Tuesday, May 1, 2012

you are here

Hmmm....I may be 'here' but with this quilt I never felt as if I got 'there'! It still feels very unfinished but I don't know what is coming next. It's origins are my thoughts about my nearly-grown children and the idea that life does not come with a roadmap. This is my attempt to create a Life Map. Life begins somewhere off the edge (wherever we were before) and continues off the edge (wherever we go next!) so the edges will remain as they are - no neat, tidy bindings in real life - and the threads wander off into the ether. The only constant points of reference are longitude and latitude representative of God/Spirit/Truth/Love and Family (by which I mean those people in your life, related or not, who are always there for you). Along the way are diversions, false starts, progress, people who walk alongside us for a time, setbacks. Initially I thought the quilt would include advice and admonishments but it's not that simple, is it? Each person's map needs different words, different directions. I suppose the point is that there IS no map for life. We all have to make it up as we go along, so I doubt that this quilt will ever be finished. It's only in hindsight that we know what our map looks like and my map isn't even slightly done.
In terms of technical stuff, what really bothers me about this quilt is the complete lack of focal point (I suppose the circle is a focal point except that it's poorly placed for that role). Maybe that's a reflection of my own lack of focus on this project?? I guess some work and some just don't!

13 comments:

Kristin L said...

I really like how you've connected latitude and longitude to the constants in life. Conceptually, I'm right there with you on this one, and yes, it's hard to make a roadmap when you're making it up as you go along (as things go in life). If it makes you feel any better, the colors and patterns are very nice and comforting and despite a lack of focus or organization (or whatever it is that feels unresolved), your life map looks comforting and friendly. I could live with that. :-)

Monika said...

I completely agree with your interpretation of a map of 'life', I made a piece recently with similar inspiration and it is still pinned to my design wall, waiting further development - but could such a piece ever be FINISHED in the traditional sense before one's life is finished?!?!
Your langitude / longitude lines also remind me of crossroads we get to in life, or of the way our lifes cross other people's. I am quite fascinated with the whole topic at the moment, maybe it's an age thing (turning 40 this year lol but also I am seriously thinking about where I want to be and what I want to do). Sorry, long monologue, but I am always lookign forward to your new work!!! xo

Karen said...

I think the handstitching meandering thru this and the unfinished edges really say it all Kirsty, I think it's supposed to be left undone.

Gerrie said...

You stole my line and title!!! LOL! Your red focal point and my red arrow focal point are both a bit off where they should be, but so are we!! I love the unfinished aspect of this piece. I was happy that I could enlarge it and see your stitching details. You are not finished and so your map should not be finished.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Map of life was definitely a great way to think of this theme.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

How many times have your kids asked "are we there yet?" This map is a perfect response.

The grid lines in this composition remind me of ordinance survey maps and Girl Guide orienteering excursions. Now where did I put my compass?

Nikki said...

The theme of Maps seems to have brought about the same thoughts in both of us. I completely agree with the fact that we only know what our map looks like in hindsight--I was only able to map the past in mine.

I really like the soft colors. They are a nice reminder to relax as we travel the crazy paths and search for our way.

Terry said...

This seems so very personal, in such a wonderful way! Having "known" you for more than four years now the picture that emerges is someone for whom family is everything, a person who meets diversity with a positive attitude, someone who is thrilled by the beauty of the world and someone who would rather have a good time and a hearty laugh than waste time trying to make everything perfect. Funny, I can see all those things in this cheerful, sunshiny piece. How can you have a focal point when there is so much to see and do? This piece says life is rich and good. I hope that is what it means to you.

Diane Perin Hock said...

Oh, Kirsty, I love the soft, meandering feel of this... I love what you've said, too. It's a beautiful blend of tradition and structure , and unpredictable surprises. What a lovely response to the theme.

Renate said...

I have often found it difficult to put into words my thoughts that have been the inspiration for a piece. Your post has done an exemplary job of giving me a deep sense of what you were expressing in this piece, and you have said it wonderfully.

Deborah Boschert said...

I really love the "unfinished" edges and trailing thread tails. I loved clicking to see an enlargement where I can enjoy all the stitching and embellishments. There is so much detail and thought in this piece. It really walks a very graceful line between simple and complicated.

Helen Conway said...

This seems to be a soft and comfortable life! I note that the life lines meander and loop but all basically continue left to right as they should do which is good. i agree that it lacks a focal point but so does most people's lifes which are a series of small events not one big eyecatching one. Besides, everytime I look at a map the place I want to go is on the fold so I am not suprised your focal point is just off the map!

Françoise said...

Even if it is unfinished, your map looks calm and reassuring. And it's a very beautiful quilt.