I’m working on a new quilt, a traditional block pattern called Attic Windows. Below is the general color palette:
Quilt Blocks are stable fabric structures; fabric can be re-purposed and re-used when it is re-assembled along it’s grain–and the grain lets you go vertical or horizontal. When put back together, scraps of woven fabric are best assembled along the grain, that is if you want something you can use for generations and also through in the washing machine. Reassembling on a diagonal creates a bias; which can be useful in it’s own way, for something with drape, but not for making a quilt for use.
Here are some short videos cutting the vertical and horizontal strips, as well as monologue about picky-piecing and design elements to consider when choosing fabrics for a traditional Attic Windows block:
The point on the end of the 5″ long strip is achieved by cutting off the bottom at a 45″ angle, creating a mitered corner, which takes 2″ off the cut side. The window is a 3-inch square. The block un-assembled is 5″ square.
The current color palette matches the colors on the last major quilted piece I managed to complete in the past 5 years, the Diaspora piece from 2015, a highlight below. It is my favorite color scheme, pastels and the tertiary part of the color wheel. Then, I remember intentionally trying to use bold and durable primary colors–to challenge myself to use a different palette–only to have the unintended consequence of a new design process reduce those bold colors to…..you guessed it……pastels:
It feels good to resume a forgotten, enjoyable activity; what we love often falls away as we deal with economic survival, toil, labor. I encourage anyone reading this to consider now what can be done to remedy this situation in your life. There must be something you love to do and are not doing. If, due to the pressures, duties and responsibilities of your personal life this fell away somewhere along the way–do not worry! If you want to get back to it you can. When the time and space presents, take the first step, which is often simply cleaning out a space and making room and setting your intentions.
Through the process of trying different creative ways of doing things we re-create; we make form from the old in a new way. You can use your experiences of being not creative when you are creative again.
But life situations happen. Sometimes there are other things to do in the other rooms of your own personal house. We forget about the room where the stuff is that we get out and discover and remember about who we are/were/will be. It’s like going up into the attic after a long hot summer. It’s all cobwebby and musty. But, a more usable space again.
In many shamanic traditions the hummingbird is revered for being able to do the impossible. This is especially true of the great wisdom traditions of the Andes–what we in the States think of as Peru. Get your hummingbird on for when your window to create appears! Because if this tiny creature can do the impossible….surely you can set aside an afternoon to tidy up you “attic” or whatever the equivalent is in your personal life, this so you can start to do again what you think or thought was impossible.
One thought on “Attic Windows: Quilt Block as Metaphor”
This color palette is gorgeous! Beautiful work. I never knew about the traditional image of the hummingbird, and I love your attic metaphor. I’m looking forward to clearing out the cobwebs of my own “attic” and getting motivated to finish some projects soon. Great blog!