menopause was impacting their wives and their marriage. I kept dozens of copies of this book in my office for years and gave it out to both men and women. I am retired now but former colleagues still ‘tease’ me about my menopause crusade and how it helped them. But it was one of the best things I ever did…for me…to talk about it and share…I applaud you for mentioning it and can only imagine where your menopausal journey will take you and your beautiful art! I rarely, if ever, comment, but always read your blog…and love it. But I couldn’t pass up commenting when you mentioned menopause! That time and that journey are still dear to my heart! Thank you for reading this Maria! Shine on!

    1. I’m honored to be talking to the queen of menopause Kate. I do have Northrup’s book seems like I’ve been reading it for years. A few years ago I even made some peri-menopause potholders. I love that you’re still on your crusade. Keep up the good work!

  4. I call it the Big M. It will screw with your mind and body, but it won’t win. I think your quilt looks great abd I wouldn’t change it at all. Peace to you, Maria.

  5. I like the bold, bright, unexpected colors you put together, Maria. Your color technique was new to me when I discovered your blog in April 2011. I’ve been observing long enough that I “copied” your ideas in a pair of quilted kitchen drapes I made recently. Annie

  6. Hi Maria ,Every so often I wake up soaked in cold sweat. I have to peel layers of shirts,socks and quilts off in a frenzy! Even the cat has to go and I’m 66yrs.Sorry to break it to you…

  7. Oh Maria, Don’t get me wrong.These night sweats are few. They always surprise me.I think it’s another one of the jokes by God.I actually had menopause from age 52-56.That was that! Not a big deal.

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