Monday, July 19, 2010

patchwork butterfly 1


how interesting a human being is. and i speak of myself because i am most familiar to my self...and a further
episode of Weaving Selves Together:
Beast Workshop. a simple pattern for a patchwork butterfly.
and what ensued was startling. a small chaos of just 8 small pieces of cut paper. how big? square or
rectangle? the ruler supposedly making reliable measurements is not. what one would assume to be the
same is skewed. work work work to make a correct paper pattern of 8 pieces.
close enough.
choose fabric: left and right must relate. this is hard.
cut pattern pieces, see that they fit, stitch, press seams flat with iron, stitch bands etc etc etc
all the while running back and forth to Jude's peaceful little video where everything is exactly as it
is supposed to be and referring over and over to the printed instructions............

i can feel the neurons clacking in my brain, like they are just a little off, like when the truck is "missing",
something has shaken loose

so, finally, the 3rd body is fat enough to pretty much cover the flaws and here is a
patchwork butterfly.
Who would guess this would be such a challenge?

and then i dream and am restless all night waking many times, getting up, looking at that butterfly, and i
suddenly understand something that has been such a mystery for so long. it is crystal clear.
and i am aware for the first time really of how i have either resisted or been unable to follow a pattern
all my life. i don't know which yet...but it's true. and i refer to Pattern in neon. like in living, like
how i took off and wandered and chose the last 21 years of my life, all free pattern at all...

very interesting, all this. today i will try it again.
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deanna7trees said...

I enjoyed reading about your process in making the butterfly. I am a quilter so the pattern was not difficult for me and still I got the proportions wrong. This might help you--what I'm doing now is taking a large piece of cardstock, placing the shapes of the animal parts where I want them and then just drawing lines outward from those pieces. I could send you a couple of samples if that would help you.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

deanna, thank you. i think i am
into experimenting with the
energy of all this precision today again..see if it goes differently and also whether it does or not,
watching what happens "inside" me
about it.
i have a feeling that as with
all the cloth work, from weaving
on, it's as much about who i am and where i am in my Life as
cloth making.
but, again, thank you. maybe i
will need those samples.

Working with cloth said...

Yes the road can be long before you reach a result, many things to choose before you are at the end, beautiful butterfly Grace, I can see that you also like batik colored fabric, glad to stitching in your company too.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder: if I had been given a pattern of my life at birth, would I have followed the pattern? I don't know... Your butterfly is a thing of joy.

ger said...

I´ve been having mistrust + fatigue for patterns involving reliable measurements for ever - big admiration, though, for those who can use them to their advantage, paper piecing intricate quilts etc. - there are people who even manage to feel free + happy using patterns I guess, and people who are choked by them...

grace Forrest~Maestas said... belief system is a very complex variety of things, but what seems to have been proven "true", or "real" by life
experience, is that there seems to
be a leitmotif we "come in" with
that we intuit at different times
in different ways.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

heike..yes but there is something
very interesting in this moment
here with butterflies. i am
interested. and interesting to
me is that suzanna comments on
the "dolls" today..out of the
blue ~
i never had a pattern for them.
there were hundreds. and i began
from the begining with each and
every one and it took forever and
i honestly don't think anyone noticed. but i was very stubborn
about that. i don't want to choke
on patterns, but i don't want to
choke on my own stubbornness either. especially for no reason
known to anyone but me, and really,
even to my own self.
thank you for helping me think.

Valerianna said...

I sooo relate to your choice of resisting patterns in life... I am quite stubborn about that as well, I sometimes wonder if it always serves me.

Butterflies have been popping up everywhere in blogland these days... we must be in the imaginal soup just before we reform and get our wings, let's hope!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

valerianna, yes, but more,
how did my choices effect those
i had relationship to directly
or indirectly ~

Deb G said...

This is a beautiful and wise post Grace.

There can be safety in following a pattern...predictability. Sometimes a pattern makes it easier to accomplish something. Depends on what we are looking for... Thinking about balance... This has me thinking.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...'s always about some kind
of balance, isn't it.?.
and i always get this good feeling
when i see you write
here, or jude's or elsewhere.
you thinking makes me feel that
the spirit of balance is appeased.

Yvonne said...

I, too, resist patterns and at one point last year, I deliberately set out to sew from one just to see what I would learn. It was a table centerpiece with scalloped edges (April 13 2009 post on my blog if you're interested)and I saw how the one I made from it was completely different because of my fabric choices and way I quilted it - it sits on my kitchen table and I love it. I am also thinking that 'not following' is a pattern in itself and that the more aware I am of my patterns, the better able I am to choose what I really want.

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

I have thoughts whirling through my head because of this post... All my life I've done things in a free-form fashion. As far back as I can remember I've had a problem with directions (especially written directions) and I've never been fond of pattern. I had problems putting together puzzles too as a youngster. When I got serious about art I embraced abstract, freeform, expressionism. Somehow it was easier for me to find order is seeming disorder. And patchwork was just too cut and dried, too formal, and too rigid for me to enjoy.

Then this past Winter, Spring, and Summer I've gone back to college and found utter chaos without some kind of order... so I've ordered my life in order to accomplish what I need to accomplish.

Maybe that's why I was finally able to make a patchwork. It's definitely NOT "right". It's a bit wonky, but you can see the design pattern. You can see that I tried to make some order out of the disorder little pieces. And I was able to draw in a satisfying breath and sigh out a genuine joy. This feels good.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

Debi and yvonne....i think it is interesting that both your comments, tho days apart, are one after another.
Yvonne, i have carried that very good thought with me since i read it...that "not following a pattern is a pattern in itself.."
and then, here is your comment
Debi...and your thoughts could be
a very ongoing conversation with me. we change. sometimes things
that have served us well in our lives are outdated or outgrown even, maybe??? my kids refer to
some of my thoughts/doings with the
word Retro. Which is like, but
still, things can bear thoughtfulness i think. What i do
know is that what i have experienced in the patchwork workshop has been really ummmmm
mind expanding. and i LIKE it. i
LIKE it a lot. so, if it's in any
way a metaphor........
thank you for this Debi and thanks
for coming to my "house"....