I was in Phoenix this past weekend visiting my sister, and we went to three quilt shops, looking for more fabric to fill in the palette for "Shelter." I was able to find a large range of turquoise/aqua fabrics, a fair amount of cobalt/royal blue and rusty red. I found just a couple of black batiks, with the rest silk and polyesters. I've include some non-cotton in each color, looking to add a little shimmer to the curved strip-piecing that I'll be doing for each swath of color.
Here's the thinking behind this quilt, from a description I wrote to Mary Beth in January 2006:
The shelter quilt is a sequel to the "Loss" quilt that I started at Design Camp in 2005. That quilt was about David's and my experience of loss--of the brightness of Jeremy's life in ours and then the stark emptiness of our future without him. (Photo here.) As I worked through this expression of our experience of loss, I found myself thinking something like: Our future is unremitting blackness, but I don't want to think of Jeremy's future--his existence, of whatever possible nature it might be, after death--as this same blackness. I have no sense or understanding or ideas about life after death, nothing that I could possibly articulate in words. If someone asked me "Do you believe in life after death?" and asked for a yes or no answer, the closest answer would be "no." And yet, when David and I had to find words for the stone on Jeremy's grave, we put this epitaph (taken from the Jewish funeral service, with language from the Psalms):
May he find refuge forever
In the shelter of your wings
And may his soul be bound up
In the bond of eternal life.
I couldn't say that I "believe" in these words, but I need their comfort.
So, for the next quilt, I've been thinking of the image of "in the shelter of your wings."
When I first thought of doing this, an image came to mind--a Durer watercolor of a bird's wing.Long ago I had a postcard of this image on my office door, just because I thought it beautiful (despite the fact that it's a wing from a dead bird. . .). Looking at it again now, I think the colors Durer used might also be a guide for me. The image also suggests the feel of the open wing that I want to capture in the image of "shelter."