Friday, February 27, 2009

Building Peace, Coming Home, Healing

I've been sick with the flu this week and laying in bed feeling sorry for yourself leads to some serious thinking time...my mind went lots of places and when I felt good enough to sit behind a sewing machine my idea for the Black and White Challenge materialized.

I made this little quilt, 'Building Peace' for the Illuminated Phrase Challenge a few months ago. Mine is more like an illuminated statement. The quote I chose to illustrate was this one:
"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
John F. Kennedy

I had dinner with a friend from Houston a week ago. She had just attended her son's homecoming ceremony in Colorado a few days before our dinner. He had served in Iraq for almost a year. While she was proud and so happy he was home, the concern for him, about what he had experienced, and how he might be affected was evident in her face and peeked through her words. This second quilt was inspired by Owen's homecoming. It's called 'Coming Home'. It's full of symbolism and messages in the piecing and quilting, but I will leave that to you to interpret.

While I was sewing this quilt I started thinking of my brother-in-law who was in Iraq for 2 tours as an army surgeon. He was in the first push into Baghdad. His wife generously shared letters and emails that he wrote during his tours. I remember talking with him after he returned and he shared how difficult it was to operate and patch men together, conrades and combatants on tables right next to each other. He told me one day he had just saved the life of an insurgent and he pulled one of the field commanders aside and told him to do his job right next time. In other words, he would have rather had the man dead than have had to save his life. He told me he had never seen pure evil before. It was heart wrenching to listen to him talk. It was rare that he did. He is a changed man.

This last quilt is for him. I call it 'Healing'.
Jackie, hope you will forgive me the touch of gray...it was the perfect addition to give the feeling I was going for. (the challenge was black/white plus one color) Both quilts are made from the scraps from the first little quilt. (there was a LOT of waste in the cutting of that quilt!)

Now to some business. The naming of the redwork quilt. I spent a bunch of time reading and rereading your suggestions. Lots of good ones. Alobsinger probably had the best suggestion of 'I Need This Back', (which I absolutely do) but I couldn't officially name it that. Jodie, Penny and Kate made me laugh with their 'Redwork High' (really liked that!), 'Ric rac on Crack', and 'I'm Not on Crack, I'm Creative' suggestions. They must have an insight into my sarcastic nature! The name I'm choosing for the quilt is "Wonderland Garden". Kristin L suggested 'Wonderland Rose Garden' and I love the reference to Alice in Wonderland and my mom's redwork creates a lovely garden feel to the quilt. So that's that! Drop me an email Kristin and let me know what you like...vintage or new, your fav color maybe and I'll get your fabric in the mail.

Of course, I'm behind with everything...I hope to have a fun announcement next week...could be exciting news for me...I'll find out on Wednesday. I'm so excited I could burst my buttons, but it has to wait. Have a great weekend, everyone!

34 comments:

MichelleB said...

I love your new quilts and all of the meaning behind them. They are very thoughtful.

Jackie said...

The gray is a perfect addition to the quilt. I love all of them that you made. The best thing about these quilts is that they were made from the heart with loving message and forethought. The stories are wonderful to read, but somewhat bittersweet. Very symbolic and I am sure they will be greatly appreciated. don't forget to post them on the B & W Flickr group. Okay, I can't wait to hear your announcement, now you have me bursting at the seams. By the way, the batting is here for Project Improv. Can't wait for those first quilts.

QuiltedSimple said...

Very meaningful quilts - great job Jacquie! Love all of them.
Kris

jovaliquilts said...

This was a very moving post to read. I think your quilts capture very well what you want to say.

gardenymph said...

Jacquie, I hope that you are feeling better. This flu has been knocking out everyone.

Your quilts are beautiful and touching. Their recipients are fortunate to have such meaningful and well crafted works of art.

I was moved by your brother-in-law's story. I thank him for his service.

Needled Mom said...

The quilts will make wonderful gifts for the recipients. Great job.

Glad you are feeling well enough to get behind the sewing machine again.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Your quilts evoke as much meaning as your words - great work Jacquie!

em's scrapbag said...

Your post gives one a lot to think about. I really like your quilts for that reason. I love symbolism. May they bring peace and healing to those for whom they are intended.

connie said...

I am glad you are in an upright position. Take Care of yourself!

I love these and the stories make them more incredible. Thank you for sharing.

I look forward to your exciting news. Have a great weekend.

Marie' said...

I am glad you are feeling better. I missed you and your creations.

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

Wow, these are all so thoughtful and beautiful.

KCQuilter said...

Ohhhhh, that's right--just tease us!!! Can't wait to hear your exciting news. Hope it means that you are being published--you so deserve that! Feel better, okay?

audreypawdrey said...

These are both so beautiful. I also love how symbolic they are and the stories to go along with them. Thank you for a few minutes of reflection in my day. I am glad that you feel better!

Michaela said...

It is amazing how you can comunicate through quilts. Great work, again I admire you for being an absolutely wonderful artist!

Dorrie said...

Out of the darkness...this reminds of my Dad. He served in the US Navy for near 47 year. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the bombing, did a tour in Korea and returned to train soldiers jungle fighting maneuvers during Vietnam. He was nearly 43 when I was born and by this time had seen so much. Never, not once, did he utter so much as a word of his experiences. He did, however, cry outwardly the day the Berlin Wall came down. One can only hope than one day there will be peace, irregardless of religious preference. Thanks for the post. My thoughts are with your brother-in-law and family. Thank him for me for his service, he is appreciated.

Priscilla said...

So good that you are feeling better. My 14yo son has been out of school this whole week, lying in bed mostly. They say it's not strep or mono, but we have to recheck the bloodwork next Wed.

Your beautiful quilt is definitely more beautiful with the gray added. Your work is awesome, your words moving.

Cheryl A said...

Ah, the healing power of quilts - for the quilter and the recipient.
My brother was trying to go to Afghanistan this summer as a volunteer surgeon. The call went out, he responded, and then he never heard boo. He had to make alternate plans because he didn't want to keep his family hanging. Maybe next year.

Victoria said...

I have the deepest respect and admiration for all of these quilts Jacquie. Powerful and beautiful. Just saw Obama's speech about the final withdrawal plans for Iraq. Finally it looks as if there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

shellysquilts said...

Interesting take on a difficult subject. That's what art is all about. Well done! Enjoy your weekend.

ROZ said...

Great quilts. I pray for peace every day.

Indigo Blue said...

A very thought provoking post. I had another look at the quilt after reading the post and looked at with different eyes. I hope you are feeling better. I had proper flu about 10 years ago and I was really bad with it for about three weeks so you have my sympathy.
Reading the JFK quote he is one of the people in history that I would have liked to have 'met'. Along with others such as Emmeline Pankhurst (votes for Women). My quilt is coming along.

Kristin L said...

Wonderful quilts. The thought and consideration you've put into them is obvious. The peace fabric is a great fine and I love the fractured look especially to the last one. Well done!

Exuberant Color said...

I'm glad to hear you are feeling better.

The touch of gray in the quilts is perfect. They are very striking and the stories to go with them very moving.

Diane said...

Jacquie,

You have a gift for conveying thought, beauty, and emotion in a clear and concise manner throughout your work. It is a joy to watch your gift evolve and fun to hear how you live through the process. Take care of yourself, and I do look forward to what is coming next!

Lurline said...

Very thought provoking - so sorry you have not been well! I really enjoyed this Post, thanks!
Hugs - Lurline♥

1/4 of an inch said...

You've been tagged, play along if you want! Tam xo

Calico Road said...

All of these are beautiful. You are so thoughtful (and peaceful).

MightyMom said...

well, buttons that have burst off become great adornments for wonky quilts!!

I love your quillting for peace.

the images are too stark for me to fall in love with...but I understand your intentions and therefore enjoy them.

Shari said...

Thanks for sharing so much with us. It's a lot to think about and pray for...

Janis said...

Your quilts are lovely and inspiring. And the stories you shared so poignant.

I think we all need to slow down and have some serious thoughts about our world and our future. And to renew ourselves to that commitment of which JFK speaks.

A very moving post, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Very cool blog! There must be something about tallgrass that is either noticed by or brings out the uniqueness of people who notice it. Doug Burgum the former senior vice-president of Microsoft Business Division also has an infinity for Tallgrass. Tallgrass Trail is the private country road that leads to his home. I've alway thought it a touch of whimsy when we make the turn. Very cool..Love the tallgrass.

jackie said...

To see where you have taken that first quilt and the people you have made the others for - well I just don't have the words....except to say, let's just all hope for peace!

Rebekah said...

beautiful quilts! I love how you've captured the symbolism in each of these

jmbmommy said...

what beautiful quilts....I love the use of the hand fabric. It is so powerful.