October 06, 2015

Peace, uncertainty, and beauty


Someone asked me recently "What do you want most in the world, and what are you most afraid of?" What I want most in the world is a peaceful home. Sometimes to promote that peace I quilt. Sometimes to provide for that peace I don't quilt. Maybe I take a nap or take the kids camping. Maybe I handle errands or play too many games of Uno. But the quilting and the not quilting are two sides of the same coin. Peace. I guess that's my way of saying this quilt is taking a while to finish, and I'm ok with that. 


If you had told me two years ago my quilting would look like this I'd have thought you were dead wrong. But we keep learning, surprising ourselves. I'm glad to have this outlet for experimentation, revolutionary shifts and whimsy. My work in health care is not like that. It's careful, practical, double checking, safe.


In art there is no safe. If I'm where it's safe, it doesn't feel like art anymore. And that's fine, quilting doesn't have to always be in art territory. When it does feel like art to me, I feel a little naked. A little like I've swum out too deep. I can feel like that in the middle of these stitching sessions, when I don't know what I will stitch next. And then I keep going and step back to look at it and I like it. That's the real magic of stitching like this. Seeing how without premeditation a story appears in thread, uncertainty becomes beauty.  Straw into gold.

If you're in Portland and want to try it out yourself, come be a part of my class at Modern Domestic. I'll tell you all the little tricks I use to make this kind of magic happen. And you can turn your uncertainty into beauty too.

16 comments:

Christine Barnsley said...

Just love your quilting Christina! It always looks beautiful! Christine x

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Your quoting is so interesting..love seeing what you ar up to.

Ophelia said...

Your quilting, above all others, is a peaceful sort of Zen. It's not too busy, not too formal, and just the right amount of whimsical. I aspire to quilt like you, and love your craftsy classes. Thanks for my morning moment of calm!

Elsie Montgomery said...

You expressed this very well, and I'm encouraged also. You are right... being artistic is being vulnerable, and most of us don't like that feeling. Living with it is also describes faith.
My hubby is working this week in Portland, doubtful for the 28, but if that happens, I hope I can go with him and be in your class! How cool that would be!

Alycia said...

Beautiful!!!!!

MadHappyCrafter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadHappyCrafter said...

Well said, everything you said in this post, you said so beautifully and truthfully, and your understanding of going toward the uncertainty and being open is what leads to beauty - in life and art. Your quilts show this trust in the process of life. It's what I love most about art - art teaches us how to live in the uncertainty and trust.

Karen H said...

I felt the same way about my quilting. I never thought I would be able to do it but with practice is comes along and I surprise myself with the results that I get.

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Lara B. said...

"Uncertainty becomes beauty" You expressed what artistic quilting means so well Christina. I've been learning about that feeling too, of swimming out too deep and being half frightened / half exhilarated. A bunch of us in the Ad Hoc Improv Group have been discussing how improv quilting makes us feel and so I can relate completely to what you are saying.
Peace Be With You, my friend.

Sarah Craig said...

Oh, how I wish I was in Portland! It would be so much fun to take one of your classes...

Debbie at The Quilt Journal said...

I love all your insights- life is about a balance of families, work and self. It's not a out the finishes- it's about the journey I wish I was in Portland to take your class too !!!

sophie said...

I wish I were in Portland ... I love your work and completely identify with your statement that without uncertainty, it doesn't feel like art. Sometimes I feel like making a quilt from someone else's pattern is too predictable. I know how it's going to turn out and because I'm making few decisions, it feels to me more like home deco sewing than making art ... even when the end result is quite beautiful.

Willit Neverend said...

I'm glad that you have an outlet for your creativity to balance the rigidness of your job, and I'm glad that you share it with us. I've been feeling a little crumby lately and I think its from not doing anything creative for ages (or at least doing something creative would help balance things).

Bilal Ch said...

nice

icluesew said...

I love the class! I practiced and planned 2 quilts while watching. It is an awesome way to quilt freehand. The explanations are simplified and invaluable!

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