The Free Motion Quilting Project: Signs of Strength and Stability

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Signs of Strength and Stability

Here's an interesting question:

What are some signs, symbols, objects, or designs you associate with strength and stability?

This is a question I've been asking myself a lot lately because I've started working on a new goddess quilt design called Forged and Welded.

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis is a very early sketch and I can already say she will likely change a lot from this, but the biggest hole in the design right now is the base - what should this goddess / sword be being held up by?

Originally I was planning to use a rock because this quilt is pulling in a lot of fantasy elements. That would tie into the whole Arthurian legend of the sword in the stone, which is one of my favorite fantasy elements.

But then I started wondering about how exactly to quilt a rock, how to make it look, well, like a rock, and I decided that might be a bit tricky.

So I began thinking of other symbols of strength and stability instead. The symbol that popped into my head yesterday was the Sun.

The sun is the greatest sign of strength I know of, it is the most powerful thing in our solar system after all! It's also the most stable - it rises and sets on a stable, unbreakable pattern every single day without fail.

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis is also a symbol that appeals to be because my last name is Day. I've actually used the sun many times as a symbol in my goddess quilts, as well as my business logo.

But the more I think about this, the more I realized that everyone might have a different sign or object they associate with strength and stability, and I'd like to know what they are. So please share your opinions in the comments below!

14 comments:

  1. It's been years since I saw one of these cards, but this image was the first thing to come to my mind when you said 'strength':

    http://visualtarot.com/decks/rune-cards/card-images/rune-cards-for-visualtarot.com-01.jpg

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  2. How about a keystone? A keystone is the center stone of an arch that supports the entire structure; if you remove it the arch will fall apart. You could have your goddess standing on an arch, piercing the the keystone with the sword.

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  3. How about a keystone. A keystone is the center stone of an arch that supports the entire structure; if you remove it the arch will fall apart. Your goddess could be standing on an arch piercing the keystone with the sword.

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  4. I'm not sure about the stability aspect, but you could have her holding suns in her hands to incorporate that symbol. Just a thought

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  5. Two things come to mind - a pyramid and a circle. The pyramid for its endurance and immovability. The circle for its strength and continuity.

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  6. Hi Leah. When I saw your latest goddess, I imediately though of water. Water has the ability to transform; it can change shape, become a solid, it is powerful and resilient and life giving. But I can also see the relationship of the sun - the sword having been forged by heat...but you also need water to temper it. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Tina

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  7. Love that pic. My first thought was to see the bottom part with firey flames .... like the phoenix rising from the ashes kind of thing. Plus ... the flames would look fabulous quilted!!
    I think I'm going to enjoy watching the progress of this one ;o).
    Hugs,
    Joy :o)

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  8. Going with the Arthur theme, an anvil is a pretty stable, strong thing and some of the versions of the legend I've been reading to my son lately say the sword was in an anvil. Brick walls are pretty solid, but a sword in a brick wall? Hmmm, doesn't really bring any stirring images to mind.

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  9. Hmmm, Leah, my first thought was stone or rock, like you. I also like your sun idea. When I think strength, I also think of the elements - earth, wind, fire and water. I think you'd get a pretty cool image if you used a tornado wrapping around the sword, especially with the lightning bolts you have coming from her hands (I hope those are lightning bolts). My two cents. Good luck! I look forward to seeing what you do.

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  10. How about a 'marble' plinth? It is solid, stable, and a sign of strength to be able to 'hold' the weight of the statue on top.

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  11. I'm thinking of a brick wall along the bottom, incorporating the idea of rocks in an intentional formation.

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  12. Just like THE MOM, I thought of water. As women we nurture, we cleanse, we are providers of life. Birth occurs through the bag of waters. While water is often yielding, it is also one of natures greatest forces through waterfalls, rip tides, and tsunamis. Perhaps you've heard the old saying, "even the strongest rock can be eroded by a drop of water over time."

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  13. Leah - My immediate thought was that fire is what gives a sword it's strength and durability. What about using a sun that looks like the one you use in your logo for Day Style Designs? It feels like it would fit in so many ways

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  14. Fire! It is what is used in a forge after all. From that intense fire is created a new shape from a simple lump of metal. Pounded out, like we are pounded and battered in our lives sometimes. Sort of a "rise from the ashes" theory.

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