Wednesday, July 31, 2013

39 Squares

Today, I laid out 39 squares. First a long 3 by 13 rectangle.

Then 5 by 8 with a piece missing.

I don't know exactly where Crossroads is heading. The patches are a mediation. Each square is like a little companion to take along and stitch. Yesterday it was at the ophthalmologist. Today, it was sitting in the living room.

As I rearranged the squares, it brought to mind the end of Sue Bender's book, Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish. It's been a long time since I read this book...but I do have a clear memory of how living with the Amish affected Sue Bender's approach to her artwork.

My work began to change. I drew hundreds of individual ninepatches. Pencil. Ink. Paint. Material. One dark patch, one light patch, a tic-tac-toe grid, a checkerboard. The squares filled every corner of the studio. There was a lot of activity, but this time it wasn't frantic. Moving the actual squares around became a meditation.

I worked with no plan--letting the spirit of the Amish take over. Just as I was about to sew the individual nine pieces together, I saw that the squares didn't need sewing. Even that was too much control. If they were to succeed, they had to just be....

...I learned there is nothing simple about the ninepatch. The varieties, mutations, and possibilities are almost endless. Looking down at one as if the first time. I saw the ninepatch with fresh eyes.

I saw a prehistoric marking, an icon, an ancient cross, and most clearly I saw a crossroads...

So I'll continue to stitch and arrange and see where this road leads....


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Roberta. It's been an interesting approach to a piece...not my usual way of going about things..But enjoying how it's growing into something.

  2. Thanks, sweetie! It was fun laying them out. Feel as if there needs to be many more..Just like Sue Bender...I like rearranging them.

  3. The colours are so soothing and beautiful. I don't really plan my pieces so the method described in your post is something that I identify with and the results are always unusual and beautiful.

    1. Not having a final plan is a bit uncomfortable...but I'm trying to be open and not force things. What I've found interesting is that each patch has become a little entity. Even though they are similar, they are indeed different. I will try to have faith that this piece will lead me where it needs to go and will become what it needs to become...

  4. Such lovely colour and texture. Enjoy the journey.

    1. Thanks,'s definitely going to be a long journey!