Friday, June 27, 2014

The Stream Between

Gulf Stream

Our family went on vacation to Iceland some years ago because my mother-in-law and husband are Icelandic. I’d never been, so I bought a guide and read about the country. I was surprised to learn that Reykjavik weather is moderated by the Gulf Stream. 

Yep, the Gulf Stream. The same current that can intensify hurricanes in Florida. Could there be two more different climates, Iceland and Florida? But a single oceanic link. Just like my husband and me: two totally different individuals linked by a promise called marriage. 

When I first read this challenge and contemplated opportunity and coincidence, I focused on what seemed disparate, unlikely and random. But when I linked the geography of my husband’s and my ancestral locations, I thought of similarities. I guess when fate intervenes, all roads lead to the same destination.

There is one event that is even more unlikely than the link to my husband: the construction of this quilt. This abstract rendition of the Gulf Stream is completely hand done. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I intensely dislike hand work. I won’t even replace a button. I tell my husband that’s what safety pins were invented for.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of this challenge cycle, I developed a frozen shoulder. It’s painful and debilitating, I couldn’t even push a piece of fabric through my machine. My husband affectionally calls me the one armed woman. Regardless, I plowed through. Necessity and stubbornness propelled me to places I’ve never been – and may never return.

To create this piece I wet a piece of rayon fabric and formed it into a currents and land masses. When it was thoroughly dry I stitched it in place, added sea glass representations of land and beaded it to add interest. I wanted to maintain the organic edge so I stitched the top and batting to a piece of cotton covered Peltex. 18" W x 27" H


  1. The Gulf Stream also helps the British Isles to have a more moderate climate - if we went by the latitude it is in, it should be a lot colder here. Ocean currents are fundamental to climate, and so are air currents. The Jet Stream, which runs between USA and UK, was in a completely different position last in Spring and Summer of 2013, and that is why we had the torrential rains and the floods here.

    I hope your frozen shoulder gets better soon! I also hate hand-stitching....although I do sew buttons, and make minor alterations of clothes for my daughter and granddaughter - their trousers always turn up too long!

  2. It is a really wonderful interpretation...sorry about that shoulder..but you certainly shone inspire of it.

  3. What a marvelous interpretation of ocean and land, L-M; love the fact that you used sea glass for the land masses (pun intended??)! And hope your shoulder improves, what a bummer.

  4. What a special interpretation! Thank you for telling us about Gulf Stream. I hope your shoulder gets well soon.

  5. Lisa-Marie, this is really a great interpretation of the challenge and the Gulf Stream. I love that V9 gives you the space to experiment and take risks…..even if yours was forced upon you. It was certainly successful. Hope your shoulder is improving.