Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Turmoil and tranquility

In early November I decided to lift myself out of a funk by sewing, without much idea of what was going to happen to the sewed-up bits.  Here's what I had on the wall on November 13, and thought that I might do a composition where the black morphed into red.

I sewed a lot more bits and pieces and by the week before Christmas it looked like this below, with all the black part sewed together and most of the red part still in pieces.  Still thinking of a single quilt with two colors.  The line between black and red seemed pretty harsh so I figured I would need to make some transition blocks to get from one color to the next.

At some time after I had started sewing on the project, I decided that it would be an entry in SAQA's contest, Turmoil and Tranquility. The two themes are meant to be combined in a single show, but the deadlines are a month apart (January 31 for Tranquility, February 29 for Turmoil) and I thought I could get a quilt done in time for the Turmoil deadline.  And besides, I like turmoil a whole lot more than I like tranquility.

But after I looked at the red and black together on the wall, with the help of my art pal Marti, I had a thought -- what if this were two quilts instead of one?  I could submit the black part as tranquility and the red part as turmoil.

Since we didn't have much planned in the way of holiday festivities, I got to sew on Christmas Eve and a bit even on Christmas Day, and by this week I had the black one quilted!

I feel superstitious about showing finished work on the blog while a show entry is pending, so I'm not going to show you what it turned out to be.  I will show you the red bits up on the design wall.

The neat rectangles have been sliced into smaller bits and rearranged for maximum turmoil.  Way more interesting than they were in the first photo, don't you think?  Clearly a lot of work ahead before it turns into a finished quilt, but heck, I have until the end of February!


update: linking this to Nina-Marie's blog; check out what other artists are doing this week.


  1. I like these better as two quilts instead of one. And all those pieces look great. I understand why you chose as you did, but I generally see black more as turmoil and the red more as tranquility.

    1. WELL -- that gives me a lot to think about!!! (the trouble with theme shows -- one woman's turmoil is another woman's tranquility!!)

    2. I was thinking the same about the black side reading tranquil rather than turmoil. Red has more vibrancy for me but I do not read that as turmoil necessarily. But it's. your quilt & your emotions. Or rather, quilts. I do think it a good move to make companion pieces rather than try to merge the two sides into one piece.

    3. Reds makes me happy, which could also read as a tumultuous false gaiety. Blacks make me reflective and calm, but could also reflect a depressive turmoil. Depends on the mood of the viewer in the moment.
      Either way, your quilts are brilliant, as always.

  2. I love where this is going. One quilt or two, it's going to be great!

  3. It looks really interesting, looking forward to see more

  4. I love the red cut into pieces, can't wait to see what you do with them. The black is tranquil to me, the red is jazzy and active.

  5. Very cool, both of them. Indeed, it will be interesting which one you decide is which. Perhaps how smoothly they come together will decide which one is tranquil and which is turmoil?