Art & Poetry Quilt: Around the Curve

Sometimes projects don't stall out, they just slow down as other shiny objects catch my attention. Way back in July, I started doing a little research, thinking about space junk and comets and then seeing how people used to think that comets were a bad omen because they (occasionally) coincided with a plague.

Round and round they tumbled in my dryer mind: space junk, comet, plague, space junk, comet, plague. A comet was recorded as seen in 240 BCE in a Chinese chronicle, and in a cuneiform clay tablet in 164 BCE in Babylon. In 1910, people even hawked gas masks, comet pills, and anti-comet umbrellas, according to various sources online.

In my journal research notes, at the end, I wrote, "Why do we expect stability?" 

This quilt, Around the Curve, took shape over many months, even as I was working on a dozen other art projects as well as writing projects. More scouring through my journal points to the idea that What Next/What Nest was originally going to tackle this theme, but that quilt went a different way. Couldn't find any more written references to my progress on this one except the poem, written 4 November 2022.

But I do document my progress in photos. I found that I had begun piecing in mid-October. Some of the parts are solar prints from glass jars, later embellished with fabric crayons and oil sticks, as well as stenciled stars. I was inspired to try the solar printing through glass from an article in the SAQA journal, cyanotype work by Sandra Sider. (Although I am not seeing those particular works on her website, you can see one, "Bottoms Up," on the SAQA website here).

I'm not a big fan of groupings of circles (also clusters of holes), so because they were bothering me, I cut what I perceived to be the planets or comets in half.

I finally gave the quilt my full attention.

Around the Curve
33"w x 40"h (84 cm x 101.5 cm)
Hand-dyed cotton, solar-printed cotton, velvet; acrylic ink, fabric paint, fabric crayons, oil stick; hand-quilted and embroidered with cotton and metallic embroidery threads

Details, details

around the curve
satellites shedding
metal skin like
a comet, not
like a comet.
we share our space
and every hundred 
years, a plague, 
which is troubling,
yet unrelated,
as we now know.

Addendum 12.26.22: A reader sent me a link to this 19th century solar system quilt by Ellen Harding Baker.