300 Quilts · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Finish

Eris • Quilt Finish

Eris • Quilt #265
54″ wide by 48″ tall

label on the back
photos taken at the California Air Resources Board, Riverside, California
sculpture is titled: Spatial Echoes of Breath, by Tomás Seraceno, 2021

Title of Sculpture: There Are Many Idioms About Breathing And Yet
by Kameelah Janan Rasheed, 2021

Since this photoshoot was at a facility that studies the quality of our California air, it was fitting that the idea of breath, or breathing, or air, was prominent in their public art all around the building. We toured the building, picked up the swag from the vendors and displays in the parking lot, the solar panels overhead shading us from the sun. Rasheed’s artist’s statement includes this line: “As a meditation on pacing and temporality, the artwork is a form of preparedness for the hard work ahead.”

Pacing — a steady pace? Don’t overreach? Don’t run faster than you have energy for? Keep up the pace?

Temporality— the state of existing within or having some relationship with time. Lived time (as opposed to clock time or objective time). Temporality is a term often used in philosophy to express the way time is understood, often as a straightforward procession of past, present, and future.

Some background: Love us or hate us, we here in Southern California are keenly aware of our air, and the effects that pollution has on our health. Too many of us live in communities polluted by automobile exhaust that combines with the moist air that comes in off the ocean: smog. Some communities are polluted by idling train engines. We have seen a distinct uptick in air pollution due to our online shopping habits from the pandemic. An increase of warehouses built at the eastern edge of our city, only a few miles from our home means the freeways are now clogged with semi-trucks bearing goods from the ports to the ocean of warehouses that have been built in this area in the last few years.

I have an asthma inhaler in my bathroom drawer; today in the exhibits in the parking lot, one vendor displayed about 10 of these devices, encouraging us toward cleaner driving, cleaner air, and an awareness of our temporality. Keep up the pace. But maybe…move a little faster.

About a year ago, I felt as if I were drowning. I couldn’t keep up the pace. I felt disconnected from time, certainly an effect of the pandemic in our lives. I know I wasn’t alone in these feelings. I tacked a giant calendar on the wall of our garage, and took to marking it off one day at a time. Keeping track. I pared down all interactions and responsibilities to almost nothing. I was choking in sadness, bad air, political pollution, weary to the bone. I am usually the biggest Pollyanna you’ll every see, but at that time there was no breath in me.

When we are stressed, we often say Breathe in, Breathe out. Take in good, let go of that which is exhausted. Find fresh, expel the stale. I decided to make space for new things (Heart’s Garden?), to re-examine what I had in my life, and what I could let go of. I have taken steps to regain my health, and finally feel as if I’m making my way back to myself.

I also found my way back to this quilt. It has been a satisfying period of finding quilts made in a rush, and now taking time (pacing?) to sit with the quilt, find the way to quilt it, to finish it. My husband Dave always finds great places for us to photograph, and willingly holds the quilt, a support in all ways. So it was fitting to photograph this quilt at a place which is concerned with breath, with air. The title, Eris, was a parallel to my inner world last fall, and the discord seems to continue into this year as well, with its Ukranian war, the J6 Committee findings, the ongoing pandemic (and now we are returning to using our masks).

But I worked in Harmony. I appreciated the safety of Order, the constraints of Geometry, the goodness of Grace. But most of all, I acknowledge the gift from the One who loves us all: Creativity.

Take a breath!

Other posts about this quilt:

Pattern is found in my PayHip shop and includes two different sizes.

This quilt had a working title of Spectral Light.
I write about the fabric in this post, stars shining brightly.
There are other, smaller versions of this quilt: Choose Something Like a Star.
Some of the quilting was written about in this post.
The original Triad Harmony Quilt Finish (quilt #234).
I taught a workshop for Coastal Quilters, and they produced a lot of amazing Triad Harmony quilts.

You’ll probably see this design again. I made a total of five different quilts for teaching, and have quilted three of them.

13 thoughts on “Eris • Quilt Finish

  1. One of my favorites! And that backing is sublime!!

    Connie Schultz is an author and activist type from a small town in Ohio similar to the one in which I grew up. Her signature post on Twitter is a photo and one word: “breathe”.
    (Also the wife of Senator Sherrod Brown!)

  2. It’s a lovely design, and a happy, colorful quilt to look at. You did a great job with it, as well as finding excellent places to photograph it. That Dave is a keeper! I’m sad that you went through such tumultuous thoughts through 2021, but am glad to know you’re returning to your Pollyanna condition, bringing good health with you. Keep your sunny side up, as I know you do, and lean into Him. Always.

  3. Lovely quilt! I had thought that the air was ‘ cleaner’ during these terrible times as there were less commuting. I had no idea that the online shopping caused MoRE pollution. How very interesting and how sad that the most basic need- clean air- has been compromised again. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I’m so glad that you are beginning to feel better. It has certainly been a depressing period of time. Your Eris turned out beautifully and your photo shoot of it is fabulous. The angles are all so interesting on both the quilt and in the surroundings. Wonderful quilting too.

  5. Your quilt is wonderful, really striking. Sorry to hear of your troubles but glad you are improving and thank you for sharing. It is so easy to believe that everyone else has a perfect life and it is so meaningful to discover that people can struggle and you are not alone in your feelings. Beautiful quilt.

  6. I really like how the quilt is supported by the background piecing; it does feel a lot like a visual representation of taking a big breath in and exhaling. I think we have all had moments that felt heavy in the past few years, and I’m glad you’ve had great support and found your way through. My hope is that we can all look for the things that unite and bring us together, as there is a lot more of that than what divides us. Big hugs.

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your eloquently expressed thoughts and deep feelings with those of us who enjoy reading them on your blog. We are living in a time of significant upheaval and each need to find a path through the chaos that allows us some peace and joy. It sounds like you are doing that! Your quilt is wonderful and I absolutely love the interesting sites you always choose to display your work!

  8. The fabrics you chose for this design are so perfect Elizabeth! And the quilting takes it to the next level. Wishing you happier days and easier breathing….

  9. I especially like the venue your husband found for pics of this quilt! And I especially think it’s significant that you started your free QAL (yes, I know that’s not this quilt) as a way to give to others even when you weren’t feeling your best. Thanks!

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