Friday, February 03, 2006

Intended Magic

"When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music".
Kalil Gibran

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This is one of my UFO's (unfinished objects). Many more fabrics still need to be added, the next one being a sunset fabric in orange. It is a pattern called Thirtysomething, from a book of the same name by Gayle Bong.
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I am posting it for a few reasons. One, to put it in my mind and entice me to complete it. Two, to share it. Three, to share the magic.

Kath wrote an amazing post, on Whip Up, "Handmade Things Have Special Powers." This got me to thinking about this quilt and all the thought that went into its creation.

This was started about five or six years ago; initially a gift for a man I was dating. I showed him what I had created thus far (what you're looking at). His response was a ho-hum shrug. His lack of enthusiasm engendered me to fold it up with it's coordinating fabrics and forget it in the closet. And that was the end of that, until I pulled it out the other day.

The beauty is that he's history now, so the quilt is mine, all mine.
And I can appreciate it.

But the magic is in its intentions.
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He is a surfer who has traveled all over the world, yet is plagued with nightmares. The plan was to infuse it with magic--I purchased crystals and herbs with properties deemed to aid sleeplessness and reduce nightmares, and these were planned for pockets on the backside. I purchased silver charms for embellishment in discreet places that would be out of the way of sleeping faces--a hinged memaid, a sea turtle, an enameled surfboard, a LunaSol (sun and moon). A river pearl, an I-Ching coin, alpaca yarn, cowrie shells, and another turtle carved from stone--symbolism reflecting good luck and love of the sea. The fabrics were carefully chosen--fabrics from Samoa, Tahiti, Africa, Indonesia, Hawaii. Fabric with waves, tiki faces, the perfect color combinations.

One of my favorite books:
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This book is literally about casting spells to induce love interests, to make quilts for healing or protection, etc, but there is so much more. It's about adding talismans, amulets, herbs, fragrance, mementos and secret wishes....within pockets or buried within the fabric layers. It's about color and motifs that evoke folkore and symbolism.

It is prayer in cloth form.

So, like Kath said, the making in and of itself is magic. But that we can embellish with our own actual magic is a whole other layer to consider. Yet another layer of the making is about private time, thought, care, observing the moment. Again, my post about baking bread applies here.

More from the book, including this intro from Lark Eden:
"Who doesn't remember the peaceful feeling of being wrapped in a warm quilt on a cold night? It was as if the person who made the coverlet was there, wrapping you in love and caring. There is something of the person who made the blanket within the threads and fabrics. The cloth could be worn soft as the hands that made the stitches; just touching the patches could bring back a picture memory and the emotion of love. The handiwork creates something entirely unique and personal, a child in your hands."

And by Scott Cunningham:
"All hand made objects contain a bit of energy. The process that creates these objects is more than a simple repetition of techniques. During the creation process the craftsperson, through concentration and the physical activity involved, moves energy from within the body, through the hands, and into the material being worked".

And from the book itself:
"The traditional craft of tiny stitches and frugality can be turned upside down and inside out to reach an expression of humanity wrought with our hands, memories, and a few physical artifacts. Open your heart and hands and let your imagination fly. This is your creation, a collage of wishes made whole and visible".

And a final thought:
"Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself".
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

6 Comments:

Blogger Gina E. said...

Your ex is the loser - you will get much more from the quilt than he would have. It sounds fantastic, and so does that book! Finally, those quotes about hand made gifts made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I love giving my friends and family stuff that I have stitched, and I know most of them truly appreciate my work, but occasionally I wonder...Now having read those quotes, I suddenly feel it is all worth while.

4:43 AM  
Blogger The Calico Cat said...

Cool quilt. I have heard fo thirtysomething & Gayle Bong - I like her 60 degree triangles patterns. But in general I like to do easier things! You really need to finish the quilt and infuse you self with magic! I never heard of the other quilt book....

3:43 AM  
Blogger Balwearie said...

I have that book as well! It was the spark for the moon wall hanging I made for my ex-bf (losers... they're all losers..) which I was actually going to hang up on my wall this weekend. I think I'll do it tonight when I get home from work.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

Ohmygosh, I'd nearly forgotten about that book! I bought it on Amazon as a present for one of my best friends who lives in 29 Palms. I never got to peek inside the book even, because I was ordering it from here in France, but it just sounded like a neat book. I have always believed that handmade things have magic in them. (Little kids know this!) Nothing is worse than giving somebody a lovely thing you've made and have them shrug it off. I'm glad you kept the quilt because the magic is yours now :o)

2:55 PM  
Anonymous aubrey1872 said...

I hope you don't mind me saying this, but your ex-boyfriend is a pinhead of the pointiest kind. You are, of course, well rid of him.

All this talk of creativity reminds me of a corset top I made from a NASCAR t-shirt (#38). It's hot out here in L.A. and it's time that I was putting it on!

7:47 PM  
Blogger maggiegracecreates said...

I am reading through your archives this afternoon. We are slow at work and I have the time. I make many of the gifts I give, and if it is a stitched gift I always pray for the recipient as I work. I enclose a poem that I wrote years ago along with the care instructions for the gift. Many people have since said how much they appreciate not only the gift, but the prayer as well.

Found you through Vallen over at queenly things.

1:52 PM  

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