Friday, June 26, 2015

Small Machine Quilting

I spent the day working on small machine quilting a practice project I am making for an old friend of the family. Well, he's not any older than we are so maybe that is better that I call him a long-time friend of the family. It surprised me when he signed up for one of my PayItForward projects because its been decades since I've seen him. My Sons have great memories of him & encouraged me to make this for him. 

Facebook, as one of the social networks, restores a lot of those friendly separations caused either by changing interests or locations, and joins us to one another electronically. Our busy lives would normally keep us separated but social networks match us up again. We can pop onto our news feed and see what each other is up to. FB works for me here at home.

This will actually be the last PIF project that I have planned. Going forward, my practice quilts will be made from the random scrap pieces, and will go out to family and friends as comfort quilts as need arises. I want to use up scraps without patterns and go for the random scrappy look. I might do Random Acts of Kindness without asking for folks to keep the giving going.

And then, there is the 'Mother Watch' goings-on, even though I am not a physical part of the discussions and planning and enter into them from a distance. It takes work to stay in touch across the country without adding to stressors that those who are working with it in real time go through. I listen more than I speak which is always good.

For those rare times when I get to feeling out of sorts, I own a few classic videos that help distract me. "Aliens" (1986) is one of them, and no matter how many times I see it, it still helps me get out of my own head. I don't jump the way I used to when the aliens appear, & I could probably recite every line, inflections and all. If all I wanted was to jump of my own skin, I'd watch "Jaws", and that is NOT going to happen. The characters in the videos never change, never age. The storyline begins and ends the same way every time. For me, with this one, its always seeing the Maiden-Mother-Crone played out against the patriarchy (seen as the military and big business). It is a SciFi classic. I think that it also speaks to the enemy without as well as the enemy within and so there is always a lot for me to think about as I view it.

Its always a new story in some way for me and I do take care to watch for certain things I know I missed the 50 jillion other times I watched it. Today, I did a search for the SciFi Queen, Sigourney Weaver's net worth to discover that after 30 years in the industry, she is worth $40 million. Most of the other actors in the film didn't amount to much. 

Most female actors disappear around age 40, however, Weaver is one of the few that kept going and got recognition for her work through the Academy with 3 Oscars. That is huge. Huge for a female, huge for scifi, huge for her age.

Some time ago, I learned that she is anti-gun and in this movie slings a very bad ass weapon and shoots like no body's business. Sometimes I see myself toting that gun and blasting my inner demons in the moment. It has become good therapy for me as a way to vicariously express righteous indignation and rage.

I've never been much of a lover of violence and cannot watch when people beat on each other or are otherwise mean and cruel. I need the imaginary antagonists even though in real life, I do understand their point of view as well.

How does this relate to quilting? Well, its about the energy that I feel as I work. If a movie or video that is all about make believe can distract me from falling victim to a negative loop, then I can work on my quilting projects without damaging the energy I put into them. 

I am a storyteller and love a good story. I am a quilter and put a lot of love and myself into my work. No one will give me the equivalent of an Oscar for this work. Its all about me and personal satisfaction I find in doing this fabric art. And it is enough.