It took me all morning to find the right pieces of fabric and sew them around my patch of insects. And it took me five minutes to cut it all apart.
It could have been easy, I knew what I wanted to do, but for some reason I think I thought it was too easy. But I was, of course, wrong. What I had spent the morning doing, didn’t work at all.
I was going to my friend Carol Conklin’s house to visit and pick berries that she has growing in her yard. So I left the flying bugs on my studio floor and decided to forget about them for a while.
When I got back to my studio a few hours later, I told myself to take it one strip of fabric at a time and to let the quilt tell me what it wanted.
The thin line of black now seemed obvious and the shimmery blue/green (you can’t see it in the photo, but it’s iridescent like a beetles back) fabric had been my first choice this morning, but for some reason decided not to use it.
Adding the dragon-fly above the other insects gave the quilt a shape I could more easily work with. The two connected now fill out the center of the quilt. It was only after I place the dragon-fly above the insects that I saw the strips of fabric coming off each side.
The rectangle of insects is so striking, I wanted to make sure not to diminish it. I saw the strips of fabric next to the dragon-fly, as mimicking the stripes in the other fabric I used. I’m also trying to pull out some of the brighter colors from the insects.
I had the choice to use dark “Victorian” colors, but I didn’t want to do go in that direction. That had too much of a feeling of a Natural History museum, where the insects are pinned to displays.
I want these insects to feel alive and free.
I don’t know what happens next, but tomorrow when I go into my studio, I’ll be sure to remind myself to stop thinking and listen to the quilt.