Monday, June 20, 2011

What's in the name?

The story. Of course!

This quilt began little over two years ago when I had temporarily moved back to Seattle for a year. 
I called it 'Goodwill Shirts Quilt'.

Because, that's what it was!


I had bought some shirts from the Goodwill store to make a quilt. As I started cutting up the shirts in larger chunks of fabrics, I decided to use up all the skinny and long strips into this quilt. It went fast. 

At the moment my life was sort of like a driftwood, lacking a sense of belonging.
If you ever have moved after being in one place for a long time, you know what I am talking about.

This past week, I had the chance to go on a retreat with my new friends Kelly, Cheryl, Terry and Jane to Christine's house in Maryland. Together we cooked, laughed and sewed. Went on walks and of course worked on our projects. 
Christine's husband took us on the boat ride in the evening. On the way back I saw a little piece of driftwood on the beach..



Remember this?


Time I spent with my mom back in 2007 is one of the most memorable time of my life. We were visiting Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island and were surrounded by driftwood. 


At the retreat, I worked on my quilt and hand quilted away while sharing the stories of my early experiences in this country. 
I think for the first time in past three and a half years I was as comfortable as I look in the picture with my mom.
I honestly feel as if my emotions have finally stopped drifting and my mind has found a 'home' on the beach (here) full of new possibilities. 
My new friends have made me feel at home.
I will forever be grateful for that. 
 
Now this quilt hangs over my fireplace in the family room. 
It stands for lot more than curved piecing and hand quilting with Perle cotton thread.. 

It is the constant reminder of the good times I had with my friends but even more the fact that no matter how stormy life gets, there is always a peaceful outcome in the end. 
New beginnings are tough but sometimes all one has to do is to keep afloat.

'Driftwood' is what I call this quilt. 

For it's life which began somewhere else, had a wonderful younger years like a lush tree full of life and went through rough storms and survived, became sharper and smoother with every wave that hit.

  Do you name your quilts? 

Do you wonder what's in the name?

I say there is always a story.

I like to call it  'The Root Connection'
 

 





 

41 comments:

  1. Beautiful quilt....beautiful story....thanks for sharing.

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  2. Oh my...beautifully written! You brought tears to my eyes expressing how I too have felt. What a wonderful picture of you and your mom and a lovely poignant quilt you have created!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. The emotional side of quilt making is something that I always find so inspiring. A lovely quilt.
    Deborah

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  4. Sujata, This is such a beautiful post! And such a beautiful quilt. Your sewing retreat sounds wonderful, I'm so glad you have such special friends.

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  5. Hermoso pensamiento, me alegra saber que encontraste un lugar donde te sientes a gusto y en paz.

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  6. Your quilt and its story are fabulous, Sujata! Everything about it is just beautiful. I am glad it is finished at a time in your life when the waters are calm. :-)

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  7. Sujata, what a wonderful story. I am so glad you had a good time with us girls! We are happy to have gotten to know you better.
    Having seen your quilt up close and personal, I know how beautiful it is!

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  8. Oh! what a beautiful post. I loved seeing the photo of you and your mother again, it's a gift.
    Your quilt is lovely. It has such great movement. I of course, love the pink and red in the center :)
    I love quilts with deeper meanings, and this one has a great soul.
    xoxo

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  9. absolutely beautiful, Sujata. The quilt (love love love love it) and your words. I'm terrible at naming quilts - for some reason it's just not that important to me. It's the image of the quilt and the time making it that stays with me, not the name.

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  10. Sujata, I recognize those feelings. Your quilt is beautiful, as it is its meaning, but that picture with your mother is a jewel.

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  11. I love your quilt! You put your feelings into words so wll with it's story. I'm so glad you feel more settled now.
    That's a wonderful photo of you and your Mom too. :)

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  12. Once again, your quilt has motivated me to step away from straight edge ruler and pick up that pearle cotton I keep buying... I'll do it soon. I promise.

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  13. Yes, I name my quilts - for exactly the same reasons that you've written about so beautifully in you Driftwood post. Each of my quilts comes from within me and carries a part of me wherever it goes.

    Lovely ... thoughtful... heartfelt.

    That's what it IS all about.

    Hugs!!

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  14. so wonderful. I love the depth of meaning you experience with your art! Thank you for sharing it with us. And I love the quilt- rooted in the traditional, beautifully modern, and deeply personal all at once.

    (I really wish we'd gotten to know each other when you were here!):D

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  15. I am so glad you've landed, with good friends on both coasts! Your driftwood analogy is quite fitting for the journey of feeling "in between," and then finally landing, more mature and beautiful in a new way. I remember when you showed this quilt to us in Seattle. It inspired me to make one similar, and I completely enjoyed the process. Thank you for sharing your talent and your story!!

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  16. What a beautiful post! The picture of you and your mom is precious and the quilt is amazing.

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  17. The story and the quilt both are very heart warming. I'm so glad you met your new friends and had such a good time at the retreat! The way you interpret your feelings and transform them into breathtaking quilts is quite amazing! And that picture of you and your mom is so sweet!

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  18. Oh Sujata you always share so much of yourself in your posts - and in your quilts. New friends, old friends, they are both beautiful and make us who we are. Love the picture of you and your mom, it says so much - and it will be you and your daughter someday! Peace~

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  19. Your words have a way of connecting...I love this beautiful story and the quilt. Thank you for sharing!

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  20. Beautiful thoughts & words, a stunning quilt, and a lovely photo of your Mum with you. from Jenny McH

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  21. what a wonderful story and a beautiful quilt!!! thanks for sharing!

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  22. Sujata, how poetic - love the story and the quilt! It has a good slow cloth vibe, deep roots, original beauty ... a lot of the qualities in a signature quilt from you.
    ; )

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  23. I love your quilt and your story. Driftwood is the perfect name. Driftwood is washed up on shore, found, admired and taken home to be treasured. I am glad you have finally found your happy place.

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  24. I love the quilts you are showing , they have such vibrancy

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  25. I am so touched and happy to read your words. It is wonderful to see you writing again. Your words reach out and touch so many of us. There are tears of joy in my eyes for you. You are so gifted, oh so talented, thank you for being you.

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  26. Sujata - You have enriched our group in so many ways. It's just amazing how a group of women with such differing quilting styles can come together as friends and at the same time, admire each other's work. BTW, I love the binding.
    I do name my quilts. Sometimes the name comes to me in a flash and sometimes it takes lots of brainstorming and sometimes, not at all.

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  27. It's a beautiful quilt, Sujata. And a wonderful story too. I need to get away on a retreat like that someday soon. It is always nice to take a break from reality to get some clarity.

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  28. The story of this quilt touched me Sujata and it proves that time to quilt may be, sometimes, emotionally healing. I'm glad that you feel happy again.
    The quilt is perfect , i love it.

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  29. You're right, there is always a story...thanks for sharing yours, and your beautiful quilt. I recently bought some thrift shop shirts for a quilt. Two of them were really lovely fabric (why are mens shirts always nicer than that they use for ladies?)so I rolled the sleeves up a little and tried them on...they look great (relaxed summer jacket!) with jeans & tee. Now only the boring ones are left for my quilt!

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  30. I saw your quilt on Flickr and came here to read more about it. I'm so glad I did. What a lovely story and meaning behind your quilt, thanks for sharing it!

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  31. What a story and how beautifully it is reflected in your quilt - those flashes of warmth and a feeling of belonging! thank you!

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  32. Thank you for sharing. I think you have found the perfect name for this beautiful quilt.

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  33. Beautiful quilt and beautiful story. I love how the quilting gives texture and makes the quilt even more vibrant.

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  34. I don't know which is more lovely...the quilt, the people, or the story. I guess its kind of like the mind/body/spirit connection. Can't truly have one without the other. Beautiful in all ways, Sujata!

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  35. Sujata, Awe.....Ahhhhh. I sit in reverie after reading this post and thinking what a blessing you are in my life when we CONNECT! Thank you for sharing....definitely some vulnerability in these thoughts! Your quilt is as breathtaking as you! Love, LOVE, L O V E ! Em

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  36. Ahhhhh....I have goosebumps reading that! both the writing and the quilt are beautiful. I'm thinking the color is symbolic (possibly) as well. The red/pink as the warmth/love of family and FRIENDS as the center but the cold, grey parts of the world that can beat, bleach, drain us as we go thru storms of life, that can surround us each day. something profound like that, huh?

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  37. I love this quilt! And the photo of you and your mother is so beautiful. Can you tell me what size of perle cotton you used to quilt it?

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  38. Your words are as lovely as your quilt.
    Beautiful, Sujata, simply beautiful.

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  39. I often wonder about the names people give their quilts. I love hearing the story behind them. Driftwood is gorgeous.

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  40. Mmmm ... well-crafted prose to match the quilt.

    It seems that thereʻs a curious meandering on how a quilt gives birth to its name. For me, once the top is done, and Iʻm hand-quilting -- itʻs a very intimate time, whereby an assortment of connections arise for consideration. The activity is very contemplative, therefore the result, e.g. itʻs name, is also more contemplative than contrived.

    Itʻs a privilege to wander into your blogsite.

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  41. I love the story that is behind your quilt as much as I love the quilt itself. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

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