Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dove in the Window



I had a heck of a time with this challenge. The "window" theme presented so many options, and while I had lists of ideas I just couldn't settle. I actually mapped out 3 different pieces, with full-size sketches and plans and all ... but couldn't seem to get myself into the fabric stage with any of them.

I kept coming back to the traditional quilt block called "Dove in the Window." During the weeks I was thinking about this project, Roger and I have been thinking about whether to remove our daughter from a traditional school setting, in favor of a non-traditional option. As we explored our feelings (and fear) of departing from a traditional path, I found myself drawn to this very traditional block. Probably not accidental, yes? I was craving the safety of something mapped out for me, and sewing these basic shapes was so comforting! My literal brain suggested setting doves on the window frame created by the block shapes, but as I was working on these, I started thinking about how one bird is resting comfortably in her nest, content to stay where she is, while the other is perched but ready to fly away.

So, all in all, this piece sums up the past two months of my life. And, just so you know, we have decided to leave the school and switch over to home-schooling to finish out the year. That perched bird has flown off into the unlimited blue sky!

The block is pieced. (Look, Gerrie! Points!) The doves, originally from photos, were painted and colored with colored pencils. I'm still not sure I'm thrilled with how the doves look -- but Terry, i have to say that when I was stuck I remembered how beautifully you use colored pencil to highlight your pieces, and I pulled mine out and was able to improve things considerably. The nest is dimensional -- fabric shreds -- as are the beady dove eyes (black seed beads).

To be honest, this result sort of surprises me. I mean, it just doesn't feel like me to me. But it pushed me a bit, to keep going on an idea when it was probably my life circumstances, and not the project, that were causing me to feel out-of-sorts with anything I tried. The deadline made me keep going even when I wasn't thrilled with it, and it came out better than I thought it would. So, it's not my favorite piece that I've done for these challenges, but given how well it fits my emotional life right now, I'm satisfied with it.

10 comments:

Kristin L said...

Diane, I love this. You have combines a traditional block and painterly technique wonderfully. The quiet colors resonate with me, and the scrappy nest is a great transition between the realism of the birds and the abstraction of the block. It may not look "you," but that's not the point of this. :-)

Dolores said...

I wonder if you will look back on this piece and remember where you were in your life and then think that this did, in fact, come from your inner self. Interesting how life influences work.

Terry said...

This really is unlike what I expect to see from you and yet so symbolic of what your life reflects right now. Are you the mother bird, fiercely guarding her nest? I think so. Comfort and safety are paramount. Hope in that clear blue sky. Your birds are lovely.

Karen said...

Diane, to me the whole purpose of this group is to stretch what I'm comfortable with and I think you did that here. Working out your issues in fabric can be very helpful. The birds are beautiful.

StegArt said...

I think your window interpretation is fabulous Diane. Using a quilt block with "window" in it was very clever and then adding in the visual of the other word from the block name was brilliant. I like the secondary meanings of the two doves, one nesting, one on the edge of flight.

Gerrie said...

This is just gobsmacking beautiful. I love the birds and the nest is perfect. I agree that you have done a subconscious quilt about being a mother and your current angst. The quilting is gorgeous. Did you do that on the long arm/

Françoise said...

Lovely. I like the nest very much. And this blue sky is just like the one we have here today. The birds are beautiful.

twolimeleaves said...

I'm so pleased to see the occasional traditional reference in our quilts and, Diane, this a lovely one! Your little birds are beautifully made and rather poignant. I especially like the way you have made the window from the block by the placement of the blue fabric.

Helen Conway said...

I think it is fascinating that our art comes out of our life and i wonder if the act of expressing that emotion then plays back into your life in a helpful way? The quilt is a good exampe of how to update a traditional block into an art quilt - it woudl certainly confuse the authors of quilts show categories!

Tuialo said...

This is one single block or a piece made by many blocks? In any case it is great.