New Art Quilt: Rhymes with Fray

In mid-October, I drifted in and out of sleep early one morning and an image came to mind: a red, white, and blue quilt that would call up thoughts of an American flag, but would push the boundaries of what we might consider a flag. And all the cloth would be rough: frayed or unraveling, because that is how I see the USA of today. I had been reading the book, Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1960-2010 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and at one point he wrote about responding to the moment, the political moment, which he recorded year after year; my takeaway was that it was important to mark that moment, too, no matter how upsetting or irritating or scary or maddening it might be. I have been avoiding that confrontation in my art. I wanted to take on the challenge.

Stars and stripes. How would I abstract those? Stars seemed too obvious, mirrored triangles would be perfect: the tips of the stars, self-reflection and/or self-absorption. Of course you can buy mirrored triangles with holes in them, and my package of 50 mirrored triangles arrived a few days later. Meanwhile, I cut strips and shapes from the hand-dyed cloth from my experiments with Raven black and Maroon, and patched the pieces together, raw edges out. Upon examining the little mirrors, I didn't like the straight sharp edges so I wrapped and glued each triangle in a scrap of cloth. Those got placed and sewn onto the quilt first.

After the rest of the month and into November, a half-month of stenciling and stitching, embroidering, quilting, and wrapping from back to front for the binding, I finished on November 18. I enjoyed the looseness of the project very much. And it says exactly what I want it to say.

It's my largest quilt to date, measuring 57"w x 79"h.

details, details

It's a messy world.

[the book link is to Amazon]