At a time in my life when I’m slowing down physically, I also seem to be slowing down artistically. Lately, I’ve found it takes me about 5 times longer to complete a project than it previously did. In the last year, I’ve added only 3 completed art quilts to my collection. Even so, I had a number of starts and stops and plenty of ideas. Here’s what was completed in 2018:
“Illusive Giraffes” started out as two white strips on a black background. From the beginning, I thought they looked like giraffes, so I decided to pursue the pieces as part of my Endangered Species series. I overdyed, added pieces cut from a remnant of hand-dyed silk (given to me by a friend many years ago), machine-quilted the giraffes and embellished the piece with leaves cut from ribbon and attached with beads. My husband was pruning our fruit trees and contributed the hanging stick – literally a stick. From humble beginnings come a piece of art.
“Influences” started as a challenge from Nancy Crow. I liked the initial piece but felt it needed refining. To make it more workable, I cut it apart. Yes, I used a rotary cutter and slashed it into sections. Some of these I slashed again, and even again, so that the piece had blocks (areas) of smaller improvisational piecing. Then I machine-quilted it with different thread colors. As I worked, it became my piece and not a workshop sample.
According to Wikipedia, “It takes a village to raise a child is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.” My quilt “It Takes a Village” is so named because it took a community of quilters who over the years have donated scraps. I used their pieces, many already sewn together into strips, to create log cabin-like blocks. The triangle centers (leftover from a previous project) are roofs for houses, barns, a schoolhouse, a church, a bird house and even a houseboat – all detailed by the machine quilting.