This quilt has a long story to tell so gets begin. I was at the Menominee, MI public library to check on the gallery area for another exhibit and I was told there was open gallery space for Jan., Feb. and April of '11. I thought that it would be a shame to leave it empty so I mentioned this to my art friend Glenda Banta and was brainstormed and with two other local artists, Kathleen Eaton and Pat Johnson, we plan to do an art exhibit of women by women for the month of January 2011 at the Spies Public Library in Menominee. (More on that to come). Then me quilter friend, Mary Ann Provancher, lent me this great quilting book from a class she took from Ricky Timms while in Florida. I have done several of his "convergence" quilts but never saw it on point. So the combination of naming our January exhibit "Venue Rising" and the new convergence technique a fresh idea was born. I wanted Venus to rise up out of something besides the traditional water and I thought of her rising out of addition. I thought of alcohol, gambling, smoking and food additions and thought if I could find enough printed images of these subjects, I could fussy cut and fuse them around the base of Venus. I was very fortunate to have another quilter friend, Cher Alexander, who has an arsenal of "theme" fabrics and contributed about 80% to my cause. I nixed the smoking addiction for this quilt because there were no fabrics available which is actually good and I probably wouldn't have had room. As the eye travels upward "out of addiction" there are images of change like better foods, spirituality, happiness etc. I thread painted words of encouragement in the "sky" area like recovery, peace, love, karma, wholeness, grace etc. I should mention the Venus figure is raw edge fused appliqued over the convergence top and the images of good and bad stuff is fused in a collage type quilt. It is supposed to be chaotic and crazy on the bottom and open and serene as Venus "rises" out of her addictions. I had a piece of Luella Doss' Free Spirit line of fabric called "Hot Flash" which I used at the bottom to add the lettering to. It is a very fun and colorful fabric and the circles of the border print could be seen at bubbles from a beer or champagne or hard candy. I didn't embellish this piece because it had enough going on. It was a fun project with a social issue which is not my usual style. I was thinking of donating it to a place were there is a recovery program etc., after the library exhibit, but am not sure where that would be since it covers more than one addiction.
My quilt "Hera and Aphrodite" won 2nd Place in the Marquette MI "Autumn Comforts" Quilt Show held on Oct. 16-17, 2010. I placed the quilt in the Original Design/Art Quilt category which ended up with 17 quilts. This guild has many awesome art quilters and I thought my chances were slim for a ribbon. This quilt technique was a new one with a mosaic style of applique placement. I was exploring the "golden ratio" of facial proportion when I designed this piece. I selected cool tones for the skin and warm tones for the hair. I went out of the box and chose a white background instead of my normal black with brights. All the applique is done with batiks. The background figure is all thread painted with rainbow varigated thread and some white shimmer paint. It was a study of contrasts in female strength vs soft and upon completion of this quilt my boyfriend, Ken, declared it wasn't my normal stuff and he really didn't "get it or liked it". He even asked me to remove it from the wall in our living room because it was staring at him. He now says he likes the quilt because a quilt judge found something artsy in it to give it a quilt ribbon. The Marquette Guild also made very fun and colorful ribbons with streamers of colorful yarn which was creative and decorative !!
This is my latest finished project. I found a cool picture in a salon magazine of a mohawk hairstyle and thought about a girl I went to beauty school with back in the late 1980s who had a fakey jet black mohawk and that's where I got the title for this quilt. After the face was finished, I think she looks like Christina Aguilara (spelling?). I am intending it for an undisclosed contest and was limited to certain fabrics. I have selected commercial cottons and two fabrics from the Halloween costume section. The black/red background print is a weird knit which I backed with interfacing to stablize it. I used the reverse side which was solid red for the bikini top and the lips. The little jacket is a black with red sparkly tulle used for fairy/princess costumes. I created seam allowances and added a decorative stitch to the jacket front and sleeve edges like a real garment might have. The hair has two textures of yarn which I hand stitched to the quilt. All the applique is raw edge fused. I have embellishments of rhinestones, glitter, 3 colors of nail polish, an earring from Claires Boutique at the mall and the yarns in the hair. This was a fun project from start to finish with no glitches. I contemplated a tattoe on the arm of the woman but left it off because I thought it might be too distracting. Should I add one and if so what should it be-a flower, guitar, bird, skull and cross bones....?
I am a member of SAQA (Studio Arts Quilters Association) and they have an art quilt auction which raises money for art quilt exhibitions and outreach programs. They encouraged each member to make and donate a 12 x 12 art quilt of their liking to be auctioned off in September/October of 2010. The auction raised $52,000 and I found out my piece was purched by a woman in California; I am thrilled to have a complete stranger choose my art quilt and it's fun to know my piece is in sunny California!! I will definitely make a piece for the 2011 auction.