I meant to post this months ago, but I got delayed. Back in January, I sent out a request for bra straps to several art quilting list-serves. It is an unusual request, to be sure, and of an intimate nature. But, I felt rather strongly about the whole theme of breast cancer, and it's early detection, and I just knew that I wanted some bra straps from real people to add to the work. I got 6 responses. And one of those was Lisa Quintana. She had been battling Stage 4 breast cancer for many years and graciously sent me a number of her old bra straps. It was early October of this year when she lost her battle with breast cancer and died. My heart just aches for her family and friends. She and I had visited multiple times via email, but I had never met her. You can get a sense of what a wonderful and generous spirit she had by visiting her blog. Meanwhile, I am left still grieving and numb, not quite knowing what to say or where to go from here. One thing is for sure, it is never easy to lose a friend.
It doesn't look like a quilt to me. And, it doesn't feel like a quilt either. It is supposed to be the definition of a quilt, 3 layers, held together with stitching. However, the call for consideration stated:
As the second part of the Radical Elements theme, the artists will also be asked to move quilting beyond the usual materials of fabric and thread, exploring the function and decorative properties of different surfaces and stitching materials. This exhibit is the first to embrace the newly expanded definition of an art quilt and will be a signature exhibition for SAQA.And, from my previous posts, you can see that I am sticking with that concept fairly well. Today, I will reveal a bit more, but not all. We are supposed to keep images of the entire quilt until the opening of the exhibit, which I believe is in May 2014.
I decided to use a black screen to hold all the components in place. I also am using recycled plastic milk bottles. I cut many, many circles, all by hand. They will be used for 2 different purposes. And, last I decided that the top "layer" of the quilt would be plastic baby bottle nipples. I love all the symbolism back to mammary glands for this project!
On the back I used one of the plastic milk jug circles for each LED. This protected the black screen from my heat gun when I applied the shrink wrap to the electrical connections.
And, with the lights on?
Last, here is an in process shot of the placement of the bra straps, before all the nipples were sewn on.