I spent several mornings last week creating decorative pieces for students playing Native Americans in a local Peter Pan production… Afterwards, I decided to continue using black fabric with Heat Bond to create this week’s Journal Quilt. In keeping with Native traditions, I allowed a dream to dictate my choice… last week’s dreamscape produced a black bear. I cannot tell you how many Novembers and Decembers found me wishing that I was a bear, so that I could purposefully, rightfully load up on carbs and fat in anticipation of a long, long nap!
Bears are associated with the North, with winter, and with wisdom and introspection. Native Americans call them the “Keepers of Dreamtime”. Their energy is considered feminine, both because of the womb-like cave of hibernation and the duration of mothering time for cubs (as long as 7 years). We have so much snow this winter, it’s no surprise that Bear Energy is strong!
(To satisfy my Journal Quilt Rule of carrying over a fabric from the previous week, I used strips of yellow-ish linen — found on the right side of the bear).
And speaking of bears, for a long time I’ve known that the fourth quilt in a series on global warming would have polar bears in it. The thought of polar bears drowning as they swim in search of ice is heartbreaking. The first three quilts in this series featured hot, saturated colors, with wavy lines signaling heat and circles representing suns and unrelenting radiation. I am not accustomed to working with the pale palette that I’ve collected for the polar imagery and find it challenging — which probably means this is a good exercise.
I am also trying to sort out a more streamlined way to go from the initial collage-phase to the finished quilt. If I piece almost everything, I get bogged down by the slow tempo and lose much of the initial feel of the design. Someday I may just slide a big piece of canvas underneath and gesso the thing together! My recent idea is to create four smaller quilts that I will join.