It can take an amazingly long time for the bits and pieces we collect for our art to suddenly become the answer to creating a new design. That is why we buy fabric and embellishments without knowing what we will do with them, keep sketchbooks, hold on to leftovers and unused bits of inspiration for so long. What you see in the picture above spans about 10 years. The beads were purchased around 2003 I think, when I was looking for something that would read as drops of blood. The larger ones didn't work and I didn't need many of the smaller ones, so they have been in my bead stash all this time waiting for another chance. The page of tears from my sketchbook was done on a particularly bad day back in 2007. And the marbled fabric was gifted to me by a friend when I told her how it reminded me of a marble wall at the Mayo Clinic. I had no idea what I would do with that marbling when it arrived, but while pressing yards of fabric last spring, mind wandering, I remembered the beads and thought how good the red would look against the yellow. While paging through the sketchbook, I ran across the tears. The two got me thinking about how much pain and heartbreak patients and family who come to the clinic go through, and I had the inspiration for my quilt.
So why didn't I dive right in since I had such a clear idea of where I was going with this? Well, a lot of reasons, but mainly I've been dithering over mostly technical issues. But I think I've resolved those, made up my mind about the various ways I could approach it and have taken my first stitches. I plan to stretch the finished quilt over a 12" square canvas placed in a floater frame and will just be adding beads to the fabric - no batting and no threadwork. Just simple and untextured like the marble it reminds me of.