Saturday, October 06, 2007


Chestnuts have always fascinated me. With their rich color sporting what looks all in the world like wood grain and that smooth polished surface, these could be tiny wood sculptures. They are raining down in earnest at the moment, their less interesting green husks bursting to reveal the treasure within. For a truly beautiful artistic take on the humble chestnut, see what June Underwood has created with silk and thread here.

Today was a day for puttering. Although I didn't share them, I'd set some rather modest goals for the week which were not getting done (with the exception of the journal quilt). The studio was a bit of a mess, so some of the puttering involved straightening up, putting away, clearing a space on the table to have room to work on a couple of those goals. Then I could lay out and steam the angel quilt in preparation for binding it. Then I could cut and sew a sleeve for Willow II and hand-sew it on. Perhaps tomorrow I'll get the label printed and attached, the angel quilt trimmed up and binding considered. Regardless, it just felt good being in the studio, doing anything in there. It was feeling a bit like home instead like a strange place.

I also took a few minutes to sketch an idea that came to me while writing my morning pages yesterday. Upon seeing September's journal quilt, but before seeing the picture that was its inspiration, a close friend commented that it surely represented one hell of a crossroads I've arrived at. Mmmm. Perhaps my subconscious was working overtime, but the idea of this being anything but a rendition of the front of a chest of drawers had not entered into my thinking while making it. I pressed her for more information, and she said she could see fields with roads running in between, representing crossroads. I chuckled to myself. Well, if they're crossroads, they aren't lining up, so no wonder I'm so confused!

Still, it made me think. Sometimes outside observers have a better take on where you are than you do. This was the second time in just a few months that a close friend had commented that I was at a crossroads in my life. Both times I objected and said that I did not feel that I was. I knew where I wanted to go but wasn't sure how to make it happen. In my mind, that's not a crossroads. The crossroads had been whether to seriously pursue art quilting or lapse back into the comfort of traditional quilting. The crossroads had been whether to stay in Wisconsin or move, and then move where. Am I up against another crossroad and just haven't been aware of it yet? I found myself writing, "All I see is a rut - a rutted path disappearing into an unfathomable distance. No signposts. No indication of where it is leading. No place to get off."

Then an image of a woman kneeling by a dirt road popped into my head. She held her face in her hands. She was surrounded by a dense forest. Was she me? I don't know, but I had to try to sketch it. Bear in mind, drawing is not my forte, human figures even less so. But I like this idea and hope someday I can translate this into fabric.

1 comment:

June said...

Hi Sheila,

I've been out of town, so missed your horse chestnut entry. Your photo captures them so beautifully -- I think I need to go out and find more.

Your woman by the river strikes a strong note in me -- it must be an archetype that deals with something we all feel deeply -- or at least you and I do. I'm glad you captured it in your drawing.

Isn't it strange, that two of us could have such an instant response to a mind-image. It wasn't the drawing so much that caught me (although it captures the sense) as just the imagined scene as you describe it. It really did grab me.

Oh, and thanks for the referral to the Horse Chestnuts art.