Slow Quilt Monday--The Word

For some of us, of course, the phrase "The Word" has distinctly religious connotations. For others of us who make our livings by the written or spoken word, it may also have slightly spiritual connotations. For me, language is fascinating and irritating at the same time. So many nuances...and yet, like cable channels, still there are times when despite the myriad choices we can't find the word to express exactly what we are thinking or experiencing.

Still n' all, we may not particularly equate words with quilting. In fact, I've often stated that for me, quilting is a great relief after spending an entire day in the world of words. Instead, I get to play with color, shape, line, and all those other non-verbal things.

But lately I've been giving a lot of thought to using words to inspire design. I mentioned this in passing in the podcast episode that just went live on Sunday--how the word "Joy" came to be the guiding principle in the work I just finished, and how I'm already working on another piece inspired by a single word. Our Design Study Group just completed a session on using words as inspiration from the Lorraine Torrence book as well.

When you look at a quilt you're working on, do you find that there's a word that becomes your guiding principle, your theme, the touchstone you keep going back to? "Does this color match my word? Would this piece better exemplify my word?"

If not, is that something you'd like to play with?

Sometimes slow quilting is simply playing with ideas in your head. Choose a word that would have meaning to you, and then imagine what kind of quilt you might design that would express that word in some way to others. What colors would you use? What shapes would appear? What kind of borders might best carry the word through to the outermost edges? You can just play in your head, or with colored pencils, or your fingertip and a touchscreen tablet...whatever way you like to doodle.

You may never make any of the quilts that you play with in your head or on paper, but each one still influences whatever you do actually make later!