I was recently thumbing through a book about weaving when I came across a design that really excited me as a potential quilt idea. I wouldn’t make the quilt in black and red, but this is just a simple way of remembering that basic concept so that I can later have the fun of choosing colors. One thing I love about this design is that it holds together no matter how it is oriented.
July 11, 2015
I’m advancing the inspiration of this found design (weaving pattern) toward one of my latest creative goals: colossal quilts. I want to make large-scale (~8′ x 25′) work inspired by my fascination with the patina of industrial objects (boxcars that pass by my window each day, and the fishing boats recently encountered in Bayfield, WI)
July 20, 2015
Cross Quarter Embrace as imagined completed and on exhibit (projected size 8.5×24 feet):
It’s early December 2015 and Iowa City’s had its first snowfall. I’ve embarked on creating this colossal quilt, Cross Quarter Embrace, but have struggled to get it off the ground. My typical use of a variety of tones and fabrics of similar color to create one overall color isn’t working for a piece of this scale. So, I am exploring new options. As I start down this path, I am reminded of how inspiration comes from so many places – including Keith Haring’s iconic Act Up imagery engaged to educate the public about the HIV/AIDS crisis during the mid-80’s. The AIDS crisis was concurrent with my own coming out process and permanently shaped me spiritually, sexually and artistically. It’s funny how experiences, some barely even memories, linger and seep into present-day experience and into that which I feel so deeply compelled to express. It is through the expression and creation of quilt objects that I come to a deeper understanding of why I need to do so – through the recall of all that has brought me to this present moment.
My progress is slower than I would’ve liked or projected, but I am happy with the results so far. Life has a way of intruding on studio time. I’m having some structural problems with the piece being 100% square, but I am hoping that it will “quilt out” in the hand-quilting process. I will quickly run out of room in my small studio/home to view the quilt in total as I make it. This will present a new creative challenge for me which I’m determined to find a way around, as it is critical to step back and view the piece in total to make sure it’s working as a whole. I plan to have the top completed by the end of April 2016 at the latest.
…and on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, I picked up this project again. I discovered a mathematical miscalculation in the first section I finished (red/turquoise) having to do with alternating rectangles and squares which resulted in odd/even number of seam allowances per finished sewn row. I would ultimately decide to “salvage” my second version by finishing it with only square pieces – and it may in fact be my favorite of the three. In order to avoid total demoralization, I started fresh from the center and will work my way out from there. My new finish goal is by end of August 2016.
As of September 2016, I had three distinct pieces completed on the road to the final piece. As of January 2017, I have the mid-sized piece (~8×11 ft) back from the hand quilters, and the binding is on. I am waiting for the first small (~4×5 ft) “sketch” and the final piece (~7×21 ft) to be hand quilted. Here are a few more photos:
stepping off possible quilting design for version 2 with my hand-quilting broker in Shipshewana, Indiana
all remaining photos are of the final version (3)
on my way to final version
final version (top only) complete, September 2016
August 2017 Putting finishing touches on the final version which I have renamed Poppy Field after this one along Morse Road, just north of Iowa City, Iowa.
laying out 21-foot long quilt to measure for hanging sleeve