For the past 15+ years I've taken part in an annual challenge to make an art quilt. There is always a theme, and the quilts are then shown in a special exhibition at one or more quilt shows. Each year's challenge always has a theme to it. And the idea is that each person will try to stretch themselves in some way as they make their quilt.
This year's theme is "Dream Big". And for me that big dream is paying off all of my debts so that I can live debt-free with the possible exception of a house at some point in the future. I've made progress over the last couple of years, but there are several more years to go before I'll be there......hence my big dream. One lesson that is all too well learned is that when deeply in debt and struggling to make ends meet, so many of the pleasures in life such as family, friends, hobbies, travel, church, giving to others and so many more cannot be enjoyed because ones focus is utterly consumed with survival.
Having been down this road before and now doing it again, paying off debts, especially where I started from just a couple of years ago the process has ups and downs. And in many ways is like a rafting trip down a turbulent river towards the calm at the end of the trip. And thus my choice of how to depict my dream.
I plan to improv-applique/piece a river depicting the stages that one would go through on a white-water rafting trip with 4 basic stages. Each of the succeeding stages will have water that is less and less turbulent, ending with calm water that you can see the river bed below and all that the river contains. I plan to write all the things that I haven't been able to enjoy along the river bed, but just as in real life they will only really become apparent in the calm water at the end of the trip.
The fabrics I'll be working with include -
These two batiks - the top green one is the front, and the one at the bottom is the backing fabric. They are basted together at this point, and all piecing will take place at the same time that I work on quilting the piece.
This is the fabric I'll be using for the riverbed. It is one that shades from light to dark and back again.
This final bunch is what I'll be using for the water in the river. There are tulles, and other similar fabrics that I'll be working with to show the turbulence in the river as it rushes by boulders and turns in the and head to the calm at the end of the rapids.
Still to be decided - how to make a canoe or raft of some sort to show where I'm in this journey.
1. For the progress I've made in paying off debt to this point.
2. For those that have supported me along this path.