Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Nothing for a Week, then This?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been neglecting my blog, I'll admit it. I've still been reading other blogs, and loving them, but have been too funkified (and not the good way) to post anything myself. So, today, pulling myself out of it, I'm on post number two. Oy.

I need to give the back story to the trauma quilt. Note that there are no capitals in the name. This is intentional. I don't wish to capitalize on my trauma. Tee hee. Yucks. I know, I know. Oy again.

Anyhoo, the trauma quilt began its existence around Christmas last year, when I was asked to make a quilt for Chris & Rhea's wedding. My Mother-in-Law suggested that it should be pink, as Rhea is one of those girls that look incredible in pink, and she likes the colour, to boot. I, personally (okay at that time - I've since changed my opinion) hated pink. With anger and vengeance. This was going to be a really hard quilt to work on.

But, I persevered. I went out an bought 8 freakin' zillion half yards of pink, from the palest of pales, to the most obnoxious of brights. Some of them, when they arrived (gotta love internet fabric shopping) were more peach than pink. Peach I can get into, as peach leads to orange, and orange rocks. So, I ordered another 8 freakin' zillion half yards of fabric, in peach to hot orange tones.

And, I fell in love with a Jennifer Sampou print, so bought 3 yards of it, in two colourways (you'll have to imagine the paler version - couldn't find a photo). These prints introduced other colours to the mix - soft heathery browns and beiges, mushrooms and taupes, and some celedon and olive to mix things up a bit. By now, my fabric purchase budget had been blown to smithereens (sp?), and I was rapidly falling in love with the whole pink extravaganza.

After much internal discussion, I cut everything (yikes!) into 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 4.5" squares. Up on the design wall it went. Yup, I was in love. It was freakin' phenomenal. I began sewing it all together, in love with every stitch, and then...

Two things happened. First, Chris & Rhea came up for Christmas, and expressed vague but polite dismay at the thought of a pink and peach quilt. I don't blame them - I was dismayed at that thought too. They chose to go with wood tones, instead, which was a much better choice for them (photo to the left of finished wedding quilt).

Second, I had a miscarriage. This wasn't just another quick-and-it's-over miscarriage, nope. It was a three-weeks-of-pain-and-heavy-bleeding, totally uncomfortable, really upsetting miscarriage. Worse yet, this was the first time we had told any family we were pregnant, so all of them went through the loss with us. It sucked.

Anyway, the pretty pink and peach quilt morphed with my emotions. I cut chunks of it away, and replaced them with frustration and pain blocks. These blocks were made simply to express my emotions at the time. They are full of angry lines, sharp edges, discordant prints and colours. They scream frustration. And, they were forcibly inserted wherever I felt like. The trauma quilt was born. Now, it sits in a closet all by itself, and is brought out only when I really need to vent pain. Like now.

Hopefully, in the end, something interesting will come from it. But, when finished, it will still be pink and peach. And really large. It is already over 100" long, and more than wide enough for a queen sized bed - yet I know it will continue to grow. I'm building it in panels of anger, so it will remain quilt-able.

Anyway, now you know about the trauma quilt. It's a good way to express myself. And it's still kind of pretty, in a discordant, non-symmetrical way. And it doesn't fit on my design wall any more (which is eight feet high!!!).


Deb R said...

I feel weird saying I like something called a trauma quilt, but I do...I like it, pink and all.

Glad to see you posting again. I've been worried about you.

Deborah said...

Me too. I'd been worried. But I knew you were in a slump, so I just sent some silent good vibes your way. Did you sense them? I like the trauma quilt too. Especially the fan piece in which the "blades" of the fan stick out in to the background. How did you piece that?!

deb said...

the debs are all hear from now..I too was wondering where you were. Glad you are back, working, yakking, making your way.