My Cup Runneth Over
This quilt began the way most of my goddesses begin: a sudden flash, the image fully formed in my mind, and an overwhelming need to create what I've just seen.
This image came to me when I was neck deep in the painting section of Release Your Light and suddenly began thinking about how lucky I was to be able to work on it every day.
Most 25 year olds are just not able to work from home with their husband and son and have the freedom my lifestyle allows.
As I was feeling this sense of overabundance and deep gratitude, I had a flash of this quilt: a small goddess holding a cup of water which was brimming with bright blue water. This is where the name, My Cup Runneth Over, comes from.
I finally go tot work desiging this quilt in the spring of 2010, and this quilt marked a turning point in my design process in many ways.
The first was a change from working on my designs in large scale. After attending an art exhibition and watching other quilters work from a small sketch, I realized it would be much easier to design a quilt completely from a small scale and then resize it to be any size for the finished quilt.
So the original drawing for My Cup Runneth Over was 5" x 7", or about the size of a greeting card!
Once the sketch was complete, I began rushing through the piecing process, which led to many mistakes. A quilt like this takes time, methodical attention to detail, and numerous steps. I just wanted to rush, rush, rush!
In my speed demon sprint to finish the quilt top, I decided to fuse the water section of the quilt. Unfortunately, I didn't bother clearly reading the directions from the book I was inspired to fuse by: Free Expression: The Art and Confessions of a Contemporary Quilter by Robbi Joy Eklow, so I honestly didn't know what I was doing at all!
While the results were still good, I started to notice fraying edges almost immediate. Being the super perfectionist that I am, this was a concern, but I resolved to deal with it in the quilting process.
Unfortunately, I was leaving many decisions open until the quilting process, which led to an extremely difficult situation once I got there. How in the world was I going to quilt this quilt?!
Instead of slowing down and considering the matter, I rushed again, boldly selected filler designs and got started quilting my quilt like it was going to catch on fire if I didn't finish it that day!
Within 2 weeks, I began to get very dissolusioned with what I was seeing. The filler designs I'd selected, while pretty, didn't really fit with the theme of the quilt.
I began to dispair and seriously considered chucking the quilt into my fireplace, but fortunately I blogged about the mistakes and was encouraged to put the quilt away and come back to it later.
So My Cup Runneth Over got pinned to the wall half quilted for six months.
It was only after finishing Shadow Self did I feel capable of returning to this quilt with the correct attitude and mindset in place.
Without the urge to rush and hurry blinding my decisions, I was able to calmly look at this quilt for the first time and make rational decisions about what to do with her. After 14 hours of seam ripping, I managed to rip out one of filler designs I'd choosen for the background and replace it with something that fit better.
It was after the quilt was entirely quilted that I decided to add the satin stitched tree roots inside the water section of the quilt.
The water is a symbol of the loves of my life: my husband and my son. They make my cup literally run over with love, but they also root me to the earth, ground my perspective, and nourish my life.
One of my favorite songs captures the theme of this quilt perfectly:
"I'm Ready" by Tracy Chapman
wake up and know where I'm going.
ready to let the rivers rush over me.
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