Did you ever notice that the word "dementia" has "denim" in it? No, I'm sure you didn't, and neither did I, until I wrote this blog post.
This didn't start out to be a quilt about anything in particular, except fun with denim scraps. (For earlier fun, click "Denim" in the word cloud on the lower right of this page.)
I began it the same way as my denim-and-lace piece from last week: With a raw-edge denim surface, on top of cotton batting, and a backing fabric. I pinned the layers together, then quilted them on a grid.
Most of my denim stash comes from old jeans, but I happen to have this denim angel fabric, bought many years ago to cover a couch. I love the contemplation.
I put that little guy on the lower left, just above the pocket. Then I started playing with frayed cuff edges and thready seams.
The shaggy cuff ends made me think of lace, and crochet. So I crocheted raggedy strips, using a hook that was too large for the crochet thread, so it would be full of holes.
When that was finished, I decided the piece looked like an angel gazing upwards, at stratified heavens. So I crocheted little clouds, from grey crochet thread.
I suddenly realized the clouds also looked like brains. Brains with gaps.
That's when it occurred to me that this might be a quilt about dementia, an issue I face every day because my mother has advanced dementia. Mom doesn't say a lot, but much of what she has been describing lately is a vision of heaven."Birds together, flying forever. Precious family, flying together. Flying together, forever. We are precious family, flying together." Sometimes it gives me goosebumps. Also, for the past year or so, she's been using the word "birds" as a substitute for "people." Thus I added birds.
I did a bit of hand cross stitching in one segment of the skies.
I changed from the two experimental flowers above, to a grouping of crochet and scrap flowers below.
Along the bottom, I crocheted an edging with dangling bobbles.
Here's the finished piece. I used a jeans buttonhole to create a tab at the top for hanging.
Turning loss into art is therapeutic. Doing it with old denim jeans in lovely shades of blue makes it even more soothing.