Saturday, July 30, 2022

quilts deserve respect

I think we need to believe that we have all the time in the world.

I think our inner sense of time has no boundaries.  While living as normal people in the every day present, our inner sense of time flips around, going back to childhood and leaping ahead to future plan or worry or dream. 

This is a post about the new sleeve that I invented for my large linen damask quilt
 'underfoot the earth divine'.

I consider most of my work as having two interesting sides, an outer front side and also a beautiful second side.  

The problem is how to show both sides with elegance.

The usual way to hang quilts on the wall is to sew a sleeve on the back side, but this method covers up the top 4 inches of the second side.  I reject it.

Colour is important.  The second side of 'underfoot the earth divine' is a buttery coloured linen damask.   Dyed with natural wild golden rod blossoms, I call this second side 'overhead the sun'.

For my sleeve, I found several damask napkins that had previously been dyed with golden rod.

I assembled them into a long strip along with a layer of batting and gauze backing cloth and spent a few days quilting the strip so that it would blend with the main quilt.    

My idea was that I could extend the top edge of the quilt with this sleeve and although the function would be obvious, I hoped that  the eye would not be disturbed.   I really didn't know if it was going to work out, but I felt it was necessary to keep going.

It was necessary to take the time to do my best.

Quilts are valuable.

They deserve respect.

This particular quilt has been shortlisted for a major prize in England.

We tested the sleeve in the outdoor gallery.  

The shortlist exhibition is part of Festival of Quilts Birmingham.  

Before I shipped it from Canada for this exhibition, 
it was necessary to create a new label for the piece and sew it to the back.   
(I'll remove this label after the festival because I prefer a more unobtrusive signature) 

Underfoot The Earth Divine

In rural areas of Canada, you can see for miles across the fields.

Inspired by this vastness, I dyed ancient table linens a variety of earthy greys with natural tannins and iron and then cut the cloth into long strips.  The strips were then joined together into a large square that resembles a plowed field. 

Within the large square, a small taffeta square marked with a velvet cross and red thread sits inside a large circle. 

The holes cut into this sewn surface reveal soft earth-coloured velvet that we yearn to touch.

My work starts and ends with the inner world.  

If you live in England and are thinking of going to The Festival of Quilts to see this exhibition, The Fine Arts Textile Award shortlist, along with many many other amazing quilt shows, there is a code that you can use to get a discount on tickets.  Just type FATA 22 into the form.

Enjoy the summer my friends.  It is here.


Liz A said...

considering the other side has long mattered to me ... not so much because of neatness, but because it enhances the integrity (physical and aesthetic) of the whole ... and there is a beauty to the other side that tells the tale of the making ... a map of the journey

'Underfoot the Earth Divine' and 'Overhead the Sun' are beautiful works, and your solution to their pairing honors them ... I envy those who will get to see them in person, still more those who are able to touch them

Julierose said...

Underfoot The Earth Divine is stunning, Judy!! I've always made hanging loops for my wall quilts--I find it's easier and also I like how it looks. ;)))
The suble array of hues is amazing in your piece--I wish I could see it in person...beautifully done. hugs julierose

Mo Crow said...

(((Judy))) your work is so tantalizingly tactile, feeling all the wonderful textures with my heart, thank you for sharing your tenderly spoken words and stunning photographs.

Mary Ann said...

Love it! A lot of times galleries hang my quilts so you can see the back side. Since I intensively stitch figures they show up in reverse. You deserve a prize. Good Luck!

Helen Geglio said...


ARTISUN said...

Brilliant idea Judy, and it works so well visually too! Bravo!!!

magsramsay said...

Congratulations , I'm so looking forward to seeing your work in person at FoQ. ( I'm there all 4 days)