Art Quilt: We Built Across the Land & Then We Took the Sky

Crumpled and layered, metallic painted cotton, freeform acrylic ink drawing of pier pilings. The panel remained, pinned up in the studio, for months. Then it was time to let that eye focus and commit. "Don't cut it up!" said a friend, knowing my tendency to do so. I let that be a constraint: keep the panel intact. I had painted it horizontally, but I didn't want to make a horizontal quilt; it wanted to be vertical. The pier on edge. 

Thoughts of how we sunk necessary pilings, piers to engage with shipping, building across the land to facilitate industry, cities, societal growth. But then, vertically, sky-scrapers, high-rise apartments, stores, towers. The pier I know and drew has crumbled: it is just pilings, the connecting boards long fallen or rotted away. 

We Built Across the Land & Then We Took the Sky
16"w x 36"h (40.5 cm x 91.5 cm)
Cotton, velvet; cotton and silk thread; metallic fabric paint, acrylic ink; wood type hand-inked with oil-based ink and printed via letterpress

Velvet borders. I like the contrast of decay and luxury in one piece. I free-motion quilted loosely around the drawn pier edges. And hand-quilted lapping waveforms, adding a little more color. The binding still had more to say; I hand-inked wood type and used the letterpress for pressure to print the phrase, the title, on the cotton strips I already had.

I stenciled the sandpipers (Least and Western) in white at the bottom, then embroidered them. With humans or without humans, they remain anchored to the shore.


Someday, I will do an intentional thread drawing on black. Someday.