Saturday, June 3 – Sunday, September 3, 2006
The quilt as an art form is alive and well in an innovative special exhibition opening June 3 at the American Textile History Museum. Titled Quilt National ‘05, the exhibit showcases a selection of 30 quilts from the biennial international juried exhibition of contemporary quilts. Juried on originality, design, technique, and craftsmanship, Quilt National, which began in 1978, is one of the most highly regarded exhibitions in the contemporary quilting world.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Lancaster Series: Witness
Cotton canvas, acrylic paint, pastel, textile paint; airbrushed, machine embroidered and quilted; 54 x 60 inches.
This quilt is about the brutal and shattering effects of war. My uncle, George McLaughlin, was 22 and the bombardier on an RAF Lancaster when it crash-landed in a beet field in France, narrowly missing the town of Marcilly. Witnesses recall a huge fire that lasted 24 hours. Sixty years later, the farmer who owns the field still ploughs up bits and pieces of the fuselage and keeps them in a wheelbarrow in his barn.
Central Park West Night III
Cotton hand-dyed by the artist, sheer fabric; hand and machine appliqu‚d, machine embroidered and quilted; 63 x 51 inches.
This quilt was made with fabric that I dyed and then constructed in a collage-like manner with sheer overlays and stitching to embellish it. I tried to capture the overall impression of the park, surrounded by tall buildings, and the exciting juxtaposition the location creates.
The selections on display at the Museum explore how the Quilt National artist is intrigued by the challenge of expanding the boundaries of traditional quilt making: how the artist takes the basic structural characteristics of a quilt that is predominately fiber and composed of at least two full and distinct layers that are held together with stitches, and creates an original design using the newest materials and technologies to make a totally individual statement.
Brooklyn, New York
Cotton, cotton-blend fabric; stenciled, direct and reverse-hand appliquéd, machine pieced, hand quilted; 77 x 85 inches.
This quilt combines details of photographs and souvenirs from a trip to Beijing in December 2001. Most of the details are from the hutongs of Beijing traditional alleyway neighborhoods which are being razed in favor of modern chrome and glass behemoths. The color and humor of the finished piece reflect the happiness felt in the company of dear friends.
Hand-dyed cotton and silk, commercial fabric, cotton blends, antique veil, antique yo-yos; pieced, appliquéd, machine embroidered and quilted; 33 x 33 inches.
I made a collage with commercial and hand-dyed fabrics I had collected. I then added antique yo-yos, veiling, and machine-embroidered, selected areas. Out of the dialogue with material and technique comes the finished quilt.
Un-sized and dye-painted commercial and hand-dyedcottons, ikats and batiks; hand and machine pieced, fused and hand quilted; 42 x 32 inches .
The quilt medium is, for me, a metaphor for making the best of life, of the cards one is dealt. My work reflects notions of appreciating the chance encounter, embracing diversity, and tolerating the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated textures. I like to think that I live the examined life and that I revise my choices for the best-quilted outcome.
Techniques range from a series of related blocks carefully executed in commercial fabrics to a single over-all image employing self-dyed fabric, vinyl cloth, ink and found objects; from the latest in the marriage of surface design and photography to special effects achieved through a combination of hand and machine techniques, and beautifully textured surfaces embellished with embroidery, paint, buttons and beads that enhance the overall effects of color, texture and shape.
Johnson City, Tennessee
Wall Quilt #25
Linen, photograph of a wall in Cordoba, Spain; inkjet printed, dyed, machine embroidered, quilted; 36 x 50.
This work is part of an ongoing series, exploring the complex surfaces of aging walls, using photographic imagery on fabric. The different patterns and textures that occur in the wall as a result of construction, deterioration, and reconstruction set up interesting visual relationships and contrasts when reproduced in softer materials.
Award for Most Innovative Use of the Medium sponsored by Friends of Fiber Art International.
Waalre, The Netherlands
Mimiquilt IX: Solidarity
Silk and cotton-blend fabrics hand painted and dyed by the artist; stamped, machine pieced, hand appliquéd, hand and machine quilted; 51 x 56 inches.
Mimis are long, thin spirits who, in ancient times, taught the Australian Aboriginals all they needed to know to survive. Inspired by the so-called hollow-log Mimis from Arnhemland, Australia, I designed a specific mimi-shape to show several aspects of human life. This quilt deals with the fact that in times of trouble, people help one another. A neighbor across from me experienced this when her husband fell ill and died from cancer.