Thursday, June 27, 2013

Taking a chance and putting myself out there.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about working on a magazine challenge.  I decided that I am ready to share my process.  The Challenge was for Quilting Daily 's reader challenge.  It had to be 10"x 10" and the theme was Passages.  The first thing that came to my mind was "The Final Passage".  

I rarely work from a drawing, but this time I did.  I drew a 10" square and then tried to add some lines for the perspective.  I scribbled some notes as well.  The drawing floated around my cutting table for weeks.  I would get enthused about the idea and then I would be afraid that I couldn't pull it off.  I finally decided 2 days before the email entry deadline that I was going to JUST DO IT!

The palette 
I always pull way more fabric than I need.  I ended up only using about 9 or 10 pieces of fabric.

The Path
 I had originally envisioned a tunnel, but couldn't figure out how to make that work.  So I decided a path would be the way to go.  When I do a collage like this, I put down the backing and some batting and build on those layers.  I had drawn the 10" square on the batting so that I was sure to cover the area.
Background in place
 I needed the "darkness" to show off the "light".  In the bottom right hand corner is the "green, green grass of home".
The light
Trimmed Light
 I cut a rectangle of this fabric for the "light".  I used 2 layers so that the dark below would not show through.  I stitched some rays of light and then trimmed away the excess fabric.

Tree (photo is sideways)
The dead "tree of life" is quilted into the background.  I quilted some wavy lines in the dark to represent the air.  I also quilted stars into the dark.

Too much like Casper
I was trying to show "spirits" breaking free from the chains.  These guys looked stupid.

I then took the sheer and just chopped it up with the rotary cutter.  On my cutting table was another sparkly sheer fabric and the edges were all frayed into threads.  I cut those off and then covered it with some netting.

Covered with netting
After I had quilted down the netting over the chains and the "spirits" and the "light, I did some big,wide quilting to hold it down over the "dark".  Hated it.  I wasted quite a bit of time taking that quilting out and cutting the netting away from the background areas.  I am glad that I did, it works much better.

The Grand Finale

At Peace


Memorial stones
The Meaning of the piece. They say that there is a light at the end, but is there?  Does anyone really know? This piece represents my vision of my Mother and Brother breaking free from the chains of ALS as the disease took its' final toll.  My SIL had some stones etched with my brother's name.  They place the stones at the locations where they scatter ashes.  I hope that Mom and Tom are at peace.  They are not forgotten.

It is a very emotional piece for me.  I am glad that I was able to let it out and to send in an entry.  I didn't make the list.  That is ok.  The second time I looked at the list I saw that there were over 125 entries and only 12 finalists. Less than 10% made the cut.  For a first entry I am ok with that.  Maybe next time I will make the cut!  

This is my Off the Wall post for the week.  And also a Link a Finish Friday. And TGIFF.


  1. I hope you found the process helpful for healing. I'm so glad you were able to create it and share it with QA and then with all of us on your blog. It is a very meaningful piece and I am very proud of you for making it and submitting it! You are awesome! (((hugs)))

  2. Hi, Sylvia. What a lovely and meaningful piece. I like your selection of fabrics and the design and how you solved the "spirit" problem. By the way, near-death-experiences have been documented at an academic level (there are books on the subject) and a general conclusion seems to be that the light is present although its meaning may be interpreted differently depending on the person.
    best from Tunisia,

  3. Good choices! It is worth all the unstitching you did for it.

  4. Good advice for us all here, to get on with it.
    It is wonderful that this piece has such meaning for you.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your process.

  5. From the many books I've read on life continuing after this one, written by scientists and doctors, I'd say you've captured the transition beautifully.
    LeeAnna Paylor

  6. Thanks for sharing your process. It's great to see what you liked and didn't and how you changed what you didn't like. It's a beautiful, meaningful piece, Sylvia. I do think quilting is an awesome therapy. :)

  7. I like your finished piece. I entered something in this challenge and wasn't chosen either, but that's not what's important. Your validation is in your finish. ps -- the unstitching was worth it!


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