Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Map no. 9 (Warning - scroll to the bottom if you just want to see the map)

On Monday after I submitted my piece for Water, Water, and while I was wondering 'what now?' I thought I may as well get on with the next map. It was meant to be for September - it would at least be started in September!

I decided to do a map that was still related to my time at college. The first place I went to was digs in West Springfield...and then later I had a job for a couple years at a Steak House restaurant - also in West Springfield. I had already selected the area I wanted to depict, so next was to consider how to do so.

Most of the other map Journal quilts have had a lot of pre-planning for the design. This time I thought I would just see how things developed.
First I found a random piece of fabric I had used as a sample of some tie and dye techniques. But the dye came out quite pale blue.

And the story...
I started college in January and about 2 or 3 days after I arrived, it was the worst snowstorm the North East of America had had for some time. Some places had to call out the National Guard to clear the roads because the snow had come so quickly that people were stranded on the roads in their cars. and then there was so much snow, the cars were covered. So clearing had to be done by hand. So, the pale blue would work to reference that.

I think if I had been able to get directly stuck into lessons and events at college, I would have been fine. But because it was a small college and because everyone was housebound, there I was in a strange place all on my own. I was studying theology at the college, so I began reading the Psalms. So much of it spoke to my situation...left alone, surrounded by strangers and being fearful about everything. Psalm 27 became my favourite. Time and again in the years to follow as I went through one thing and another - growing and becoming an adult - I connected with the expressions and cries of David the Psalmist.

So, the map. I used the main roads of West Springfield and the street where I first lived.
I traced them onto the fabric using a light box. And then I decided to write out Psalm 27 across the map.

Lately, because I was searching for fabric with script like I used for the first Ramshackle House and for the Horizons piece, a few people have suggested I write on fabric myself. Up to now, I have found it difficult, because many of the fine permanent markers bleed into surrounding areas. So, I decided this was the time to try something out.

I ironed the fabric to freezer paper to support it and keep it from moving around while I wrote on it. Then I used my DR Pilot drawing pen with no.1 tip and wrote out the Psalm. I didn't have a plan, only to make it rather journal like.
The writing worked rather well. Not sure how permanent it will be, but for this it works.

I kept the text to the sides because I thought I might decide to do something different in the centre. I wrote across roads when I came to them but only to the point where you could still work out the words even though some letters were missing.

At this point I decided to write the last verse of the Psalm again larger in the open space I had left.

I have always thought it interesting that David felt it necessary to re-state the waiting bit... how true to life! So many times we have to learn and re-learn a lesson! (Or I do anyway!) It took me quite a few years to get to the point where I was courageous and didn't get in a flap, but rather waited to see what God would do. (Okay, sometimes I still have to learn this again about something else that comes along!)

Then I sandwiched the quilt and set the machine to Free Machine settings and began to 'colour in' the roads and the bits of river which were in that area. So far so good.
Except even though it was sandwiched, it could have done with stabiliser, so it was rather puckery.

Then it was Tuesday and I went to a meeting in London. In the evening, too tired to try anything complicated, I decided just to stitch the top layer to the wadding using thread that would blend in...(while I watched telly.)

This helped to control most of the puckering. I decided to go over the centre verse with black stitching on the machine.

Today between other things and still not having much energy for much else, I did quite a bit more stitching.

And so now I am at the binding stage. As it has shrinkled, I will probably lose some words under the binding, but I think I am okay with that. It is not so much about seeing all the writing as it is about it having a journal look and a main thought to focus on.

I was tempted to do the binding in the same pale blue, but seeing this photo posted, I think it will be brown to visually connect with the roads. By the way, the roads are brown because that was the colour of my uniform at the steakhouse.

And if you got this far, well done! and Thank you. I should be able to get the binding on tomorrow.

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