Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Out of the Box
24" x 60"

Both of my children have difficulties with school.  Public school forces their beautifully rounded spirits into tiny square boxes. They come home each day not just tired, but seemingly deflated.   In contrast, homeschooling gave them the freedom to blossom, learn at their own pace, in their own styles, and the idea of mastery....learning the content before rushing to the next day's already too full agenda.  So this quilt for me, is very personal.  But it is also just such a lovely metaphor for so many other things.  Abstractions can be that, different meanings for different viewers.  I hope this quilt will speak to you.  Above all, the thing I like about it the most, is that it feels very uplifting.  Maybe it's the bright colors?

I am spending this year finishing up old projects and starting new ones.  This quilt started in 2011, and has been waiting for it's turn to be quilted. It was made from some of the batik work I did here.  I decided that I would quilt the background before fusing the dots and the flowers.  All the black background was daunting, mostly because I couldn't decide what to do with it.  The idea of repeating the motif of the building blocks at the bottom was the one idea that stuck.  It was with hesitation that I started though, because I wanted the blocks quilted in different colored threads.   And as you may know, if you quilt by skipping around to different areas of the quilt, you will get big puckered fabric on the back.  It is important to work you way from one side to the other, or from the center out to the edges.  This meant that I had to change thread colors a lot.  And so, for this project, I was extremely grateful that I had a new sewing machine with a needle threader.  It made all the difference in the world (and especially in my attitude!).  Thanks Juki!
The photos above are of the background after quilting. I used 1/4" quilter's tape to mark the path of the floating dots.  As I pulled up the tape, I placed a dot and fused it into place with the iron.  And in case you wanted to know, my favorite fusible is Mistyfuse.  It works great for me and I find the bolts of it very easy to use.
The last part, fusing the flowers on and adding the hand stitched embroidery floss....and then standing around staring at it before moving on to the next one!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!




9 comments:

Gale said...

Kathy, what an inspiring quilt! It really speaks to me also. Freedom, learning about yourself - finally - and then the freedom to express that. Beautiful!

Quilter Beth said...

I love the quilt and the thought behind it. I have a grandson who has trouble with school. It is hard on us all. I want him to LOVE learning, but he is only six and has a distaste for school already. I'm hoping things turn around next year.

kathy york said...

Gale, so glad you like it!
Quilter Beth, sorry to hear this. A good teacher can really make a big difference. Hope he gets one! Also, it is never too soon to advocate for him by asking the school to test him for a learning disability, if you are interested in going that route. Both of my kids got help from the special ed department and it did help them to some degree. Good luck!

Giddings Art said...

I love this quilt! Yes, it definitely speaks to me. My son had a hard time in public school. We moved him to a private parent based education where he turned into a different kid who loved school. He floated right out of that box and bloomed.

kathy york said...

Giddings Art, Yeah! So glad to hear that you found a good solution!!

Madalene Axford Murphy said...

It sounds like I chose to homeschool my three kids for much the same reasons as yours and your quilt captures that feeling of joyous exploration and growth that homeschooling brings to a child who doesn't quite fit comfortably into the expectations of a classroom setting. Now that my oldest just turned 40, I am still glad I was able to give them all that gift.

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

A beautiful quilt with an even more beautiful message. Your work continually inspires me, as your patience and continuing advocacy for your children, Kathy. I'm proud to be your friend!

kathy york said...

Thanks Leslie!

sonja said...

your lovely quilt speaks of hope to grow and bloom and the courage to find a style of learning no matter what the age. Thank you!