Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Little Fish in a Big City
60" x 60"
Sea levels rising, engulfing cities, the new transportation, fish carrying all the people. Look closely at the bottom right corner for the little fish for whom the quilt was named. This quilt is dedicated to environmental refugees everywhere.
I made the buildings first, just to see if I could sew a 3D cube shaped building. My first attempts did not work at all, but I persevered. All the wrong ones, showed me eventually how to get it right. They are folded, machine stitched, opened up, lined with timtex, and stuffed with polyester, last the bottom opening was hand sewn closed. The buildings range in size from fairly flat to 5 inches tall and stick out perpendicularly from the quilt. This quilt hangs on the wall as the buildings appear to defy gravity. For the most part they did well, however, the tallest buildings had significant problems with sagging and required numerous structural engineering to solve the problems!
navy background is a whole cloth batik drawn exclusively with a tjanting that I was trying to learn. The fabrics for the buildings are commercial fabrics batiked in stripes and then bleached and overdyed. The turquoise and cobalt blocks are all hand-dyed batiks, mostly stamped from found objects. Among the more unusual ones, a spring from an automatic car window, and hexogonal climbing gear, and children's toys.
There are over 400 buildings, and I forget how many fish, but I can say when I was making them...I never thought I would make enough. The fish are made from screenprinted thickened dyes, machine sewn, painted organza for the pectoral fins, painted eyes and mouths (which are open).
If you want to see this in person, check out it's traveling schedule at www.dairybarn.org
Follow the link to Quilt National 2009, it is in collection group C.