Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quilting / Alchemy

I've always been fascinated by alchemy, which is the art and science of transformation. The word comes from Arabic for Al Khemia which means "matter of Egypt", where alchemy was supposedly invented. We don't know much about how it was practiced and a lot of beliefs include turning something simple into gold. It is simply a divine secret.

What I think is that it can be taken to its basic explanation in that it dramatically changes things, even who we are. I love that it exists in fantasy literature where some of the more brilliant of human minds still create worlds we love to visit.

I practiced some of the machine stitches by joining larger pieces of batting with the dark color thread bobbin ends. I stitched a few inches, and then changed the length of the stitches or the stitches themselves. These seams get hidden in the sandwich. And the cutoff pieces from two-three quilts I make work easily into batting another quilt, rather than to toss the leftover batting into the trash. Once machine quilted, the batting is secure.

Piecing blocks and rows to the Constellations quilt was easy and yet took a lot of hours. Surprisingly, two star blocks need re-doing. Not quite sure what happened, but they are an easy block to make. I left ends of two rows to fit them. 

It seems like alchemy when I quilt, taking all these bits and pieces that could go into the trash to find new life and purpose in a scrap quilt like the one above. It DOES take more time to layout a scrappy style quilt, but then if I was an ancient scientist devoting my time and energy into alchemy experiments, I might get lucky. It seems that what I do now is indeed changing the outcomes in my life, in my quilting too.