I checked my email in between working on Wendy’s quilt.
There was a message from one of my readers, saying she wanted to buy the quilt for Wendy. She wrote that it would make her feel better that she could help Wendy in some way after losing all she owned in the California fire. She said she wanted to remain anonymous.
I completely understand how she feels and think it’s one of the beautiful ways that community happens. When people do for each other in this way. Giving what they can, when they can.
The email buoyed me.
As quickly as I had a vision of the quilt design a couple of days ago, making it manifest in the real world wasn’t as easy. I
Reading the email gave me the courage to do what I knew was right but had been trying to avoid. I don’t often change something once I’ve sewn it together. It’s not how I work. Unless it’s just not possible, I work with each decision I’ve made, believing it will help me know what to do next.
But this quilt was different from the start. This morning it didn’t look like I had envisioned it. But I knew how to make it work. I had to undo some of what I had done to fix it.
I used my seam ripper to separate the three main sections, of the quilt. Then I cut the two end pieces into three more pieces and reworked the blue corner squares.
After that it flowed. I saw the stripes of fabric on the ends of the quilt, like the sky on top and layers of the earth, on bottom, grounding the four directions.
It’s a long and narrow quilt, according to the dimensions that Wendy gave me. I can picture it on the bed in her mobile home. Hopefully bringing some warmth and comfort.
I was making my quilt called Dragon when I got the email from Wendy. She and her husband had lost everything they owned in one of the recent fires in California. Now they were living in a mobile home, traveling around, looking for a new place to live.
Wendy asked if the next time a I had a quilt for sale if I could let her know. The quilt she bought from me was lost with everything else.
I told her about Dragon, but it was too big. So Wendy sent me the dimensions of the bed in her mobile home.
As when I was making a new quilt for Ellen, whose quilt shrunk when it was washed (it had wool batting, as opposed the cotton batting I usually use) I wasn’t trying to replicate the quilt. Not that it would even be possible to do, but I was trying to get the feeling of the quilt and it’s colors.
For Wendy’s quilt I began by pulling together scraps of blues, oranges, reds and greens. The black and white birds came from a placemat, not the “right” colors, but perfect in their flight. I started sewing them all together.
When I got stuck, I looked thought the few Mola’s I still had in my stash. I had used one of these hand-made textiles in Wendy’s “Circles” Quilt.
When I saw the pattern on the red, orange and maroon Mola, I got a chill.
When I first started quilting, I made two quilts called Migration Quilt I and II. The design was a squared off spiral, like the four spirals in the Mola. Migration is, in essence, what Wendy and her husband are now living.
I reworked the patchwork squares I had made, to border the Mola.
As I looked down at the beginnings of the quilt, laying on my studio floor, I thought of putting a line of solid color around the square, but instead I immediately saw the quilt reaching out in the four directions. It did not want to be contained.
I’ve never had such a clear vision so early in making a quilt.
I added the next round of fabric, but then got stuck again. Unsure of what I do next, I decided I had done enough for the day. As if I used up all my creative energy in visualizing the direction the quilt would take.
When I go to bed tonight, I’m going to ask for a dream, to help me understand what to do next. I don’t expect to see the quilt anymore clearly than I already have. But I do expect to have a clear enough head in the morning, to not let me get in the way of doing what comes next.
While I was looking for a piece of white fabric a week or so ago, I came across some of the embroidered linens and hankies that I had. I pulled a few out that I thought I could use to make potholders.
I designed some of them today along with more Hen and Rooster Potholders. I want to finish working on Wendy’s quilt so I probably won’t have these all done till the end of this week or the beginning of next. When I do I’ll put them in my Etsy Shop.
I finished Wendy’s Migration quilt today and put it in the mail. It came out as I envisioned it. And it feels meaningful on many levels.
I never saw a quilt so clearly as I was working on it. Not in the detail, but in the structure of the design and the feeling of it.
I spent some time in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico years ago. It is the ruins of many ancient peublos and most of its history is still a mystery. I remember standing on one of the many roads at Chaco Canyon (I don’t remember which) and having the feeling that it went on forever. That’s what I was thinking of when I was creating the four arms reaching out from the center of the quilt.
The quilt represents the four directions and the interior migration that Wendy and her husband are now experiencing, after losing everything they owned the California fire, as well as the physical migration of finding a new home.
Migration will cover the bed in Wendy and her husbands “new” mobile home replacing the one that was lost in the fire.
Migration is backed and tacked. Now all I have to do is stitch the name of the quilt, my initials and the year on it. Then I can send it off to Wendy and her husband for the bed in their “new” mobile home.
I got to spend the whole day in my studio working on “Migration”.
I was listening to Jon’s radio show while working and I even called in as I said I might in my previous post. We talked about Socrates and how two people come together to make important decisions about animals.
Anne, who Jon and I have become friends with through our blogs, called in to say she saw a balance in our relationship when it came to animals. Something she shares with her husband, Kevin also. That balance helps us each be more deliberate and thoughtful when making decisions about getting animals and their health.
I know being with Jon has made me think about animals in ways I hadn’t before. And he says my compassion for all animals and even plants have made him understand a different way of seeing them.
I think Anne is right about the balance.
Bud spent some time in my studio with Fate and me this afternoon. I try to have rawhide and bones to keep them busy so they don’t try playing while I’m working. Today, Fate got both her and Bud’s bone and stood by the door waiting for me to let her out so she could bury them.
She seems to forget that the ground is frozen and that I always take the bones away from her so she can’t bury them. But she never stops trying.
Although I turned on the heat in my studio as soon as I got up today so it could warm up, I never got there .
I started the day by calling my new health insurance company to give them the name of my primary care physician. The call took much longer than I ever could have imagined, mostly because I’m fortunate enough not to have been to a doctor since getting some vaccinations I needed for my trip to India in 2017.
I won’t go into the tedious details, but I kept in mind Jon’s idea of “dealing with bureaucracies as a spiritual challenge”.
Every time I felt myself getting angry, I took a breath and tried to change the tone of my voice to a neutral one. And it worked. Without getting angry, I eventually was able to voice my complaints and have a useful conversation with a woman at my health insurance provider who actually seemed to care.
That took up my morning and zapped any creative energy I had. But it set the tone for the rest of my day.
I was determined to repeat the best part of the mornings experience.
Since I was already in the “dealing with bureaucracies as a spiritual challenge” state of mind, I decided it was a good day to get my driver’s license renewed.
Getting a the new “Enhanced” license which New York State residents will need to fly domestically starting in 2020, requires that you show up in person at the DMV with many different types of identification.
The Sewing machine repair shop is just about 10 minutes from the DMV, so I told Fate that we wouldn’t be going for a walk today and loaded my 25-year-old broken Singer Sewing Machine in my car and asked Fate is she wanted to go for a ride.
Good sport that she is, Fate jumped in my car and off we went.
No matter what happens at the Washington County DMV it’s never as bad as my first experiences of going to the DMV on Long Island, where I lived when I first started to drive. Still, I prepared myself for not having everything I needed even though I spent a good amount of time reading and rereading the guidelines online and gathering documents.
Either my “spiritual challenge” mindset worked or I got lucky. But it took me less time to renew my drivers license than to give my health insurance provider the name of my primary care physician.
The thought of being without a sewing machine if my Viking needs to be cleaned or repaired, inspired me to try and fix my old Singer. That and also because I couldn’t bring my self to just take it to the dump. I might be able to buy a new sewing machine for the price it takes to fix it, but I doubt it would be as good as this old one.
So I dropped it off at Charlies Vacuum Repair (they also fix sewing machines) in Glens Falls and headed home. It was another pleasant experience.
Fate expressed her anal glands in my car on the ride home, maybe as a kind of revenge for having to sit in the car for so long. I did make sure she got to have a good run around the sheep after feeding time.
We got a big package of Jon’s latest photos in the mail yesterday. So tonight I’ll get them ready for the postoffice for tomorrow’s mail.
Then in the morning I’ll be back in my studio again, I’m determined to get Wendy’s Migration quilt done and in the mail by the end of the week.