So with all the dyeing, rinsing, washing, rinsing, drying, ironing, cutting, sorting, folding, packaging, and mailing I’ve been doing recently, I have been not-stitching. At first this was a source of irritation and frustration, because stitching is what I do, and I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t doing the work.
However, as a little time and space emerged, I realised that I was able to step back and think about the work, and think about it constantly and quite deeply while being engaged in something else. The subconscious mind is a truly marvellous and remarkable thing, whirring away in the background, working out all kinds of problems and issues. All it needs is a little time and space. Eventually I realised that time and space is mostly what my work is about. Most of my work is about the passing of time – how time passes as well as how we pass our time. About how our lives are full of time and yet we ‘don’t have time’ for one thing or another. About how the sum of our total time equals our life. A Life of time. About how time and space can be two sides of the same coin. ‘Now’ – a temporal adjective – can abstractly describe a place, and ‘there’ – a spatial adjective – can abstractly describe a time.
And then I could begin linking different times and spaces. If you’ve been with me a while, you might recall the collages I put together some time ago. These have always been destined to become cloth and stitch, but they have been biding their time, waiting for the right space to come along.
So I’m reworking some of the collages as sketches, planning them as something like 40″ square – a manageable size, meaning that standard width fabric can be used as backing, while still being quite substantial in scale. And obviously I’ve been wanting to use some of my own hand-dyed fabrics. I’ve planned nine of these: a giant nine-patch in the end, though each will be separate.
I’m doing most of the piecing by machine, because I want to spend the time on the surface, not on the construction. This is the first one, pieced and ready to layer to batting. I intend to piece all nine over the coming weeks so that I know what fabric I need to use, and what I have left over.
Time and Space: a series of quilted works. It sounds interesting… and it looks interesting… and it feels… well, interesting. So in the long hike that is life, after taking a short rest for refreshments – onward.