Teal Spring

The Pathway from Poem to Quilt: Journeying through the imagination

Well, again it has been a while.  However, I have been very busy – on a journey of discovery and creation.  A poet from the Artists’ Breakfast Group, Kathryn (Kitty) Jospé, read her poem “Spring” at a meeting last April.  The imagery was all about teal and its interaction with spring.  The first line is

Teal I see you, teal, as if a lake contains you, teal—

I was immediately inspired to do a quilt.

This fall, SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Associates posted the requirements for a new exhibit, “Deux.”  It required two pieces related to each other in some way.  What better than having two pieces inspired by poems from the same poet.  I asked Kitty if she had any other color based poems.  The next day, she had written “Imagining Red” specifically for this challenge.  The poem is brimming with descriptions of red, of the potential for red.  Near the end she says

The light tricks the sky, paints delights, warnings.


Each quilt was a journey into the poems.  I started making units that seemed to fit the imagery.
  At first, I tried larger units and had fabrics on the design wall to audition them for the piece.  I realized my “lake” was in the middle – a direct bull-eye to the center.  This would not work.  Also, there was too much of a straight line for the “woods dappled in teal.”


  I cut up somje elements and tried different lines and fabrics.  It was getting too long for what I wanted to depict.  So, I took almost everything off of the design board and started one more time. . .


Finally it started to come together.  Moving the lines to the diagonal, moving the lake to the right, and making one side of the azure sky lighter changed the balance and the path the eye takes in the piece.  I also picked up some other fabrics and a metalic netting for the lake.  The final version of “Teal Spring” also has beads and free motion quilting to add movement and life.  I included couched ribbon and yarn.
photos by Timothy J. Fuss
The poem is mounted on the back, printed on fabric.  I will put in the full poem when I know if the quilt is accepted into Deux.
It is time to go upstairs and start another batch of cookies.  I will write about the making of “Imagine Red” tomorrow.