This is a repurposed sweater–just kidding. This is a repurposed post from my attempts last year to maintain a Facebook Artist Page. Once I got going there, I was ready to start a blog. A few of the posts were pretty good. This one was well-liked, so I thought I would share it again.
As the years have rolled by, I have begun to miss the art of the story. And I know that is why I’ve been focusing energy here on this blog.
But the renewed interest in words didn’t start with this blog. It actually started with a quilt.
Last year, I began to wonder how I might do tell a story with fiber. I decided to start the process with the exploration of a simple everyday object–the chair. As I pieced each of these chairs–stories began to surface about myself and about the world around me. The chairs became a vehicle for story telling. Through the use of color, line, and shape each chair evolves into its own reason for being. Its own narrative. I began to wonder what a hot seat might look like made of fiber, or a love seat, or a grouping of chairs assembled for a wedding or wake. Here is Ghost. One of the first of those chairs along with its story.
As I stitched this chair the piece became a mediation on white. I do not own any white clothing. When I see people wearing white, I wonder how they do it–stay clean. Why they do it–when there are so many colors out there. We do not have any white walls in our house, and the last time we sold our home the relator said we needed to knock ten grand off the price of the house because buyers want white. In our next home, my husband immediately painted several walls a burning firey orange–refusing to let the price of white keep him from other colors.
I find white to really just be a helper. For me, white is always the chorus, always the background for other stronger voices. So, choosing to do an all white piece felt simple, felt like focusing on the mundane. But as I cut and stitched white took center stage.
This made me think about about how white it is up here in December, how white really is the light during our dark months. That a lawn chair left out for the winter would look like a shadow of its summer self. A ghost lingering from the previous season.
When I finished the quilt, I placed it next to the other chairs I have made, and white once again moved back to the chorus. From across the room, I would glance at the row of pieced chairs on my design wall and not see it. The other more colorful chairs demanded all of my attention. I would wonder, what’s that blank white space on my wall? And then I would see it glowing, quietly saying to me–I’m here, just look closely.
This chair made me think about all the people I know who have lost loved ones this fall. My father-in-law passed away as well as a very dear girlfriend’s dad. Another good friend’s mother died just two days ago. And my friend Beth lost her brother last month. But like this chair, their presence is still with us. We just have to look a little more closely. They are not there as they were when they were alive–in color. But there are real moments when we see them–feel their presence.
There are more chair quilts if you would like to see them.