Before there was old paper and Victorian photographs in my art there was fabric. My studio was always filled with lots and lots of textiles that went into the costumes that I made. My scrap bins over flowed with jacquards, velvets, rayon, cotton, challis, in every color imaginable. Then we moved to a smaller house, with no studio space, and NightFires ceased to produce shows, so I had no need to keep the bolts and bolts of fabric I had been storing for years.
The sewing machine got put away and used in for the occasional alteration, Halloween costume or Glenda the Good witch for the local school production of the Wizard of Oz. My focus had been very directed to rusty things, glue, paint, old paper, I had almost forgotten how much joy I get from sitting behind my machine.
I had been out with my dear friend Caroline, on Thursday and saw the most bizarre and thought provoking art installation at the Firehouse Gallery. Uncharted Territories. The work we saw in the window, by Wylie Sophia Garcia was all rich fabrics with yards and yards of hand quilting and stitching.
Completely mind blowing to me that someone could put that much detail into an art piece. It was disturbing, very inspiring and had a lasting imprint in my mind.
This weekend I took the machine to work on some desperately needed curtains for the kitchen. After I stitched them up with some old vintage 40's fabric that I had hidden away, I took a little coffee break out on the screen porch. I was pursuing an old copy of Cloth, Paper Scissors when I came across and article about making little stuff hearts with scraps of fabric. The wheels started turning and and I thought I was give it a whirl with some of the fabric I had left in scrap bins.
I collected up similar colors and laid out a fabric collage, then stitched and stitched away. I had done this layering effect for a few years, not since the last NightFires costumes that I made for the Monkey King. Now all I have left to do is cut the little hearts and stuff them. But part of me is wondering it I should just leave it be- my little fabric collage. I'm going to go clean up my explosion of textiles my desk and sleep on it. There's always more scraps and more things to assemble. Cutting it into hearts, like I intended would not be the end of the world, and probably the best thing to do. But, the joy, the discovery is that my machine and I are happy friends again. I completely forgot how much I enjoyed it and look forward to our next date.