Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Tribute to Yvonne Porcella Quilt

 This quilt was made for a tribute to Yvonne Porcella call "Live Your Brightest Life" and a group of selected quilts (including mine!) will hang in an exhibit called Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore California Sept. 23-26, 2016.
I found out about this quilt challenge through Pokey Bolton's blog. Pokey was a great friend of Yvonne's and after Yvonne's passing this winter, of Stage 4 cancer, Pokey blogged about this challenge opportunity and I decided to create a 18" x 26" size quilt inspired by Yvonne's body of work. We were asked to write something for Yvonne's family-whether we knew her, met her through a class or quilt show or was inspired by her work. 
I never met Yvonne but knew of her because she was one of the pioneers in the art quilt world. She started Studio Arts Quilters Associates which I have been a member of. She taught and wrote many publications through the years. She was ill but made an appearance at the IQF Houston 2014 but I didn't see her there.
My inspiration from Yvonne is her use of bright bold colors; her integration of black and white prints with the bright colors and her whimsical style. She created a few portrait quilts and I used these four elements to create my design.
I was curious anyway to make a face fantasy-like and have a rainbow of colors swirled across the face while keeping the hair a "normal" color. I chose Afro puffs as the hairstyle because it is playful and I just love it!! The dress fabric is a scrap of a large scale floral print that shouts happiness. Is the woman black or white-is it a woman?
The background was inspired by the pop art images of 1960s artist Peter Maxx. He used the two tone radiating striped backgrounds in his art and I went with that using Yvonne's white and black influence. 
I knew the dress's neckline needed something white and black to tie it all together and I "auditioned" a variety of trims, fabrics, beads etc, and nothing looked right. I had to purchase the trim I used and it is the correct width of trim and the dots are to scale of the rest of the dress.
 I embellished the eyes with chunky glitter nail polish on the lids. I hand sewed white beads to the dress and the nose got a rhinestone "piercing," but the best part was finally finding my plastic fruit beads from some 1980s jewelry that I had misplaced. I save lots of stuff from the past-you never know!! I was intending to use it on my "Kitschy" quilt from May and tore up my house to find it. So it seemed right to have the fruit become earrings on this fun bright quilt!
Not an embellishment but I used black velvet for the upper lip and black lame' for the lower lid just to break up the continuity of commercial cottons/batiks.
 Here is another view of the quilt. As I was working on this quilt the national news story about the Orlando nightclub shooting had transpired. I was and still am shook up about that so I named this quilt "Pulse" after the nightclub in Orlando to commemorate.
Pokey Bolton confirmed my quilt would be part of the exhibit and she said Yvonne would like it too! Awww!
I can't wait to see what other art quilts designed as their tributes to Yvonne!!