Trials

Oh my gosh, the sunshine quilt design is proving to be very challenging. Why should I not be totally pleased with it when it’s all done? This keeps me tinkering and messing around with it. “Just going,” as Jude says.

This was the design when I last unrolled this cloth. Yellow weaving in the center, purple filling out the sides, and a red circle surrounding it all. I added the purple jar-dyed strip at the edge to cover the black and white tablecloth, which I didn’t like all that much.

I tried it the reverse way, with the purple woven sections in the middle of the circle. Not happy. I decided the linear design of the weaving was not playing well with the circle shape.

So I cut the weaving into bits, roughly pie shaped, thinking I could reassemble them as a wheel. Why not? Paula Kovarik’s work inspired this drastic move.

Contemplating the pie shape, the purple seemed disorganized and unclear, so I cut some more and reassembled my “spokes.” Maybe it’s a pinwheel! Or a butterfly?

After reassembling these cut-ups to hold them together, my next target was the red circle. Too wide and too heavy. So I cut it in thirds. Being hand-stitched, of course the ring of pieces started to unravel in places, requiring some mending. But I think I like the look of the multiple red rings. (There are three, one is too fragile to lay out at this point.) The rings of cloth will have gathering threads, so I can pull them into three different diameters. Maybe they will be irregular orbits or maybe orderly concentric circles.

Now I’m thinking of the title as “Radiating Outward.” Derived from a Jude Hill phrase “vibrating outward.”

I’m trying to keep in mind that the quilting, if I ever get there, may affect the look of this composition quite a lot. So there is an unknown factor here that will require a leap of faith at some point.

Update September 25: After hearing Leah Penniman’s keynote address to the virtual Common Ground Fair today, I understood more about the center. It’s the four winglets of a butterfly. I didn’t make note of what she said the four wings symbolized, but I will research that and update again.

Update September 29: The four wings of transformative social justice:

  • Resistance (boycotts, protests, strikes)
  • Building (land trusts, co-ops, farmer’s markets)
  • Reform (policy, public education, campaigns, organizational self-audits for equity)
  • Healing (therapy, story, art, prayer, ritual)

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