When I dove into textile work nearly full-time I was happy to incorporate the scraps back into whatever I was working on. But as I continued, the scraps started building up. I made little sachets, egg pin-cushions, and in the studio I have little buckets of scraps and a big bag of more. Denim particularly interests me. I like the variations it can have, how it shows wear and the human presence. Already pieced and in progress is a quilt with denim about crows, but I had some denim pieces leftover. I began arranging them on a board, then placed the board on some black cloth, a quilter's "fat quarter."
What was it? I wasn't sure, yet. I liked the materials as they were, particularly after I had stitched them down, but that wasn't enough transformation for me. I didn't want the piece to be just about the materials. In past works I've used denim with water in mind in the two "water and power" quilts: Pipeline and Ripples. Layered denim looks like waves--the ocean is another love. I already had one scrap of denim that was printed with an open pipe. I thought about water, the lack of water, the drought, and drought-tolerant plants. And I thought about the current political drought and the lack of tolerance. Echinacea (coneflower), one drought-tolerant plant, is seen as a boost to the immune system. I liked the connection and the metaphor it could provide.
After appliquéing/quilting the denim to a piece of worn linen pants and a black cotton backing, I drew the coneflower centers into faces and stenciled them onto the denim. The letters t-o-l-e-r-a-n-t are also in there, a subtle boost, a reminder. Lastly, I stitched, due to its color, what appears to me as a contradiction: dry rain. It's a small quilt: 17.5"w x 19.5"h.
When in Drought (2018)