Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Remember last week when I was looking around my house for a cleared off, flat work surface? It was for this set of two banners that I was sewing--each measures 24 inches wide and 8 1/2 feet long.

I have to describe the entire process as quite an experience. It was my first large commissioned work and was requested by a member of our church to be created in memory of his late wife. She was a dear woman and she and I had worked together on visuals for the sanctuary on a number of occasions. She loved color the way I do, so I knew I wanted color to play a big role in the designing. When my ideas were presented to her husband, he was very enthusiastic and encouraging. So far, so good.

I shopped my favorite quilt stores for a variety of batik fabrics. What fun! I would bring them home, lay them out and play with different arrangements--even more fun! I love playing with color!

But at one point, I became paralyzed...frozen. I so wanted these banners to be perfect for so many reasons! My lovely batik fabrics remained stacked up for a couple of months patiently waiting for me to turn them into a piece of perfection. Or so I thought. Didn't I remember that the very nature of hand dyed batiks is one of surprise or serendipitous results?

Easter Sunday was the agreed upon deadline so I finally had to tell myself to "just start!" So I did, focusing on the particular task at hand, the 'now'. And I thought a lot about my dear, late friend and her husband and the times that the three of us and others on the visuals team worked together, planning and doing. Or the times that we got silly with our ideas and laughed at never-to-be-used possibilities! I gave way to thoughts of thankfulness for the gift of creativity, thankfulness for the opportunity to use those gifts to praise God. And I let go of perfect.

The banners were completed and hung on Saturday ready for services on Sunday. They are not 'perfection', but they are the result of an artful experience, one where emotions felt in the process were much greater than expected. I would definitely call the experience one of serendipity: "an accidental and fortunate discovery while looking for something else".



craftswithcare said...

WOW Marilyn, that is beautiful!

Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog!

Marilyn, you have been tagged. Please stop by my blog when you get the chance.


Beth Leintz said...

Your banner is just breathtakingly beautiful- what a labor of love!