This stack of drawers on wheels accompanies me to craft shows and art demonstrations. The new straps serve two purposes; they keep the drawers in place and create a carrying handle. The virgin voyage is this evening. Not all creativity in the studio is artistic.
There is a new designation for this production drawer: quick completion. Projects that need an obvious and speedy finish are here for warm up and cool down action in the studio schedule.
I wanted the funeral pall to have the message of comfort. I chose to make a quilt of soft white cotton, adding a cross, gold leaves, and words from Marty Haugen’s hymn “All Are Welcome.” I planned and schemed over logistics of how to make this 6′ by 10′ piece in my small studio. But action was slow, often blocked.
Then I worshipped with the congregation at The Village at Orchard Ridge, where the pall would be used. We were celebrating The Transfiguration, what I personally term the 4th white Sunday. It is the best day of mystery in the liturgical year! Joseph A. Robinson’s hymn lyrics “How good Lord to be here……come with us to the plain.” float through my head for days afterwards. I know that comfort is not the message.
The pall is completed: a quilted center deeply bordered of sheer fabric adorned with hand printed gold leaves and bound in gold silk. It is light, both physically and visually. It speaks of celebration, of victory. The words from Haugen’s hymn, inscribed on the quilt, “where all are named, their songs and visions heard and loved….as words within the Word,” return me to the prologue of the gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word….The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Mid-week there was a great amount of reverse stitching (also known as ripping) in the studio. Neither design nor construction technique was working. When I rip many stitches one of two things happen: either I repeat the sewing step with more care, a different thread, a new machine setting, or I have an aha moment to a new approach.
Thursday I picked up some of Emily’s hand dyed yarn, which is available at our fibergig shop on Etsy, and began to couch it to the chasuble. I love to couch yarn, and using Emily’s is true joy. I am on a path to completion.
Fibergig, the Etsy shop I operate with my daughter Emily, is participating in Christmas in July with the Handmade Circle. My hands are busy with projects out of sync with the weather; my mind actively wanders over its own terrain. Why do I so enjoy making things for the holidays? I get great delight in making art and artifacts every day, but there is a peculiar joy in what I do for the winter holidays.
When I was younger, much younger, my holiday greetings focused on peace and good will. Over the years, there has been a shift to comfort and joy. Even when the family Christmas tree became a winter solstice tree to accommodate a larger scope of belief, the ornaments were about nestling birds and dancing stars. Comfort and joy. That is what I like to share, particularly during the winter holidays. And I often express it through items made by hand. How do you like to share comfort and joy?