Baba. Mostly chosen for its Turkish meaning, father, but reallya most interesting word. On the right, as stitched on the Lion Quilt. The first of many story beasts. Baba. Ancient Feeder of Birds. Keeper of Words. I stitched this one while sitting in the courtyard of a nursing home while my father was undergoing rehab after his stroke. He never really recovered. To the left is the first magic feather. This cloth, as I look back, contains almost everything I later came to develop as a stitcher. It is a history. It holds the moments in which I lost a certain kind of fear and gained a certain sense of myself as a cloth maker and story teller. Each character is identified with holding the responsibility for something important to me. Keeping something safe. This character is my Father.
For HOME, I have named the beast The Explainer.
When I made the lion quilt, I based a lot of my imagery on research and combined things I found into new form. I don't really do that much any more. I close my eyes to find what is there. Maybe that's the same thing, just more of an inner journey. To pull out and record what has been gathered, to raid the inner basket self.
These beasts are imagined ancient wild things. That roam and teach and provide companionship on life's journey. I think it might be interesting to set them free this time. To share them. Let them be moveable components. UnDo unnecessary attachment.
I think back to here. When I asked myself...What if a big cloth could be a giant sand tray? A healing game. Big enough to be in?
Cold moving in again. The fresh wood stacked by the fire (and this cloth) seems like home I think. Nice and warm with a tad of forest. Fear subsiding. Ate from my hand today. Gifts have been exchanged.
So continuing with HOME, after finally completing that repetitive stitching that defines the basket's edge....I ve' decided to use the beasts to define that edge as a special sort of meeting place. To soften it further. I shall use the characters from my lion quilt, the beasts that document the important beings in my life, letting them evolve a bit, setting them free to form a circle on the edge of that ring of holding. Allowing their giving to continue. I will refer to them as the Good Spirits. Here... The Explainer and the Comforter. Just cutouts at the moment, the idea is to keep them soft, light. And perhaps moonfaced. Time keepers. Bridging past and future.Being right here.