I could make all kinds of excuses for myself about my blog writing performance over the last couple of months, but I think instead, I’ll just say–I’m back.
One of my goals for the summer was to actually complete new work while out in McCarthy. My studio is still really just the living room of our cabin–but soon, very soon–the the pile of lumber behind our woodshed will be a super cute solar power sewing studio. In the meantime, this is my work space.
And this is my sewing machine. I think I have finally found the best Bernina model ever–at least as far as the non-computerized versions are concerned. This is a 1030, and she is a rock star with every feature I love and nothing else.
The last component of working out in McCarthy is the amazing solar system Walt installed last summer. I can iron without a generator! Sewing machines take very little power, but getting an iron hot is a huge suck on your energy system. I very much want to thank the Sustainable Arts Foundation for awarding me the funds to purchase the solar system I needed to create my work out in McCarthy.
With my systems in place the only thing left was for me to do the work.
When I start a new quilt, I sometimes trick myself into getting going by just telling myself, “All you are going to do Maria is create a quilt out of scraps. That’s easy. You can do that.” Somehow, making the goal small instead of lofty makes me get in there and do the work. If I start by saying, “Maria, you must make a masterpiece.” I freeze.
So here are my scraps. I’ve made several blue and white quilts and these bits are all left over from those projects–some are more than ten years old. I love having bits from one quilt show up in another quilt. It’s as if they are characters, and they are showing up in each other’s stories.
I started piecing with the goal of just using these bits up. This was my first idea.
It was okay, but nothing special. I decided to add some more of the pieced quilt blocks into the quilt.
Finally, after three days of work, I was on to something! There is a point in each of my compositions when I lock in. I know where I want the piece to go, and now it is just a matter of cutting, stitching, and ironing.
And then throwing it all up on the design wall and moving it around. So I did that for another two days. Honestly, this is the most painful part of the process. Over and over again, I moved things around. I analyzed how each bit works with the next bit and then how they all work together. It’s micro to macro over and over again.
Until finally the pieces all fit together in a way that makes me feel at peace. Ahhhhhh. That fleeting moment of satisfaction that comes with creating a realized compostion.
Solar Blue is my first totally solar powered quilt composition. I wanted to name it something that celebrated that fact, but the quilt was blue not red or orange which could easily be about the sun. Finally, I decided that we’ve got good solar juice when the skys are blue. The fact is the sun is always shining, but it isn’t always sunny. It’s only sunny when the skies are blue.