January 25, 2014

Back to Beastly Basics

Those of you in other countries may not know that the Northeastern United States has been annexed as a suburb of Greenland. The extreme cold, with its spears of gusting winds, has no mercy for this 200-year-old wooden house. Even little Billy sticks his head out the dog door, pulls it back in with a low moan, and retreats into a little ball on my his futon.

On one hand, the weather blows the winds of gratitude through me. A warm home, plentiful food, and no real need to brave the elements except by choice. That is, as the man from Motown says,some kind of wunnerful. I've been trying to maintain some balance by tooling away at my Gridlock quilt.
But, in truth, these past few months have formed a creative gridlock of theirown. Jude's What If series is really over:no matter how many times a day I click on the icon, she does not post something new there. So I found myself going back through her video class called Patchwork Beasts (which you can still get over on the Spirit Cloth shop). At first, I felt a bit like my 19-year-old self when Ricky broke up with me and all I could do was read his letters over and over again.

But eventually, I came to two realizations. First, Jude did not break up with me. Probably. And second, getting back to basics is a great way to (re)kindle creative embers. I just love her beasts, I just love her way of getting me to find my own.

This time around,I heard something that skipped past me on my first viewing: name your beasts as you create them. It gives them personality and helps define their story. I had a name in mind before I picked the first piece of cloth. So here it is, the first beast of 2014, ready to be stitched and storified.

Meet "The Polar Vortex."


12 comments:

  1. those wild eyes have seen a lot!

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    1. they are the source of Icicles Hey, that is it:Polar Vortex, The Keeper of Icicles

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  2. julie i love this entire post so much, i relate to all you say. first . i have kids who actually do live in greenland .well canada. edmonton and saskatoon.where you can die from harsh cold in minutes if not know what you are doing. secondively,i am thrilled and inspired by your revisiting 'beasts' and P.V.above is great, so expressive, and I am in love with your Gorgeous Gridlock quilt.

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    1. Thank you so much, Linda I actually got a call yesterday from a customer in the Yukon,,,which she said is 45 deg F!

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  3. Julie, I love to read your Blog even if I don´t comment. And your beast is wonderful.
    As to Jude I had the same lost feeling but now we hear that it will continue. Good! You did the right thing going back to basics.

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    1. I'm so happy you spoke up, Doris! Thanks for the kind words about the Beast. Today, for a change, it is arctic cold with snow, so he may get his stitches on.

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  4. I love this quilt! and the Polar Vortex has so much character! I see your dog in there as well, one of my all-time favourites in blogland....thinking about going back to basics myself these days, I have no true history in quilt-making etc. I kind of dove in through Jude's classes and had to stay afloat straight away, fusing my painterly eye with textiles, but techniques are logging behind, so back to basics sounds like a good idea for 2014 (combined with the next new class of course)

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    1. Your technique lags? Could've fooled me.

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  5. Love your beast! Thankfully it's suppose to warm up a bit this week, (just a bit!!!) so maybe Polar Vortex's southern cousins can join him!

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    1. The warm came in for exactly 3 hours this morning...we ran out for a walk in the snowy woods and then the sky turned to grey again and we're not due for over 15 for another week. Sheesh.

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  6. i think that's exactly how my eyes would be if i lived where you do...i relate

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    1. It doesn't feel as friendly as it did in Michigan. Then again, I was 40 years younger and had a best friend with a toboggan.

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