Monday, August 27, 2012

Seeds from Norway III

During all the time that took me to finish the nine big hexagons (let´s remember that there are 549 small hexagons and 1,080 triangles), I kept thinking of how to put them together. I decided they should have an off white background. However, I found a technical problem very difficult to solve for somebody as bad as myself with geometry. Yes, I know, it is insane to make these things if you are not good at geometry, but if there were no insane people, there would not be a way to distinguish the sane.

After going around it for a while, I could not help but giving up: instead of piecing the white fabric between the hexagons, I would hand applique them on a big piece of fabric, which I did with much thread and patience. I also appliqued big diamonds made with one hexagon and two triangles, to fill the blanks between the big hexagons. I liked the idea of working with two different scales to give dynamism to the whole.

Once the general picture was finished, I had to frame it, that is, make a decision on the borders. I wanted something simple, something that would not bother, but at the same time would enhance the principal motif, the picture itself. With the leftovers of all the fabrics I had used, I made two stripes of different width. These stripes are machine sewn, as I did not see any point in hand sewing them, moreover taking into account that I had all the hand quilting work ahead of me.

I did not feel like basting the three layers, as it is a very hard work that, lacking the room to do it differently, makes me spend long periods of time in difficult positions that hurt. So I purchased a frame with three rollers. It is big and putting it together is also a lot of work. Anyway, I put the quilt in the frame and started quilting. I decided a simple but dense quilting work, straight lines a quarter of an inch apart in the white areas and the diamonds. The small hexagons are outline quilted.

The end result has many technical flaws, but I inscribe myself within the Japanese aesthetic tradition of wabi-sabi based on the acceptance of impermanence, imperfection and incompleteness. I discovered this tradition not so long ago and find it tailored to my needs. In other words, it is very convenient.

In any case, despite those many imperfections, I am satisfied. I like the quilt, it is cheerful, it transmits energy to me, and it gives me a feeling of achievement. I have been able to dedicate four years of my life to it, without giving up, putting it aside for awhile to make other things, but getting back to it over and over again. Slowly, with patience, enjoying it, meditating, enduring.

Here is the fruit borne by the Seeds from Norway.



  1. I am awestruck. This is quite amazing.

  2. My sincere félicitations for this fantastic artwork ! I realize all the efforts it took to put together all those hexagons and triangles. You did an amazing and magnificent work. And the quilting !