The Endeavourers Reveal Day: Emotions

It is the day when The Endeavourers online art quilt group reveals the works inspired by the latest theme. This quarter’s challenge was “Emotions/Feelings.”

Inspired by the process of working creatively, I chose the emotion, “Delight.” This piece shows how I feel when I have a whole morning to work without stopping, on something that is just for fun. My bins of scraps and drawers of threads call out to be combined into a fresh piece. I choose some supplies and start stitching, and soon the supplies are telling me what to try next.  I’m sure most of you share that feeling that once stitching starts, time stands still and you can rest in your own little world.

I chose a large piece of black tone-on-tone fabric, which to me suggested the feeling of a space wide-open to possibilities.  For me, the action of stitching sweeps away all my worries for a while, so I built up some rows of stitches to symbolize that defense against the stresses of the real world.

Rows of stitching to mark an area of mental respite.

When I visualize “ideas,” I can almost see them as streamers and bubbles rising up, so I used more stitching to create the streamers.  I had a great piece of commercial fabric that had circles of golden chain-stitched circles on it — I cut those out and painted them with Lumiere paints to add beautiful colors to the piece; then I stitched them down with spiral designs.  I like the way that the texture of the commercial stitching shows through the paint.

Furnishing fabric appliqued and painted.

I wasn’t going for a heavily decorated piece, because it was supposed to show that moment when ideas are just starting to pop.  When I thought I might be done, I took a picture to evaluate it, and then just on a whim I tossed a handful of buttons and findings on it, and I liked that better.  It seemed like it had more motion.

Basic piece for “Delight.”

Trying out further embellishments.

In the end, I placed the findings pretty much where they ended up on my random toss; then I repainted a few of the fabric circles, and completed it with a facing.  And here is the piece:

“Delight,” for The Endeavourers quarterly art quilt theme.

It doesn’t really look “finished.”  The pink silk star rays could definitely have a coat of textile paint to soften them and make them blend in better.  There is a lot of negative space at the top — a place for the ideas to keep moving.  But this piece is not about finishing, it is about the moment when all sorts of ideas bubble up, and you don’t yet know which direction you will go in.  You welcome them, knowing that if they don’t find a home in the current piece, they may find a home in a piece down the road!

I worked on this a little at a time for a few weeks, and I loved the process of trying out threads and stitch patterns, placing and stitching the notions.  Sometime, I would love to make this part of a whole series about creativity — Stage 1, Prosperity –looking at stacks of supplies; Stage 2, Delight — starting to envision ideas; Stage 3, Dismay — the “messy middle,” where nothing goes according to one’s mental vision; Stage 4, Determination — just finishing to be done with it!! and Stage 5, Progression — not perfection, but at least an improvement over previous skills. 🙂

In this piece, supplies that gave me delight included:

  • a scrap of my handwoven fabric
  • a piece of my hand-dyed fabric
  • chain-stitched circles cut from a sample of decorator fabric
  • fair trade handwoven silk
  • 30-weight and 12-weight variegated thread
  • rayon boucle’ space-dyed yarn
  • buttons
  • colorful metal split rings
  • Jacquard Lumiere textile paints

If you would like to see more interpretations of the theme “Emotions/Feelings,” please take a look at The Endeavourers site!