Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out of the Crayon Box: Color in the lines

Out of the Crayon Box
One of my latest creations is this quilt I worked on while helping my father to care for my mom who was dying of terminal cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.  It was a difficult, depressing job and I would not change one minute of dirty diapers, spoon feedings, three hour trips to Shreveport, exposure to radiation because she couldn't understand enough to sit or lie through x-rays, PET scans, and other tests, and whatever else the doctors could dream up.  Needless to say, I was in dire need of some bright colors and happy thoughts when I walked into my studio. 
lower left corner
lower right corner
I had been thinking of creating a quilt that looked like plaid using the colors in the fabric.  As I often do with queen sized quilts, I also wanted to add a wide border of flowers around the blocks.  I wanted the quilt to also be a study in color.  A way for me to look at color differently.  As I began working to figure out how to build blocks, I decided to include primary and secondary colors.  The blocks could be repeated to forms the plaid look.  I drew the lines and filled them in with crayons I borrowed from the grand-children.  While doing so, it occurred to me that I could put primary colors in the vertical lines and secondary colors in the horizontal lines.  Then the intersections could be tertiary colors.   What a great idea!   From there, the going got easier.  I determined how wide each line would be and jotted down the dimensions of each fabric piece.  Using this map, I cut the fabric and sewed a test block.  And it worked!

Yeah!  Now I really got busy cutting and sewing.  It's really amazing to watch as something you've designed builds up from one block to enough blocks for a queen-sized quilts.  Of course, this process may seem fast but it took weeks as I wasn't able to work on the quilt every day.  But it was a welcome relief from the sadness in my life as I watch mom get sicker and sicker.  As she became more and more sick, she also lost more and more of herself, which was even sadder for me.  It was as if every day she lost a little bit of who she was.  Not just her memories were gone, but also her ability to speak, her ability to perform the most basic of human functions, such as feeding herself, dressing, moving, walking, even sitting after one of us lifted her off the wheelchair or bed was impossible.   A week of tiny losses added up to a big loss and from Sunday to Sunday she might lose a function that we take for granted.  

upper left corner

Back of quilt

Yes, it won a ribbon at our local quilt guild show.


1 comment:

Tyra said...

This is beautiful! I love the appliqué. I'm always so intimidated by appliqué.