Friday, October 29, 2021

 After our record breaking storm last weekend, we had a beautiful day for our last reveal of the year.  And so many beautiful quilts were revealed. Here are their stories:

The Dark Side

"No Word" 15"x23"
by Michelle Peerson

Grief is dark.  A child whose parents die is an Orphan.  A partner whose spouse dies is a widow.  A parent whose child dies knows the dark side.  This was created with hand dyed Shibori Indigo background, steam-a-seam 2 lite.

"Firestorm" 23" x 19"
by Pat Gillings

Living with fire and smoke for months on end in Northern California is definitely "the dark side" of climate change.  I created this quilt to show the emotional impact of another summer of continual loss.  I believe the tree picture was originally taken in New Zealand and I had previously modified it to a 'glowing' look, but never used it directly in a quilt  I then applied the app WordFoto which allows you to surround your photo with up to ten works of your choosing.  The app fills in the words randomly in all the empty spaces.  Amazing.  This quilt was created after learning multiple skills in Susie Monday's online course on crating online art and collage.  

"Deciding in the Darkness" 35" x 39"
by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss, MD

I was inspired to choose this them because it fit only too well the state of mind I have been dealing with intermittently for some time now.  Artistically, I think that some observers might find that it evokes similar feelings applicable to moments in their own lives.  Munch's famous painting, "The Scream", inspired my starting place for the Dark Side challenge.  The screaming suffering "Self" is in the center, with dark, moody fabrics radiating out from upper left, suggestive of the perspective that Munch creates with a bridge in his original painting.  There is an Angel on one shoulder, and a Demon on the other, each in position to whisper influential advice.  But the Angel is trapped in a gilded cage, in the path of an oncoming storm, and so the Demon has full access, and spews his malice to the unfortunate suffering Self. Note:  the only white fabric in the quilt is a ray of White Light, perhaps a Ray of Hope, extending down from the upper left.  It appears to be coming from the outstretched hand of a hooded figure, who at first glace could be a Savior, but then looks more like the Grim Reaper.  Perhaps it is both death and Redemption  It stands in a peaceful graveyard, beckoning. This torturous predicament is made even more acute by the rising flames.  This is, indeed, a very dark quilt.  The Angel image was fussy cut from Christmas fabric, the Demon & Death figures were drawn by me with Micron pens and colored pencils, the background is pieced and machine appliqued.  Mostly cotton/polyester thread was used with some monofilament.  Then bamboo batting was used.

"Midnight Midway" 34" x 44"
by Marylee Drake

I wanted to do something using dark fabric with a dark theme.  I'm a an of Steven Kin's literature and his many dark stories.  I thought of a midway at midnight before the lights went out , but the visitors were gone.  I imagined scary shadows and monsters lurking in the recesses of the booths and among the rides.

Who Am I

"Healing" 27 1/2 x 40 1/2
by Jan Reed

All this time isolating during COVID made me re-evaluate who I am and what's important to me in life.  The inspiration for this was a painting of a creek that made me long to be able to go and sit there for as long as it took to sort through things.  This was made with commercial batiks, fabric inks, prismacolor pencils, some fabric paints and fused, raw edge applique of almost 300 pieces.  This piece turned out to be really difficult as the wonderful blends of paints the original artist used were tough to find in my fabrics.  I also altered certain parts of his scene and then those didn't match up with the master I drew.

"Mask Mandate" 20" x 20"
by Jane Haworth

I included the year 2020 and this is how we lived our lives in 2020 - Masks! I made a self portrait-selfie photograph.  I used hand painted on cotton using a variety of acrylic fabric paints.  I used a hand-carved rubber stamp, wool & cotton batting.  I used terial magic on the mask. This is my first self-portrait and I feel hiding half the face made it easier.  I painted the face after I drew out an enlarged photo.  This I backed with wool and free motion quilted.  I made my stamp "20" and stamped fabric for the background.  I layered them up and added the mask.  The mask I pinned in place and sprayed with terial magic to keep the folds.  I thought that was a good idea.  I enjoyed making this quilt.  The hardest part was adding the light reflections on the glasses.  

Wild Animals

"Barn Owl" 22" x 28"
by Ginny Petersen

I wanted to create a quilt without straight sides and also crate another wall hanging using the beautiful maple tree seed pods.  I used scraps from my stash, yarn, vinyl mesh, maple tree seed pods for the owl's body.  Tree roots were splayed out on freezer paper to prevent sticking and glued in place using Elmer's craft bond quick dry glue.  The tree was quilted with stippling stitch on my Bernina 770QE. Barn owls are rarely seen but always there.  The only one I ever saw spent a few days under the overhang of our house.  This one is hanging out in a tree.

"Alkebulan" 36" x 26"
by Sandi Lauher

This depicts 4 wild animals of Africa  My love of Africa, it's landscape and it's cultures and especially it's wildlife inspired this quilt.  I used cotton fabric, synthetic felt, polyester thread, water color pencils, tassels, and bone beads.  The quilt's largest animal is centered.  I chose the elephant because of the love and respect that I have for them.  But what you notice first are the other 3 animals (lion, giraffe & meerkat).  The acacia tree and monstera leaves are plant life of Africa.  2 challenges I faced were the painting of the lion's face (took many attempts) and the order of my process.  The backing was attached before the bottom cording.  I think the reverse would have been easier.

"Gino & Aloicious" 35 1/2" x 20 1/2"
by Tracy Visher

While not the typical rendition of a wild animal from a jungle or African veld, these two chimpanzees are definitely "wild"! The typical crazy thing that just pops in my head was the inspiration.  I found a photo that showed two chimps together that I used mere to be sure I understood their features.  The rest is whimsy.  I used cotton batting, cotton fabric, tinsel, angelina fiber, fiberfill, sequins, brass chain, inside of a mylar balloon, upholstery vinyl, inktense blocks and pencils.  I always set out to challenge myself in some fashion.  Trying to get clothes on these boys and give them facial features that conveyed a personality were the two big ones this time.  Getting Gino's eyes was really important too!

Wildcard 2020

"2020" 20" x 20"
by Sharon Rizzato

As an ICU RN, I have been hit, pinched, kicked and emotionally abused by family members, but never have I felt unsafe for more than a moment.  In 2016 a pandemic team was appointed for the USA.  They developed an epidemiologic play book, it included identification of emerging threat and a specific plan to keep the US safe from a novel virus.  In 2018, the pandemic team was disbanded by our "leader". The pandemic play book was never utilized during the Covid pandemic.  As an ICU RN, I witnessed hospitals scrambling to obtain and stretch the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  One time use cheap plastic gowns and a mask were now to be used for an entire 12 hour shift.  N95 masks were only issued to be used with identified positive Covid patients.  Covid testing took 6 days to result.  In normal times, PPE was readily available to us, we were able to use what we needed without positive testing.  I witnessed two emergencies that occurred shortly after shift change where our only options were to use night shift's old PPE or wait for PPE to arrive from the basement or not respond to the patient  This was unacceptable and dangerous to healthcare providers.  In fact during the first year of Covid, 3800 health care providers died in the US.  The majority of them worked either in the ED or the ICU.  Being an older RN with underlying health issues, I realized it was time to leave.  After the second emergency with no PPE, I left the ICU and went to a non-Covid unit and eventually moved to Covid tracking and tracing.  I retired two years earlier than I expected due to this.  The hospitals were doing their best to protect us and make sure we had PPE for the future. It was the US that failed the health care system.

"Let's Heal the World" 24" x 22"
by Sue Marshall

I wanted a positive take on "2020'.  So "Heal the World" was conceived.  I wanted to symbolize "Heal the World".  It shows a broken world in the background, hand stitching and photos of people being 'hugged by quilts' to symbolize healing.  I used batik and cotton fabric, printed photos on cotton (ink jet), machine and hand stitching.  I went to my first quilt retreat.  So it was a great opportunity to get pictures of people with quilts around them.  I love the photos and good memories I have of getting people to help with my project.  

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