This month's guest blogger is Lyn Carson Harris who contacted me with an offer to tell her story and why she creates...
Here is a little more about Lyn's background
Lynn lives in Michigan where she creates art, raises chickens, and grows vegetables. Both of Lynn’s parents grew up on farms and, like the little red hen in the children’s story, she was taught to do things from scratch and to never let anything go to waste. Her thrifty upbringing led her to her current style of working with scraps and the desire to use “every last piece.” Her quilts have been juried into international shows and gallery exhibits and her work is in private collections around the world. She is the author of Every Last Piece and has also been published in numerous books and magazines.
I create textile art using the techniques employed by past generations of my family to create utilitarian objects such as clothes and quilts. I connect the past to the present and honor the beauty and artistry of the handmade. My most recent work is a series of small scale abstract designs inspired by the experiences of someone I love and care about who is in an abusive relationship. My wish is that these pieces of art can help to prevent domestic abuse by increasing understanding and awareness of this pervasive problem. While all of my pieces are original designs, I turn to the geometric patterns of antique quilts for inspiration. My art often evolves dramatically from the start to finish of a piece, and I find as much pleasure in the process as in the completed pieces.
Here is Lyn's story surrounding her therapeutic quilt:
Years ago, when four of my family members entering nursing homes, I decided I needed a travel sewing project for time spent in the car traveling and visiting with them. I prepared an intricate appliqué piece and had it basted and ready for any stitching time. I stitched on that piece for months and as I neared the end of the appliqué three of those four family members died- in the same week.
I went on to finish the piece. I hand quilted it and entered it in a national quilt show. When I got the quilt back from the show, I folded it and put it in the closet in my sewing room. About ten years later, while cleaning that closet I pulled out the quilt. I unfolded it completely unprepared for my reaction when I saw the quilt again. I was instantly in tears. That quilt held a lot of memories and grief. Unknowingly, I had parked my feelings and emotions in the stitches of the quilt for a time when I would be better equipped to process them. It was quite a moving moment.
I am currently working on a series of quilts that is serving a similar purpose. A member of my family is in an abusive relationship. After many years trying to help my family member and trying to come up plan after plan that would never help, I finally came to the realization that people are allowed to make decisions that are not in their own best interest. I am now working on a Domestic Abuse Quilt Series to raise awareness of aspects of domestic abuse as well as a form of therapy for myself.
You can see more of Lyn's work on her blog and read about her Abuse quilt series and the therapy they bring.
If you'd like some stitching therapy of your own, with everything provided for you then join in our Stitch Therapy 365 project - all the info can be found here.
If you have a story to share about how Stitching (and sewing, crafting, quilting etc) has affected your life, we'd love you to share it with us..
hugs for today