26 Jan

Roots to Grow, Wings to Fly

I think it’s done.

Rooots to growsm

“Roots to Grow, Wings to Fly” 2009 by Kristin La Flamme 22″x40″

I actually finished the stitching in November or December, but it’s taken me this long to get stretcher bars to mount it on and get a feel for the finished piece. I hung it on the wall to let it sink in, and it’s still there — which I take as a good sign since the last thing I hung up I took down the next day.

This one’s been a long time in the making. I first heard the saying “Wenn die Kinder klein sind, gib ihnen Wurzeln, wenn Sie gross sind, gib ihnen Fl├╝gel” when my daughter entered German kindergarten. It resonated with me. I later remembered it when I started adding roots to houses in my work. It translates to “When the children are young, give them roots; when they are older give them wings.” Somehow in my brain it tied in with my dream of a home with roots. The house may not exactly represent the children, but for them to have those roots, I think they need to have a home. And, what grown child hasn’t taken some piece of home with them when they’ve flown the coop?

The dishtowel that is the ground for this is one I’ve had for many years, having first bought it at a flea market thinking I’d use it in my kitchen. I later decided it would make a perfect fabric to sew or embroider on. It speaks to the homeyness of what I’m trying to communicate. (I don’t know who ET is, but I’m comfortable with them adding “history” to my art.) Added to that is random fabric, old lace from an ancestor, and a little bit of knitting. Holding it all together and blending the pieces, is quite a bit of stitch, which I seem to be incorporating more and more into my work. You may notice that the dishtowel is hand quilted onto the background fabric. I first sewed it by machine, but the voice was wrong. The piece didn’t speak to me, it YELLED that it needed to be done by hand. I think it’s important to listen to one’s media.

13 thoughts on “Roots to Grow, Wings to Fly

  1. beautiful! the embroidery and the embellishments (those wings!!! ^-^) are great (but whatever you do is great…)!
    i love that you used that saying in this context – it matches perfectly.

  2. WOW. What a beauty. The floral towel is what hits me first, then the hand quilting, then the house. Lots of movement, lots of detail, I just keep going back for more, more, MORE! I love it.

  3. This is so beautiful’ Absolutely love how it is done on a vintage towel. Love the saying and how you incorporated into the house, tt. Actually, I love everything about it!

  4. Beautiful, gorgeous, fantastic, um, what other words come to mind? This is an outstanding piece of work. I love the wings on the house and the roots, of course. The symbolism is fantastic. Way to go!

  5. My mom said that people draw the wrong lesson from the Chinese saying, “If you raise your children to be dragons, you should expect to be singed once in a while.”

    She says most parents are too stupid to realize getting singed is a good sign of independence.

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