Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Back

Wrack Line III: The Treasures Darkness Brings 21.5" x 30"

I blame Mindy M. for showing me a picture of the quilt with yo-yos that has partially kept me from completing anything but yo-yos for the past six months.  Okay, teaching two classes, being a mom to a kid with special needs, managing a store for a friend who escaped to Hawaii, a new computer without Photoshop, and various other commitments and excuses might have had something to do with it.  And also fear of rejection, but I'll get to that in a later post.  Finally, I completed (well, not totally, but sort of) my first yo-yo quilt last weekend for the DVAC Member Show.  The theme is Darkness.

The inspiration for this quilt is that area on the beach called the wrack line.  According to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the wrack line is "A line of debris, above the mean high tide line, which has been deposited by previous higher than normal tides."  It's the place where beachcombers look for cool shells, mermaid's purses, driftwood, fish bones, and the many other treasures that collectors gather from beaches.  

After my brother committed suicide when I was 18, I had a hard time sleeping, so instead of sleeping, I would drive to the beach, usually someplace far from the more populous beaches of Okaloosa Island or Destin.  I would just walk.  The sound of the ocean, and that feeling of being small but not insignificant soothed me during my grief.  I couldn't pick out individual shells or beauties during that darkness, but the darkness and solitude became a treasure in themselves.  I would walk, sometimes by the water, sometimes up further, sheltered a bit by the shadow of the dunes along the wrack line, and I would feel peace.  

As I've been working on the quilt, the broken oil well in the gulf has been pumping gallons of oil into to ocean.  Eventually, the tar balls will make their way to my beloved white sands, so the work on this quilt also became a meditation of healing for the ocean, its creatures, and for the beaches.  Some of the fabrics I've used for this quilt are actually petroleum products--acrylic, nylon, and polyester are all petroleum based fabrics, so the irony of making my own shiny little tar balls to sew to this celebration of the beach wasn't lost on me.  

The title of the quilt, then, has layered meanings.  It hints at the beauty of the wrack crashed in by the highest tides that somehow seem to happen at night when no one is there.  It reminds me of the solace and comfort that come to us from the strangest places when we most need them.  And it symbolizes the hope that out of the darkness that is this terrible and preventable spill will come some treasure and benefit that we can't yet imagine. 
 The yo-yos for this quilt are a made of a collection of fabrics: recycled and new, cotton and synthetic, shiny and dull.  It has cotton base and backing fabric and a cotton/poly blend batting.  The binding is satin, and the overlay fabric is a polyester sheer.  Cotton and polyester threads were used.  The quilt is primarily hand sewn with some machine stitching to hold the layers together and to bind the quilt.  There are over 150 yo-yos in the quilt.


Deborah said...

Welcome back! I love the textures you create with yo-yo's. I am so sorry about your brother. My oldest daughter committed suicide five years ago and I still have trouble sleeping.

LaughingLG said...

Thank you Deborah. I'm so sorry about your daughter. It's tough to be a survivor, tougher still to be a surviving parent. I sleep well most nights (it's been 26 years), but when I don't there's Melatonin. Thanks for welcoming me back. It's good to be back.