Saturday, May 06, 2006

Martha's Pumpkin Men - 2002
30" x 39"
My friend, Molly, takes Halloween more seriously than
Christmas, I mean, she goes all out with the decorations. Several of her wall quilts inspired me to make a Halloween quilt, but I couldn't decide what to do....Until I saw this issue of Martha Stewart's Halloween Issue!! She had carved these pumpkin men and they looked so awesome! I knew this was the perfect inspiration for my quilt. I used her pumpkin men, and added the carrot skirt for the middle guy. I tea dyed the orange fabrics to make them darker towards the horizon and give depth to the piece. The pumpkins in the foreground are also of her design. I added the pieced blue sky, moon and bat, and the tree branch. It was my hope to use zig-zag to add some shading. My sewing machine was hopelessly inadequate to do satin stitching, so I settled for zig-zags to cover all the fused edges as well. I also used bleach pens to make the peas for the collars and eyebrows. I used some paint on some of the pumpkins to add depth, and I hand embroidered the original poem around the border. One of my favorite parts of this quilt was the quilting in the border because it took on such a nice graphic appeal. It has a lot of starts and stops and yes, they do show a bit, but practice will improve my skills with this. This quilt won 3rd place at the Austin Quilt Show in 2002, and went to the IQA Houston Quilt Show in 2003.

Lunar One -2003
27" x 37"
This started as a geologic quilt of the back side of the moon. I decided I could make the colors prettier than the geologists (or should I say, planetary scientists?). However, as I was working on the images of these craters, the significance of how they were created, by huge impacts began to trickle over to my subconscious. I began having images of all these people trying to raise their voices against domestic violence. Hence the back image of the quilt was born.

The quilting lines that serve as topographic information on the front become concentric targets for the faces on the back. As a survivor of domestic violence I had a huge disconnect of my head and my heart, so I decided to present just the faces here. It was my first time to try to depict human forms in fabric and I was really surprised when the first one, "orbital" came out looking like a a recognizable face. I also wanted to show that it is not just the victims who are affected by domestic violence. Whole communities are impacted, children, parents, brothers and sisters, and friends. This quilt was accepted to Quilts for Change, a fund raiser in Cincinati, OH in 2004. I was so pleased to have a venue to show it. I had hoped that it was able to hang where both sides could show, but since I didn't get to attend, I suspect only the front side was shown, with an occasional look at the back from quilt angels.


Carol Dean Sharpe said...

Kathy -- This is an amazing quilt. Each face tells a story, even if only imagined or imposed. Thank you for putting this up after our QA discussion. Carol Dean

Karoda said...

Hi Kathy, I will be attending a workshop this year at Quilts for Change. I wish I had gone when your quilt was hanging up. My former employer of 5 years was a coordinator/advocate at a agency that serves people who have experienced sexual assault/domestic violence...keep on keeping on and I thank you for sharing this piece here!

Tonya Ricucci said...

I absolutely love your pumpkin men. the black cat in particular is fabulous. Wonderful to have such a lighthearted piece in amongst the serious.