Red hot!

The element of fire is about passion. When we are in love or ablaze with new ideas and creativity, we say that we are on fire. We are enlivened by the fire of the spirit and our own souls.

When I made my Fire table runner it felt very different from my Air and Water runners. I made a very solid base from some russet red cotton & linen fabric and a heavy cotton twill. While I worked, I thought about the purifying aspects of fire. Flames that burn away what is no longer necessary – dry brush, dead vegetation, obsolete ideas and lifeways. A very powerful ritual of transformation is to write a list of outmoded behaviours or a letter to an outgrown aspect of ourself – then burn it. Then scatter or bury the ashes.

I started by making my very long (152″ x 13″) runner with a pillowcase binding. Then,  I went into my stash and got out my warm yellows, fiery oranges and smoldering reds. I ironed BondaWeb to the back of my fabrics, then cut out freehand flames with my rotary cutter.

To save my lower back, I set up a very long work surface on our fully extended dining table and two ironing boards.  I could go up into Steve’s mezzanine office for a bird’s eye view.

When I liked the placement of my flames, I fused them to the surface of the runner,

and then stitched long lines of metallic gold, copper and red thread across the surface.  I put the metallic thread in the bobbin and stitched onto the back side of the runner.

My Fire runner is very controlled, like a fire that has been burning for a very long time on a solid base of coals and embers. Many indigenous people would annually set fire to parts of their ecosystem in order to clear away old plant matter and make way for new growth. This also happens naturally with forest or prairie fires. It is beautiful to walk through the charred landscape and see all of the fresh, new things growing in what was formerly a brush-choked area.

I love this runner. It’s so vibrant and filled with energy.


2 thoughts on “Red hot!

  1. Nice one Melinda. Has echoes of running water. Both have connotations of purification I think?

    Came across this re Dartmoor….
    “Swaling is the annual burning of the gorse and scrub in order to thin out the old vegetation in order to allow new grass shoots to grow thus providing grazing for the livestock. The first recorded instance of the word ‘swaling’ comes from a poem written in around 1205AD by Layamon called Brut, it is suggested that the actual word comes from the Anglo Saxon word – Swælan meaning to burn.”

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