Monday, July 21, 2008
My style of beauty
My mother once told me that her mother, Ethel King from Orrington, Maine, used to say "that's not very becoming to your style of beauty." That always made me laugh. On the one hand, it is gently telling you that some dress or hat does not look good on you, on the other hand "your style of beauty" may be saying you are no beauty yourself. And believe me Ethel and her sisters were no beauties, at least not in their cloche hats and Mother Hubbard dresses in the photo I have of them!
As a quilter I am finding out what "my style of beauty" really is. One of the ways to find that voice is to try out different styles of quilting. I've done traditional quilts, miniature traditional quilts, traditional applique, free-form machine applique, paper-piecing, etc. I've dyed my own fabrics and made fabrics with rubber stamps and acrylic paints.
Kyra gently and rightly pointed out in the comments from my last post, that there is no "African-American" style of quilting, as the name of the quilting class I have signed up for suggests. I agree with her. I think this style of quilting might better be called a folk-style or primitive style, which can come from any culture. That said, I am feeling ambivalent about "copying" folk-art and just wanting to stretch myself by letting go of some of the so-called restrictions of my usual precise style of quilting. You see this contrast between Alex Anderson, a real traditionalist, and Ricky Tims and his "caveman" style of quilting. I like both, but while I have lots of experience with the traditional, I don't have much with the other.
Something to think about on a Monday morning. Any thoughts?
I made peach jam this morning while pondering all the above. I was telling my husband about it while preparing the jam and reading the recipe. Ooops. I added five cups of sugar instead of three. Recipe makes five cups of jam and uses three cups of sugar. Does this dunce cap fit my style of beauty?