It has been quite some time since I shared the progress of my quilt about time. But since the quilt depicts each month of the year, I thought I would wait until that month to reveal it. So here we are, in January.
As winter kicks into high gear in January, and our activities are sometimes limited by the ice and snow, a serene stillness emerges within the space it creates. In this quietness, just like the dormant plants beneath the snow, new life, new ideas are percolating. This is a wonderful time of year to return to our creative gifts, when we have that space to hear ourselves think and develop our designs.
In designing my time quilt, I decided to represent each month of the year with its birth stone and birth flower. January’s birth flowers are carnations and snowdrops – not exactly the easiest shapes to start off with! Thankfully I had discovered the Apliquick tools, which helped tremendously with the tiny and tricky pieces.
I traced each carnation petal onto light-weight fusible interfacing, cut it out, and ironed it onto the wrong side of a variety of red fabrics.
Using a glue stick and the Apliquick rods, I turned under and secured the seam allowance before stitching each petal to the background. Even though I was still a novice at the technique, I marveled at the detail and accuracy that was possible with these tools. The carnations measure about 2 inches across.
The snowdrops were actually easier, even though they are only 1 inch wide! I used needle-turn appliqué for the petals and the Apliquick method just for the small green cap on the top.
This is January, in my quilt.
January’s birth stone is the garnet, a species of mineral found in many colors but best known as red. I sketched a faceted marquise gem and selected a red ombre fabric to get the gradated hues I would need.
The garnet is positioned at 1 on the “clock”: the first hour, the first month.
January is the beginning of a new year. We start with the void and as we are filled with inspiration, we begin our creative projects anew. We cannot arrive at the splendor of creation in an instant, but with fabric and thread – and time – we move toward the beautiful end result. Just as we start with a blank canvas, a clean page, a particular swatch of fabric, the void makes room for the winds of creativity to blow through our minds and let ideas fall like snow swirling in a blizzard. As the winds die down, we create order out of those thoughts and begin the joyous task of bringing them to life.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…