A few years back I experimented with this idea, was inspired, and loved it … and the thought returned this week with a call out for artists to support the local hospice that worked so beautifully, carefully – oh, how caring and considerate and expertly when my mother was dying, and we managed ‘hospice at home’… 40 years of Dorothy House and a show at 44AD next week in aid of this special place…
Tulips, dried naturally so the petals curl, the musky scent remains and the colours mature.. The still skeleton shape is fragile and beautiful, the scent pungent from the Spring and from my Bees Knees kantha work at Walcot Chapel
Tissue paper, dyed and stitched and embellished onto the natural tulip – but the subtle quality for me is to add a breath, a petal or two, a thought
I can place these in glass preserving jars as before, when to lift the lid releases that scent and allows a closer view. They are ephemeral and fragile – I found that in time the scent will remain though gently recede a little, but it evokes so much. The colour fades, however much we try to hold it, but my dyed petals stay clear and bright..
Playing with placement for a little kantha study. Watching the birds on the feeders outside, aware of an increasing chatter and song with earlier sunrise and seasonal shifts (if to and fro). This morning sharp frost, cold cleansing air, cracked ice, fragile white blossom, a wash of blue clear skies and a walk to awaken the senses
Gentle colour, sensing a quiet rhythm begin to flow, breathing some life into a piece that has been patiently waiting in the wings…
Day 1 – Cloth layered and constructed – free piecing with herringbone and a long back stitch … Suspended in the space and ready to start stitching … Such an exciting moment raising the piece by stitching thread to 2 corners, throwing the ball of thread over the wire and pulling the work up and into place and space!
Day 2 – Opening the heavy door this morning and catching my breath at the sight of it …..the first line of stitch exploring for reach and rhythm – both hands working together to complete each stitch
..a gathering of flowers which by synchronicity echo the colours chosen
I have been preparing today. Some fine woven washed muslin in a dye bath of turmeric and tea. That fragrance filled the air again all around and through me it seems, and I decided on the warmth of sunshine and buttery golden yellows as the seasonal changes are on my mind..
One of the special qualities of Walcot for me is the volume of space filled with light streaming in through the windows. So why not use this to explore working on a large scale – beyond my reach – so that the cloth surrounds me and the stitching needs my whole body to move.
The cerise pink muslin was chosen for me by 2 of tomorrows friends and it seems a joyous addition.
I will thread 2 needles and work left to right, then right to left – stitching both left and right handed ( I am a left hander but I use both and teach using both). Will rig the cloth as high as I can.
I have my yoga mats to lie on as a contrast to standing – maybe I will place them under the cloth so I can look up at it – I will wait and see what happens.
I love seeing these seams – the joining that holds it all together and the light shining through in the early morning as I watched it move in the breeze from the window where I left it overnight so I could look at it as I woke…
Pinning, stitching, pressing in a relaxed rhythm – growing the quilt
No set pattern for size apart from the same width for the strips, pieced with continual reflection – strips joining to search for balance – I prefer to work this way, to stop and look – to try out and think why some choices work..
Running stitch – beautiful, peaceful rhythm texturing the layers of cloth – the quilt lying warm and comforting across my body as I work – welcome as the mornings grow chilly with Autumn..
Why Queen Bee? Because this is the year I spent more time watching the bees, thinking more about their ways, hearing them, tracing their flight in drawings… I think the quilt holds some of this in its choice of cloth, its feel as I worked on it outdoors in the sun whilst watching the bees..