Squares Copy

So Many Squares

I finally locked myself in the studio and started working on the first piece in the Special Olympics series.  This piece is about a young man on my gymnastics team who is on the autistic spectrum.  He often obsesses about negative things in his life, living them over and over, unable to break out of the cycle.  To represent these repetitive thoughts, I decided to create a traditional pieced quilt with black and grey squares.
 

It has been many years since I made a traditional quilt and I quickly remembered why I don’t usually enjoy this type of work.  After cutting lots of 2″ squares, I created a few blocks that contained flashes of red fabric that represent the flashes of anger this athlete often feels when stuck in these repetitive thought cycles.  Since this anger takes many forms and lasts different amounts of time, each of these squares is unique and will be scattered throughout the piece.
 
There are also flashes of pure joy and happiness in this athlete’s life and I wanted to capture them in the piece.  When he wins a gold medal or does something he’s proud of, everything falls away for a brief moment.  Other images include elements from his work as a messenger and a director’s clapboard because he wants to be an actor.
 
Once all the blocks were cut, it was time for sewing them all together.  I don’t know who taught me about chain stitching, but I love them!  If I had stopped to cut the thread between each stitching line, this would have taken three times as long!

  


It took a couple days, but I now have 49 blocks up on my design wall waiting to be arranged in just the right order before they get sewn together.  I think they’re going to rest there for today and I’ll revisit them … and rearrange them tomorrow.

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