Saturday, May 12, 2012

Putting heart in my quilts

    Cheree at The Morning Latte   has a very insightful post today.  Her analogy of creating an  "island day" for  designing, writing, and discovery touched a part of me.  My thoughts of my life came rushing and roaring back upon me in a flood of memories and insights of my years.
   I often get comments about the way I equate my quilts, designs, and projects to the reality and blessings in my life.  That relates to my creative philosphy of being one with what I create, and becoming entirely enveloped by the process.  I  allow my feelings and emotions to be displayed in the fabric or design.  I call it "putting heart into my quilts (projects)".   It doesn't make my quilts better;  it does allow them to speak by themselves.     I can look back and see the stages of my life displayed in fabric.  I have shown these quilts before, so bear with me, or ignore ....your choice.
   My twenties was a time of finding myself.....through college, work, marriage and a family, or so I thought.  Then in my thirties, I spent all my time trying to please others.  Whatever was asked, I did it.....all.  I had no focus actually, just a lot of busyness, and I took every class I could.  Comings and Goings displays this decade.  It just gets mushy in the center with no focus.
   Entering my forties, I lost my Dad.  This became the decade of taking care of others, again whatever they needed, I did.  In the process, I lost myself and forgot to take care of me. 

   By the time I was 50, I believed I had it made and all figured out.  Instead of being the time for me that I planned, it became the time of relearning the lessons of life.  The highest highs and the deepest lows,  tears of joy and tears of  sorrow, smiles of love, and smiles through the worse pain filled my days. 
This is Garden Tears, my 50's quilt.  Lots of floral fabrics used in creating  the court house steps blocks.  All the lights in the center fade to darker corners of the quilt.  The greatest discovery of this decade was  watercolor quilts and realizing I had found my path of real expression.

  Enter Turning 60........I really need a better photo of this one.  I found this horizontal layout to be so soothing to look at and work on.  The piecing is simple as you can get.....exactly what I want my life to be.  The bands of fabric are blended by value to separate the stages of experiences and discovery.  The vines and leaves are surrounded by words to live by, and  expressions that mean a great deal to me.   "Along the way, I have learned it is not all about me"  seems to be the ultimate statement  that I can make about my life and quilting. 
  And that is what I mean by putting heart into my quilts.  They  are not show stoppers or ribbon quilts are my life in fabric.



  1. What a lovely post, Debbie! I related to your stages of "development" and know that even in one's 60s, there are still lessons to be learned. Maybe that's why most older folks are wise...

    You create such lovely quilts... it's easy to see that you do put your heart into them...

  2. The dictionary describes insight as "the ability to see and understand clearly the inner nature of things, esp. by intition". I love your posts because they give forth such wonderful insight in your life, your surroundings & your quilts. You have been blessed to be able to put into words your true feelings of life & how you are affected by it. Thank you so much! You are an inspiration to me.

  3. Interesting thoughts, Debbie. Our stages of life work into our handwork, whether we know it or not.

  4. Beautiful post (and quilts, of course)! How wonderful to have found that "path of real expression." We seem to have quite similar phases, tho at different times. Lost my dad while I was in my early 30's and I think I'm just now beginning to find myself in my 40's. I think I've spent my entire life trying to be and do what would make others happiest. Not that I mind, really, but yes--we can lose ourselves that way. I don't know that quilting will ever be my path of expression as I don't really do much of my own creating there (yet!), but seeing yours is a real inspiration for me to just start picking those Island Days and someday maybe I'll find it. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Really enjoyed your post today Debbie.xx

  6. What a beautiful post Debbie, and you found just the right words. You've made me very thoughtful. Thank you.

  7. Hi, Debbie. You expressed "life" very well. I just turned 60 a few weeks ago and it makes one look back. Yes, one can see one's life in one's quilts. Thanks for a thoughtful post.
    best, nadia

    PS, hope you're mending fast and feeling better.


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