No matter how old I get, I can't seem to get over the habit of making a few new resolutions at the beginning of every new year. And this year is no different. Some of them are those ones we all make - get more exercise, eat a healthier diet, and so on and so forth. But one resolution I've made for myself this year is to blog every Sunday, and to share my work and my world in this space whether something truly remarkable is going on or not. I have very little idea who reads this blog, but am doing this for myself as much as for anyone else, so will carry on regardless. It's a form of journalling really, and I am a journaller from way back.
It was difficult to decide what stitching to bring with me, but in the end I settled a couple of handwork projects and a selection of fabric scraps - lots of these in the yellow/orange/red range. One of the handwork projects is my Traveller's Blanket that I've been working on for more than two years now, and only has one block left to be stitched before I can baste it to the backing and stitch it all together. Each block features a different leaf from a different place, some from my own back yard, and some from places as far-flung as Uganda and New Zealand, and each is hand-stitched onto a background rectangle with embroidery floss. The very last block will feature a piece of seaweed - an underwater leaf, I'm thinking - picked up on a nearby beach while we were taking Griff for one of his first walks.
Meanwhile I've spread the fabrics I brought with me from home all over the dining room table - my sweetie is starting to complain that I'm invading his space, but I see lots of room for his computer, don't you? - and have started sewing little rectangles together. I'm not quite where it's going yet, but it feels good to be stitching again. Emily has loaned me her little Janome, and it's working just fine for now, although I must confess that I can be heard doing a little moaning from time to time, missing the luxury of the Bernina I'm more used to sewing on. And a piece of fleece hung over an oil painting is working as my design wall.
Just before coming to New Zealand in mid-December, I made a quilt for a friend whose mother is dying. She called it a "prayer quilt", a term that was new to me. She and her three sisters wanted to have a quilt with which to cover their mother in her hospital bed, while also covering her in prayers. Instead of the usual quilting it was "tied", with the ties only being completed when she and her sisters got together and offered prayers for their mother. Ena (their Mom) is Dutch, and one of her great loves all her life was her garden and flowers. Miranda told me she can remember when she was quite small, and she and her sisters and her mother would walk down the lanes near their family farm in the Fraser Valley, picking wildflowers to bring home. So it seemed appropriate to choose blue and yellow floral fabrics for the quilt and a fairly simple rectangle pattern in which to set them.
It just struck me that the little red rectangles I'm piecing right now echo the rectangles in Ena's Quilt. Only they're very much smaller and I still have only the vaguest idea what this piece is going to be about. It's a very satisfying shape to me, and I'm happy to be working with the collection of reds I've been collecting for a little while now, thinking that I'd like to work with them in a new project. I will be very interested to see where it leads. Perhaps being away from my abundant stash at home will help me to focus better on what I'm working on, as my mind does seem to run off madly in all directions with new ideas at times. That would be a definite bonus. As a post I read on Facebook lately described it, being creative is like being a person with 2,794 browsers open all at the same time. Love it!