Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Denim Quilts and a Chinese Door

Every now and then I will see a photo of a quilt that so reminds me of something filed away in my mind's eye that it will drive me nuts until I finally tease out the memory. Here is a recent example.

I feel we all have an unconscious affinity for good design. We may not always have the words to express it....or may think we lack the "correct" vocabulary to articulate it. But every now and then something really clicks and we give ourselves permission to respond.

I love the subtlety of faded pieces of old denim jeans when cut up and pieced back together into quilts. Above and below are two quilts owned by an on-line acquaintance, Marjorie  Childress. The photos of these two quilts are what I referred to at the beginning of this post. They joggled a sense of familiarity. They reminded me of something I knew I had filed away in deep memory somewhere. Finally the synapses connected. Turns out the object was a door that I had taken a photograph of while in China in 1996.  See what you think.

This above two denim quilt with khaki came from a country estate sale in north East Texas. The owner, Marjorie Childress, wrote me: They are classic farm quilts made with denim work clothes.

Meanwhile, the market place bustles about me as shoppers stop to eye possible dinner.

China was awesome everywhere I turned!

To read more about my visit to China in 1996 and to see more Chinese textiles, click here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Do You See?

I really haven’t quilted much for years but I have slowly begun to stitch again in the 2-3 years...but I haven’t finished anything yet!  

Here is something I began about 18 months ago and set aside. I wanted to challenge myself to use scraps from a leftover project (a reproduction of an 1880 crib quilt) without altering the scraps in the least.  

This is not all my scraps from that 1880 project, but I think I’ve added as much as I want to. It’s about 14x22. Now I have to decide what to do with the borders.....or decide if I want to bother to finish it at all!

 The dark-cloud-looking thing is simply a bunch of thread I took off a spool because it got all tangled somehow. I was about to toss it and decided to add it to this piece because the color worked and it was a discard just like the pieces in this little quilt. 

I have no idea what "it" is but now that I am this far along, I see a couple of possibilities for a “creative” story to go with it. But I may never share that story. Instead, I think I'll just let people make up their own stories when they see it....if in fact I ever even finish it.  What do you see?

KarenQuilt in the Islands