Thursday, March 15, 2012

Material Maven's 'Element' Challenge Quilt

Material Maven's March challenge theme is ELEMENT.  There are many ways to interpret this theme.  My idea is a bit obscure yet quite meaningful in regard to my focus on simplifying my life in 2012.  My thoughts kept returning to what I consider the main element of simplicity to be.  The answer for me is No Excess.  
"The Element of Simplicity: No Excess" by Judy Wedemeyer 2012
My personal definition is as follows:  Simplifying in general, means to reduce or eliminate anything which is not necessary to clarify thought or action, in order to accomplish that which you desire to understand and or achieve.  My desire is to de-clutter my mind, activities, physical surroundings and anything tangible or intangible in my life that consistently interferes with my spiritual, artistic, relational and physical goals.  As I see it, simplicity is something entirely different to every individual, based on what is perceived as necessary and enriching versus excessive and counterproductive in achieving their personal 'happiness quotient' in life.

It took me awhile to formulate a design but then progress sped up significantly.
Thumbnail sketches resulted in the diagram on the left.  A full scale outline determined placement for key elements.  Fabric choices are described below.
 With simplicity in mind, I based my quilt design and fabric choices by focusing on what reinforced my thoughts to eliminate excess while staying true to my message.  The black chicken fabric symbolized being in the dark, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to accomplish too many things without focus or clarity.  The white timepiece fabric reminded me of setting goals and deadlines.  Although the fabric is still visually busy, the circular shape is conducive to focusing and containing my thoughts.  In choosing the solid yellow gold fabric, I eliminated all distraction and reached the bulls eye of my target - by eliminating Excess (XS), and achieving the ultimate element of simplicity.

Finishing details include a narrow red ribbon crosshatch to indicate a target (goals), a kumihimo (Japanese Braid) embellished inner circle that defines and honors reaching my goal of simplicity in life, and concentric quilting lines radiating toward the center of my focus.  Lettering is a bold black embroidered reminder to stay true to the Element of Simplicity by eliminating Excess in my life.

Because my focus is streamlining through 2012 by Simplifying my life, I'm quite certain this theme will surface through much of my artwork this year in various forms.  I've never approached a concept quite so myopically, but this singular approach has greatly energized my focused thinking.  I believe my efforts will reap awesome personal rewards this year.

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