Thursday, 7 February 2013

2. Sweet Delight

A new month means a new theme on the Sketchbook Challenge site. And for this February that theme is: Sweets. Almost immediately the worlds Sweet Delight came to my mind and I knew where they came from. They feature towards the end of William Blake's poem Auguries of Innocence. Most people are well acquainted with the opening verses which read:

To see the world in a grain of sand
and a heaven in a wild flower
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.

I like those too but love the entire (and quite long) poem and acquired my liking for the end when I heard them quoted on an Agatha Christie talking book many, many years ago. Sorry but I have no idea now which of her books it was. However the verses in question go as follows:

Every morn and every night
some are born to sweet delight
Some are born to sweet delight
Some are born to endless night

So stuck with those words ringing in my head, I started to form a vision of the journal quilt I wanted to make and it was going to feature cakes. I was sure that somewhere in my stash I had a fabric with fancy cakes and I set myself the task to find it while at the same time trying to restore some order in my fabric supply.  I also needed some sweet background fabrics. They were found first and came from a remnant pack I bought last year while stewarding at the Thistle Exhibition. I had used them on a previous Journal Quilt (I Spy, which you can see here) and are from a fabric selection by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman called Fly Away.

There was enough left to make the background for this journal quilt by strip piecing, layering with wadding (batting) and machine quilting. So far, so good, but I still hadn't managed to locate those cream cakes. On with the search and what I found next was probably meant to be. Someone had once send me a piece of vintage kimono fabric (silk) with a green crane. How sweet! And how appropriate. Cranes are a symbol of joy, eternal life (they are rumoured to live for 1000 years!), and longevity. They are also a symbol of hope. Read more about these beautiful birds and their story here. So all ideas about cream cakes were forgotten and I used Bondaweb (WonderUnder) to apply my crane to its new home, stitched it down around the perimeter with gold thread by machine and hand embroidered all the gold lines within the body. I also added sequins and beads as you can see.

The text was added and stitched down and size 11 pink seed beads were applied to the edges of the binding. And to me this is a very sweet piece of art. All my journal quilts this year made for the Sketchbook Challenge are like last year 10" square.

I never did find the sweet cake fabric because I never had it. Only after finishing the piece I suddenly realized that those cakes featured on a collage sheet instead. No matter. I think this is a much better quilt than the one I had in mind originally, because I followed my instincts rather than my over thinking mind.


Sharon Rotz said...

This is a very eye-catching piece. The beading and hand embroidery really bring it to life. Great job!

Erica said...

The sheer joy of this quilt is breath taking. You must be delighted with it.

Linda said...

the hand sewing on the crane is so beautiful. what a beautiful quilt.

Terri said...

Oh Sweet Delight has a wonderful story behind it! I love hearing about artist's process. IT is quite the departure from your original idea, but fabulous!
How much more sweetly delightful can Joy, hope and longevity be????
Amazing journal page!


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