Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Try To Love the Questions Themselves." A quilt from a modern upcycle challenge

{NOTE: There is a LOT of writing in this post. It is mostly for my own reference, so feel free to just check out the photos if you want!}

To finish out 2013, the modern guild I belong to issued an "Up-cycle" challenge where we were charged with making something new from something old. The only guideline that we were given was that 50% of the top needed to be from that "old" item.

I KNEW (once I decided I would participate) that I wanted to use my favorite sheet set. There was a hole in the fitted sheet from almost a decade of constant use and washings.

I debated with myself for a while about what to make. I considered a "whole cloth" quilt so that I could practice my quilting, but when I picked up Yoshiko Jinzengi's book "Quilting Line and Color" I started thinking about her amazing code quilts and her use of tons of white negative space and I knew I had to do something else.

The sheets have a very "lived in" quality... (imagine that?!) which led me to think about one of the most inspiring "life" quotes I have ever heard and that meant a great deal to me when I was in the midst of the life questions that come in one's 20s.

It's from Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" written in the early 20th c. to encourage a young writer in his journey in life.

{My favorite translation} reads:

Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps someday, gradually without even realizing it, you will live along into the answers.

So I used the braille code to translate the letters that form the words "try to love the questions themselves."

Using Victoria Findlay Wolfe's 15 minute of play method, I pieced bits and bits of my favorite fabrics. Using those bits and a reverse appliqué method to I made the circles that when placed together form the letters of the braille code.

There are also twilling knots (almost like a french knot) that "write" out the other part of the quote.

I quilted in horizontal "organic" straight lines...partly because we read left to right and paper is lined horizontally,  but also because life has this linear quality to it. We keep moving forward, sometimes a little up or a little down, but always forward.  Sometimes we hit dead ends (and some of the lines stop). Sometimes new things and new life starts (so some of the lines just start in the middle), but we keep moving and living, amongst the questions.


Pattern and methods: My own using a braille code, reverse appliqué, 15 minutes of play, and negative space
Materials: Old white sheet for background and backing fabric. Circles made with tons of small bits including, Architextures, Glimma, Denyse Schmidt fabric, Oakshott cottons,
Inspirations: Rainer Maria Rilke, my Mamaw Lois who was blind, Yoshiko Jinzengi, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, and Luke Haynes.
Quilted: Organic straight lines with Mettler No. 002 cotton thread with a silk finish
Bound: with a modern facing technique and Moda Bella Solids White

1 comment:

  1. Clever and awesome! I haven't heard of the binding technique that you used. Hope one day you talk more about it.