A tremendous impulse to harvest the fruits of my labor hit about two weeks ago. Not apples or vegetables or herbs this year. The fruit trees are bare and I’ve done a good job of eating through my small garden. No, this year’s harvest is quilts. Three quilts that had been growing and ripening long enough.
One was actually constructed in 2011, an abstract piece that was fixed in place with batting and backing by simple machine quilting in the ditch, aka invisible, lines. But it has never felt finished, there was some expression of hand made lines still dormant, not fully matured yet. So it has sat folded in a pile all these years. Another quilt was composed and constructed last year, the quilting almost completed but somehow reluctant to be fully seen, and has remained untouched on my table for the past six months. Then there is my most recent winter woods piece. This quilt happened fast, was quilted in just a few days, binding sewn on and pinned in place. It too has been taking up space in my studio for the past month, waiting. It seems some things can be harvested right away, others take years to ripen.
In contrast, harvesting an experience is but a moment’s work. It was such a pleasurable walk in the woods this morning. There was no way to hold onto the pleasure of each moment, the cool air and insistent wind, the light that kept showing me the first distinct signs of fall.
And I wanted to cry. How much beautiful energy can something or someone hold before it needs to be picked, consumed, or possessed? Not because I was sad, but because harvesting each moment like this just leads me to the next, and the next and the next. It is such a pleasure. I can’t control it and I can’t stop it and I can’t contain it, any more than I can force my way into the completion of something that isn’t ready.
It feels great to see these three pieces at the end of this cycle. It required a lot of work, simple and enjoyable, hours of finalizing quilting and hand stitched bindings, all necessary so that each quilt could simply fall off the vine and be thoroughly enjoyed.
‘Scrap Quilt 1’