Free Falling Upward: Gravity and the Aspen Trees, 18″ x 20.5″
This is a new quilt which I submitted to the Great Wisconsin Mini Quilt Challenge.
It quilt depicts my experience in Estes Park, CO gazing at the sky through a clone* of aspen. The quaking sound of the breeze playing the aspen leaves caught my attention. The momentary suspension of time reversed the pull of gravity, magnetically drawing my soul to glorious heights… free falling upward to freedom.
A fat quarter of my own hand-dyed fabric provides the background of this quilt. The ice-dyed piece has a wonderfully organic look which I tried to keep intact by carefully cutting each piece and maintaining the exact location and alignment with respect to the other pieces.
I tipped the center square and quilted it with a single line spiral that starts wide and narrows as it reaches the center, then retraces the same path going back outward. This seemed to mimick my own movement when I was looking up and around.
The aspen tree has a long, deep history of symbolism to many cultures: strength, protection, focus, purity, awareness, connectivity, transformation, to name a few. It has even been thought to have magical powers, and to be the voice of God.
Besides their beauty, I particularly like that they grow in colonies, creating wonderful communities. Also, because the roots are deep, well below the heat of a forest fire, new sprouts appear after the fire burns out making them the Phoenix of the fire in my mind.
Live well. Quilt well.
*”Clone” of aspen: Aspen regenerate vegetatively by shoots and suckers arising along its long lateral roots. Root sprouting results in many genetically identical trees, which, in aggregate are called a “clone.”