Friday, February 1, 2013

be - a mini quilt

be

This is be. Be is my 12" square mini quilt made as my second project in the 4 in Art group that I am in with Elizabeth who blogs at OP Quilt, Rachel who blogs at Life of Riley, and Betty who is on flickr here. Last quarter, I explained my concerns about the whole idea of making art instead of a quilt, and although I continue to feel the same way, it was easier to make be than to make Garden.

be

The theme for this quarter was tree(s). I spent 2.75 months of the quarter thinking about trees. I love trees, and I have a lot that I care for at my little farm on the coast. To get to Canada's west coast, I often drive my car - it takes me about 14 hours. The trip takes you first over the prairie, quickly into and over the Rocky Mountains - which are stunning and some of the most beautiful in the world, and then into one of the hugest evergreen forests you can imagine - this forest covers basically all of the interior of the Province of British Columbia, which is almost 4 times as large as the whole of the United Kingdom.

be, detail

For hours and hours you just drive past those trees. One huge oxygen pumping, wildlife supporting, wild and beautiful forest. The forest is mostly free of people, there is the occassional tiny town along the highway. Again, comparing to the UK, BC has 4.4 million people and 2.3 million of them live in metro Vancouver, which is on the other side of the forest. The UK has 63.2 million people in 1/4 of the space. The B.C. forest is mostly pristine - almost no people.

be, back view

This forest has the same impact on me as the majestic Rocky Mountains or the seemingly infinite Pacific (world) Ocean, I feel both part of wonder of the natural world that powers our planet and reminded about how insignificant most of the daily problems that occupy me and most people actually are.

be, back detail

After a while of driving at highway speeds along that the road that crosses the forest at its narrow point, about 500 kms, it starts to look all the same. Then I look again and I see each unique tree and its neighbours. This sameness and uniqueness becomes a thing.

be, detail

I breathe the clean air, full of oxygen from those billions of trees. I watch out for bears running past my car - the worst is when a baby bear appears because you know the mama may be there too and hitting a bear is not good. I think about the power of nature and the importance of each and every single tree (and bear too). I think about the health of the planet.

be - back view

You drive out of that forest into the lush Fraser River Valley, more often than not into the shining late afternoon sun. And then I just feel excellent. The vastness of Canada, the power of the forest, it all makes me feel complete. I am reminded to just be. Be me, be the best, be what I can be, be one of the people, and also to be myself.

I wish I could take every one of you on that drive.

be

There is no way I can quilt that for you, and I have not even tried. Be is a representation, and I don't think many folks would see this whole story if I did not tell them. But I hope that be does suggest that it is important to be, be what you can be, be unique, be the best and that you are still part of the uniqueness and the sameness of the rest of us too. You are also part of the community,  part of nature, part of the most amazing thing - the world.

Be was made with various quilting cottons and Osnaburg which is a cotton that has a linen texture. The quilting was done with a variegated gold, green, grey Valdani thread. The quilt is about 12" square.
Well, I am certain you are sick of my artsy fartsy ramblings. You can see Rachel, Betty and Elizabeth's interpretations of this theme by clicking their names.

I almost forgot to mention next quarter's theme - it is fire. Energy, warmth, power, fire as a force of nature.

It's Friday, my dog is home safely in his bed and improving, enjoy your day.

Best,

Leanne

47 comments:

  1. I love, love, love your Four in Art logo/button and your tree quilt. Love your forest story too!

    I think I know what you’re talking about re the Art quilt stuff. I still feel ambivalent to the whole Art quilt experience with the Tangled Textiles group, but I love the challenges that make me think outside my comfort zone.

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  2. Gorgeous! I love what you created, and the story behind it is so worth reading and adds depth to your piece. I love this adventure the four of you are on...I'm thinking about starting something similar. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. It's great! I love that you always think of piecing. I never do for 'art' quilts. I especially noticed the quilting - how you started at one tree and continued to echo. A singular tree in the forest. I think the best part of doing these quilts is the story behind them.

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  4. Very nice Leanne. It's been a looong time since I've made a mini.

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  5. I really enjoy your artsy fartsy ramblings, and be is lovely. I am especially struck by the quilting...totally makes the piece imho.

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  6. Beautiful quilt and beautiful writing. I felt like I was on that drive, just from reading your story! You did a great job representing your thoughts and I love how you have the quilting echoing from the spot of color.

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  7. Lovely post L! I would certainly love to take that drive one day! I'm a firm believer that creative activities help us all to discover who we are and help us to express who we were born to be! Jxo

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  8. I too have been witness to the transformative energy of that forest, and many others. I'm about to leave my computer and go for a ski in a snowy forest and I can't wait. It is a very difficult feeling to explain, but I think you've done an excellent job with 'be'. I know where you're coming from Leanne. Be is beautiful.

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  9. Lovely quilt and writing too. I live on the far side of the forest from you (funny how that makes it sound closer) in Victoria. Next time you come, take the ferry over here and check yet another kind of beauty (and some great quilt shops).

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  10. Ah, Leanne. I feel better about life just having read your story about your quilt. Then I looked at your quilt again with new eyes, noticed the single tree quilting echoing out, noticed the individuality of each tree, yet together a forest they make, noticed the Osnaburg--made of plants--again reinforcing the ideas inherent in your design and loved how it all came together.

    It's been a perfectly singular experience reading this, seeing this quilt. I love it. Well done, my Four-in-Art-mate.

    Elizabeth

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  11. Love the mini, and it was a great post. Especially loved getting the the end of it to find you calling your artsy fartsy ramblings!!! LOL

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  12. Love your trees and your explanation/description. I always forget you are a Canadian (or in Canada) and I love reading things about Canada (I am from Ontario). Your stitching is great - tight toegther like tree rings.

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  13. Love the mini, and love it more with your explanation and description of the forest. Thank you!

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  14. What a fabulous drive you have just taken us on, thank you. And I love be

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  15. It's simply beautiful, love your little artsy quilt,and love your story, too.:)

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  16. I love that quilting! It took me a while to figure out that was all extending out from the one tree.

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  17. I love the way you quilted this little piece. It really draws the eye to that flowery tree.

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  18. You *did* take us on the drive! Thank you, Leanne!

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  19. Fascinating- your quilt with its central tree, the accompanying story and everyone's comments! I echo Judith's word too! This project would make a great quilt show! Looking forward to seeing your Fire quilt too!

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  20. This is a beautiful post Leanne - as beautiful as Be, and she is very lovely. I shall remember your words when I don't want to go to the gym after dropping Z at pre-school. I shall remember to be. To be the best I can be. Thank you.

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  21. This is such a wonderful post, I've loved every word (and photo!) of it! Thank you xx

    P.S. So glad he's home!

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  22. Beautiful post that made me feel as if I was with you. Thank you.
    Your mini is lovely.
    Di x

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  23. Thank you for the trip through the moutains. I have not been there for awhile, but thank-you for the scents, the smells, the view, the bears!! Adn the memories.... I grew up in BC and now reside in Alberta and do not get to the mountains even close to near enough....... Know what I am doing in the very near future. I am going to be breathing mountain air, near a waterfalll and just lay there in the sun and be.

    Thank-you. I needed to get away for a mintute today. This was great!! And your trees - love 'em!

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  24. Leanne, your quilt is beautiful and your writing is so evocative. Makes me want to visit Canada

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  25. It's a beautiful mini, and I want to book my seat on your trans-Canada tour please, sounds wonderful xxx

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  26. it's so beautiful, and thank you for painting such a clear picture of the forest

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  27. I wish I could go drive through that forest! Your lovely quilt will remind me of the wonderful story behind it.

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  28. Love your post, beautifully worded. I love how you have a lone deciduous amongst all the evergreens. The quilting is perfect too, using the variegated thread.

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  29. I've done that drive too, but couldn't have put the feelings it brings into words as well as you just did. be is amazing, and I really love the quilting you did on it.

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  30. Beautiful quilt Leanne, and a wonderfully descriptive post.

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  31. Thank you for sharing your journey and giving such a great idea of the scale between your homeland and ours here in UK.
    I do think that when you try to express yourself artistically it reveals much about yourself.

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  32. Leanne, be is just perfect - I absolutely love it and your modern, artsy interpretation of tree. And thanks to you I left my neck of the woods and had a soulful ride with you through yours (having spent some time in the Pacific Northwest I knew them well and you described beautifully). And fire - great theme and I'm already getting some visions!

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  33. I really enjoyed your ramble (your word not mine). I love the stories behind our quilts. Even the simplest of quilt has a reason an inspiration a purpose. That's a really lovely thing.
    E xx

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  34. It's so cute. And look at the fabulous quilting!

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  35. It's a lovely picture. And thank you for the geographical facts. I'm Australian and our space is like Canada's - vast. My parents visited Canada last August. They took the train from Vancouver through the Rocky's to Calgary. They were mighty impressed with the landscape, scenery, food and people. My Dad was so happy to see a farmer reaping wheat on the Prairies. He's a wheat, barley and sheep farmer here!

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  36. It's beautiful Leanne...I love the way you quilted it. That's a breathtaking drive, you put that very well.

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  37. I'm totally in love with be. And I've loved hearing the whole story behind her creation. I wish I could come to Canada and see it for myself.
    So glad your dog is doing well. Have a lovely weekend!

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  38. What a beautiful image you paint! I really want to come see Canada now! The quilt is beautiful and I love that you share (so eloquently) the story.

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  39. Love your little flowery tree emphasising the uniqueness and the sameness. Your quilt and story made me happy!

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  40. Your quilt really caught my eye with it's simple geometrics and the quilting radiating out from one tree. Thank you for taking us on that virtual drive too :-)

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  41. I just did that drive yesterday! The trees were covered in snow and the mountains played hide and seek in the fog and on occasion the sun would come out and highlight a glorious, snow-covered ridge somewhere. It was breath taking. I never thought to make a quilt about it though. Your little trees are lovely.

    beaniekins84(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. Reading this made me want to go on that drive with you. I have often felt as close to God as possible was when I was in the Redwood forest in Northern California. It is just beyond belief that some of these trees are over 2000 years old. I love your interpretation in your 12" quilt. i really enjoyed this post

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  43. Beautiful quilt and a beautiful post! Although I haven't yet been to the interior of BC, my trips to the Rockies always take my breath away and I am reminded of the awesome beauty and power of nature.

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  44. Beautiful words for a beautiful quilt! I do miss the trees at home now that I live in London, the sky seems so much smaller here.

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