Art Quilt: Controlled Burn

The theme of the color red was behind the origin of this quilt. What does red mean to me? Red is for fire. It's not my favorite color, but we seem to have a lot of fires in California, and many of them get out of control very quickly with our parched landscape, no rain in sight, driving people from their homes, decimating forests. 

Fires are not good or bad in the abstract. Lodgepole pinecones, for example, need the heat of fire to open, dislodge their seeds, and propagate. Other plants do, also. Controlled burning used to be the way to manage forests, clear debris, preserve certain homes for birds and other creatures, and make a healthier system. In many parts of the world, it still is.

Metaphorically, I think of a controlled burn as a way to let off steam, give an outlet to anger so we don't self-destruct, implode, or spontaneously combust (not a thing for people except in Dickens: a man spontaneously combusts in Bleak House).

For a quilt, I liked the idea of letting the red run wild, the pieces askew and moving, but having a solid checkerboard base and a precise and controlled binding.

Controlled Burn
35.5"w x 43.75"h (90 cm x 111cm)
hand-dyed and commercially printed cotton, hand-dyed silk; variegated and metallic threads; free-motion quilting