Cagey: an Art Quilt

I'm still here. And I'm making small quilts from whatever I've got. For this one I pulled out various scraps of fabric on which I had letterpress printed wood type and ironed them while I considered which to use. The black and red on white caught my attention, so I picked out the black and white pieces from my scrap bag, then the red ones. I had a narrow piece of batting on the table and began moving pieces around as if it were a felt board. The arrangement looked like bars or jail cell windows. Or birdcages. I liked that better. One of my scraps had birds on it (yes, I did make a mask out of this fabric); I looked for more. I played with the different whites, the different blacks and hand-dyed raven black, the different reds, a little denim for flavor, and in the end, decided to leave a solid black area for potential text, I knew not what.

Early European letterpress printing was generally in black on white paper with red added for emphasis or importance, so a little nod to printing as well.

"Cagey" as obvious metaphor since we are currently restrained, constrained, not at liberty to move freely.

Size: 19" x 42" (48 cm x 107 cm)

The text came after the quilt was pieced.

the notes
but still
we try
to sing


The quilting is in black cotton sashiko thread along the black bars because I didn't want to disrupt the pieced pattern. I also included the word "tectonic" from the Undersea Colonies quilt, since everything keeps shifting these days.

One little bit of black velvet hope under this bird.

I'm feeling a little Kenneth Patchen-y these days (blog post about his painted poems from 2011 here). Maybe I will explore that.

Stay safe. Be well. Hum a few bars.