Saturday, April 12, 2014

Towards Wide Horizons

I returned from Prague on Monday just before noon after having left there just after seven o’clock. It’s amazing, really, how close it is. Since we have been living here we kept saying that we should go there someday – there is a direct train from the next city (not ours, but we can take the train from here, i.e. get to Prague with changing only once). It’s closer than Vienna – which we haven’t been to from here, either.
In any case, the week was busy, cleaning up after four consecutive weekends ‘on the road’ with various quilting/teaching/fabric activities, and I needed a bit time to settle down. Additional excitement on the parental home front – I really could do with a little bit of vacation now! However, it’s my son who is on vacation now, two weeks of Easter holidays...
What time I had to sit down to work was filled with frustration. 
In Prague I had realized that the deadline for entering a quilt for the SAQA-exhibit “Wide Horizons IV” is drawing nearer quickly, and although I had been planning for a long time, and collecting material, I was far from having started. Conversations in Prague had given me two more bits of material – I had been collecting proverbs and phrases in various European languages that somehow included the word ‘horizon’. Although the title of the exhibition is not meant to indicate a ‘horizon’-theme, somehow it had been clear to me that that would be what I wanted to do. I had found several really nice sayings, thanks to Christina’s (Italian), Beatrice’s (French), Ylva’s (Swedish), Margrit’s and Christian’s (English) help – and Winnie and Rid helped me with Danish and Dutch when I met them in Prague. I can supply the German. So the collection is impressive, I wanted to make another text quilt, and during the very quiet Sunday afternoon in Prague started drafting how I wanted the background to connect to the letters, thinking I would write each language’s saying in the colours of the flags of the respective countries.

None of these two sketches really give an impression of what I wanted to do - but they kept my mind occupied as I was waiting for customers...

Upon my return home I managed to find out the maximum size of the piece and, in relation to that, the letters, and started to sew lines for orientation, managed to attach the fabric to the background with only a few bulges and was feeling more and more restless. This would take forever, and already I had a feeling that time was running out. Plus – it was getting all too complicated. Too wordy. Too much interference from my former life (in the end I was researching phraseological aspects of English). In the evening I talked to my husband about it, and his kind remark was “well, what are you trying to say? Is there a single and clear idea behind it? If so, I don’t get it.”  Gulp.
I talked about my mounting frustration, about the feeling that right now I was not really having brilliant ideas, that I wasn’t so sure any more that having agreed to be part in the exhibition in Fagus Works had been a really good idea. By then I had basically decided to give up on trying to make a new entry for Wide Horizons (I do have one finished, which is getting a second chance here.) Then I showed him another sketch which I thought would be the basis for one of the next ones for Fagus Works in October.
And in our dialogue we rearranged the squares a bit, altered the colours.

In the morning I set out on the new piece, entered a state of flow, finished piecing it by mid-afternoon. 

The first cut is the deepest...? Beginning stages of Shapes 20

Today I started quilting it, and it will definitely be finished way before the deadline. And it will work as part of the series Shapes, so if it doesn’t get into Wide Horizons IV, it will be part of the exhibition in October.

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