Margaret Blank – Back to the Garden

I grew up in the sixties, and was 16 in the summer of 1969, the summer of Woodstock.  I have always loved Joni Mitchell’s song celebrating that festival, and have been thinking of these words:

We are stardust; 
we are golden — 
and we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the Garden.
The Garden to which Mitchell is referring, of course,  is the Garden of Eden, from which humanity was expelled so very long ago.

With the song running through my head, I dug through my stash and found the large piece of fabric I had ‘parfait dyed’ a few years ago.  I’d never planned to cut it up, thinking I would do a large whole cloth piece, but it was so reminiscent of 1960s tie-dye that I sliced out a square and began to work.  I sandwiched the piece and using a slightly shiny polyester thread in yellow, machine stitched spiked quilting “rays” to emulate the sun, radiating from the upper left corner diagonally down to the lower corners – from sky to earth as it were.  There is a wide white swath between Heaven and Earth, across which stars and stardust are tumbling…back to the Garden.

Once quilted, I studded the ‘sky’ with tiny star-shaped sequins, secured by seed beads.  For the ‘stardust’, I added even tinier gold seed beads.  I tried to achieve a random placement of stars and ‘stardust’ across the ‘sky’.

Once that was complete, I turned my attention to the ‘earth’ — the Garden.  Using hand-dyed silk floss left from an embroidery project (purchased, not dyed by me), I used seed stitch to highlight areas of growth, and added ‘rainbow’ beads to suggest flowers.  There is a large dark brown area just right of centre that has been left empty — symbolizing, I think, the Fall — the part of the Garden that has yet to be redeemed.

BTG finished

  1. Hi Margaret, this is so different. Little stars and gold beads for star dust, I like that idea. Going in for a close up look is so rewarding

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