Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beyond The Rainbow

I had made this art piece in my early years of quilting. At that time my thoughts and intent were design oriented. I loved the whole process of creating it.

"Beyond the Rainbow" 1998 (31"x25")*

In 2006 it took on new meaning. My mother and several friends lived through the experience of breast cancer and this piece had evolved to reflect how their diseased breast(s) affected their lives. A cancerous breast becomes detached, or isolated, from "normal" life. It is the main focus in the center of an out of kilter personal universe. All that is happening to the treated breast is reflected not only in the life of a woman but in those who love her.

I never dreamed it would reflect my ongoing journey since that tiny shadow was found on my mammogram in early May ... that I would join the ranks, the sisterhood, of the many women who are forced to fight this battle. Nothing in any of our lives stays the same. However, big changes happen at an accelerated pace for us and our partners and families. As often as I've said, "I just want to get back to my life" there is no going back. I can only go forward ... making adjustments and reconciling to what is now ... and making art.

Here's a closeup of the focal point...

Technique: Hand-quilted, hand applique, hand embroidery and needle lace, machine pieced.
Materials: silk fabric; hand-dyed, upholstery & commercial cotton fabrics; acrylic paint; beads; mono-filament, metallic, and cotton thread; polyester batting


Heather said...

Beautiful Nellie - I love the gentle gradation of the colours.

Colleen Kole said...

Oh dear sweet Nellie!

This is a pretty piece full of life and happy colors. You do have your life back, albeit more thankful, more sensitive to each day and richer for appreciating all that each day brings. Just a newfound appreciation for the gift of life and what all have -which is today.

June Calender said...

Your quilt captures the complexity of the experience beautifully. I'm glad you have won your battle and also glad you have the creative imagination to make such a meaningful piece of art.

Gail P said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful quilt. And even more for sharing your thoughts. No, there isn't any going back to what was but we have a forward albeit after a challenging detour.

Julie said...

Beautiful gradations of colour in this quilt Nellie. Keep looking and moving forward. x

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Colleen said it best. I admire you so much Nellie and your strength going day by day through this journey of yours.
There are many of us who know now that if we are diagnosed with this we can survive and continue on with our lives. That is a huge gift you are giving us.

Beautiful quilt that has remained relevant over time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful inspired and inspiring work. Hope you and yours safe in your lakeside home during the oncoming storm.
Val E.
Wales UK

Melly Testa said...

This is beautiful work, Nellie. The story in support of it is beautiful too. Such tiny little squares.

McIrish Annie said...

Nellie, good to "hear" from you. Your life will get back to normal or as i call it the new normal. some things are better because of the journey and obviously others are not. We just have to continue to take steps forward and enjoy every day we have.

Michele Bilyeu said...

It has been an amazing and challenging journey, this quilt reflects and predicts and symbolizes so much. My thoughts are always with you and your continuing health Nellie. I made breast pockets in your honor and in my own Nellie Grace mom's, as well. You are an amazing and talented woman, quilter, survivor and friend.