Thursday, March 15, 2007

Loosening up

So now I'm thinking 'bears.' Not that you were wondering, and not that I've gotten hamsters out of my head, but this mini quilt project is now feeling like a 3 Bears kind of thing. I managed
to sketch out, roughly, what's been playing around in my head since last night and I'm liking it even more now that I have something down.

One change that really strikes me in quiltmaking, that was starting a while back but truly blossomed while I wasn't looking, is the freedom quiltmakers now feel. So many quilts I'm seeing these days are exuberant, scrappy, sometimes raw, and rarely precise -- people are simply making what they want to make. Not that those people haven't been there all along, but so much of the quilting world back when I took my first class (1978 or so) was SO bound by rules and precision and exactly this but never that. I'm delighted those chains are off but I realized this week that somehow I haven't taken them off myself yet. This is true of my quiltmaking, and I know why I've felt those boundaries, but it's true in other ways about me too and I want to work on letting go and loosening up a little more. A lot more. Opening up more to experimentation and even failure along the way. As I write it, I realize that's the big one for me -- I've always held myself to such a particular standard that I haven't allowed myself enough opportunity to flounder and fail so my artistic path has been pretty straight. Ultimately that's not much for art -- being safe, being predictable. I know that freedom and exuberance is in me. I just have to let it out.

Dean is over at a friend's house this afternoon and is even staying for dinner (he's been talking about wanting to try duck and they are having it at his friend's house tonight -- how lucky is that?). When he's away like this it hits me hard, how much my life, and Ken's and my life, is wrapped around our life with him here. I'm a little lost when he's not here. Adjusting to his growing up means making some adjustments for myself, and with Ken, so that we know how to be "us" again, too. The deepest, richest pleasures of parenting include these journeys you take right within your own self.

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