Monday, April 6, 2015

Tattoo Geese

Referencing traditions in quilting of my own work adds a layer to the narrative that I have always enjoyed; probably because I have fond memories of my learning various stitching techniques from a beloved grandmother.  And, to be honest, I also enjoy a bit of poking fun at the 'rules' the traditionalists set for themselves and their followers.

This piece was created in response to Windham Textile Museum's invitation to make a contemporary art quilt inspired by one of the antique quilts in their collection.  The antique that fell to me was a tone on tone beige calico bed-quilt.  The block was a flying geese variation.  From my viewpoint all the geese were pointing into each other....never to take flight.

Flying Geese Variation
I worked at making my response contrary to all that the antique displayed: Hand dyed.  High contrast.  Use of the original block setting, but setting the geese free with the underlying geese symbols colored in.  Hand quilted in bold contrasting color with very big stitches.  Then, I decided to really set the geese free by painting figures atop...and bringing them  up-to-date with hand embroidered 'tattoos'.

I enjoy being challenged to do something with thread that I've never (or very, very rarely have) done before.  Stepping out AND being a little irreverent to!  Thanks, Martha!

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