Nothing is a mistake. There is no win or fail. There is only make. Sister Corita Kent
Make is the name of this quilt. Sometimes I have an idea for a work and I execute that thought or concept. In this case I took out a piece of unbleached linen, the remains of a curtain bottom after shortening, and I just started to assemble. This is one of my favorite pieces or is my current work just my favorite?
I wanted to do a vertical triptych and after auditioning certain fibers and metals I started assembling. It soon became not a triptych but four groupings with connecting elements.
I had a panel of pre-printed units separated by grayish turquoise fabric with handwriting on it. I used the background fabric throughout the quilt and discarded the rest of the panel. Each time I placed a section of this fabric on the quilt, I free motion quilted the word “make” continuously over the fabric. If you look at each of the sections of the quilt, you can see the word “make”. One of the important elements of this work was the unfinished raw edges of the fabric. There are clots of frayed threads all over and they are stitched over and allowed to remain wherever they lived on the linen and other fabrics. After attaching the fabrics I free motion quilted the entire piece in a stream of consciousness letting the piece tell me what direction to take.
The top quarter of the quilt is started with a row of plastic buttons. On the left is a section of fabric I painted with acrylic paints and sliced into pieces. I juxtaposed horizontal slivers of gold lamee' which I fused on. On the right is an interesting piece of batik which I fussy cut to show off the design. I stacked branch tips from a red twig dogwood bush and couched them onto the quilt. The turquoise rectangle with the word make stitched onto it also has a crow stamped onto it with gold paint.
The second quarter has another piece of cloth I painted however this piece was simply a rag I used to clean my brushes and wipe up the spills. It was so interesting I heat set the paint and free motioned the piece onto the linen. I added a piece of a felted Aryan sweater with a metal draw pull onto it. You can clearly see the words make stitched into the turquoise fabric to the left flanked by wrenches.
The third section is made with commercial fabric but it looks hand painted. On it I sewed turquoise dyed shell buttons and olive green plastic buttons. While free motioning the linen, I sew that box shape with an X in the center and sewed shell buttons with the rough outside surfaces of the shells showing. I had done a lot of what I refer to as alternating rows of stitches on the linen. I placed brass safety pins ( I love safety pins) in the same alternating rows along the left side just outside more turquoise fabric with Make stitched on the surface. I stamped tiny squares in gold paint down the entire length of the make section. I hand carved both stamps used in this piece.
The forth and bottom most section of this piece is “attached” to the third section with copper pipe supports. The base fabric is a piece of hand painted fabric sporting an “eye” of green handmade torn paper with a fused gold foil eye and a very old and pitted washer in the center. I found that washer on a walk in town and it was so smooth and felt so soft between my fingers, I knew I had to use it in a significant place in something I made. The star as well as the two keys and lock face were given to me by Karna from “Old Stuff” in Belfast. A wonderful crashed bottle cap also found on a walk was placed as a “period” at the end of the quilt. I bound the entire piece in a heavy duty brass zipper. It is 19.5 inches wide and 54 inches long. As you can see from the “inside” picture, it is now hanging in my living room.