Saturday, February 14, 2009

Doors Across Austin
36" x 52"
I have been working on this one for several years now, and finally a venue came that fit it, so I knew it was time to make it. I had read a wonderful book called Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandlin. She designs cattle gates for a living and is famous for being successful and having autism. As a child, she had a fascination with doors, I remember reading her fascination with sliding doors at the grocery store vividly. It reminded me of my son's fascination with spinning things. As she got older, she would use doors, both literally and figuratively, to help her with transitions in her life. She would walk through a door and picture in her mind the change she was making. It is common to really, really hate changes. Ah, this is my son's experience too. Although because he has ADHD too, he loves novelty. I can never predict when he needs things to stay the same and when he will want novelty. It's exhausting. I made this quilt and dedicate it to him. All the normal developmental challenges that he will face, transitions he will have to make. This year was middle school, and it hasn't been pretty. I used photos of doors from all over Austin, because this is where we live. And, I only selected colorful doors because he likes bright colors (guess he is kind of like me in that respect). If you notice, his path avoids entering most of the doors....
 The door images were taken over a period of about 2 years. I printed them on cotton fabric. My printer is not calibrated, so I had to do a bit of photo manipulation on photoshop. For the most part, the doors are really these colors. The background was made from accordion pleating my hand-dyed fabrics, rolling them like a cinnamon roll, then dipping the edges quickly in wax. Then bleach discharge, and over-dyeing. I tried to soften the images with lots of hand stitching, a mother's love.
And though, this quilt is about him, I think avoiding changes in life is a fairly universal feeling, at least it is for me.

21 comments:

Nellie's Needles said...

This quilt is touching and magnificent!

Happy Valentine's Day and I wish much love and laughter for you and your family.

Christine Thresh said...

I am so moved by your quilt.

The colors, the layout, the subject all work together. Congratulations.

Carmen Rose said...

Bless your heart and your son as well! Doors are also a theme for me. During one of the darkest seasons of my life I had a dream of doors and it brought about one of the biggest changes in my life!

norma said...

It's a fabulous quilt! I love everything about it, the colors. the photo transfers, the hand sewing and the symbolism.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

An amazing piece. The symbolism can
mean so many things for so many people since we all have our own doors to open and close in our lives.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful - what a blessing for your son. I too think hating change is universal. I remember a quote from Tim Allen, it really spoke to me - "I hate getting in the shower, and I hate getting out of the shower". Just that simple thing, a shower, is fraught with change and I hate it too, lol.
This is an amazing gift for him.
Blessings,
Allie in MI

judy coates perez said...

kathy, I love this, you need to enter it into other venues too. I think many people would relate to it's theme.

Cindy said...

This is an absolutely beautiful quilt, even without all the meaning. You certainly have stitched it with a mother's love.

shellysquilts said...

Kathy, It is amazing! Well done!

Dee Ramirez said...

Kathy,

You're quilts evoke so much emotion. You are amazing!

Kathleen said...

When I grow up I want to be an art quilter just like you - you are simply fabulous! I am always in awe.

Margeeth said...

This is a great quilt, I love it. You certainly found a lot of really bright coloured doors. I like the story beneath it. I thought I read your son was in special education? Is he doing OK now?

Martha said...

What a beautiful piece!! An with so much meaning. You are sooo good!

Karen Newman Fridy said...

Oh wow... I can see why this was chosen! I can't wait to see it in person...what a moving story behind the work.

Connie Akers said...

I love your work but this quilt speaks to my heart as the mother of a son who always walked to a different beat. Blessings

Helen said...

Wonderful, Kathy. A very powerful piece.

Vivien said...

Amazing! This fits the theme perfectly, though I suspect that your piece will have a home in many shows, since it's beautifully rendered.

Holly said...

What an incredible quilt! I love all the little touches, such as the embroidered flowers and the realistic shoes he is wearing. Wow!

Anonymous said...

I love your quilts! I've just come from the Dallas Quilt show and loved your "Vertigo".

Mermaids Purse said...

I think this quilt is stunning - love it!

Chris said...

Just saw this - a stunning quilt, with such a special message, and made with such love. and I agree with another, it should be in lots of venues, for many to receive its message.