Favorite Children

(I’m catching up on some work that I posted on Instagram but wanted to have here as well. These works were finished and posted in November.)

Fall is a season for intense parenting (back to school, time changes and new routines) and the season in which my kids were born. This fall, I made nine entirely hand-stitched mini quilts that felt like baby creations– studies in improv measuring roughly 8 inches square–and like children I loved each one as it evolved into its final form. When I finished one, I genuinely felt it was my favorite. Now, I couldn’t imagine picking any single one. They each have elements that fascinate me and each struck a balance in its process between the desire to guide and the need to allow them to become what they wanted to be. It was a wonderfully slow and pure exercise of my improv process, averaging about one each week for two months, in between parenting living breathing children, of course.

In its completion the series is a commentary on my entwined roles as mother and quilter. I found quilting when I was feeling suffocated by the weight of mothering two toddlers, and even then I made quilts for them as an excuse to do something that fulfilled me. It was a practical craft, an extension of motherhood, that would keep babies warm. But more than any quilt could care for my children, quilting taught me how to care for myself, and therefore how to be a better mother to them. By making mini impractical quilts I reclaim the quilt making practice for myself, as a way to explore artistic principles and tap into my intuition. Still, I sew around the schedules of my children, and I use metaphors of parenthood for the affection I feel for these creations.

Each has its own post on Instagram– I’m @melanie.tuazon there. But I’m hoping to share more here, in my own proprietary space.