Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Women's March 2017: By the Numbers

48" x 48"

It is with great honor and pleasure that I share with you my quilt is going to be part of the permanent collection of the International Quilt Museum! I am delighted that it will be entering history in this way, especially after it's long tour with Threads of Resistance.

This quilt was made to honor the 3 million people who marched globally the day after President Trump's inauguration. There are 9216 little half inch squares making up this quilt. Each square represents 325 people, which is equivalent to a large jet plane full of people. Imagine a full airplane for each tiny little square! That's a lot of people, all marching to protect the right's of women. Women's rights are still under assault today, especially in the state of Texas. Women's rights are human rights.  We must RESIST and continue demanding our rights to our own bodies!

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Both Sides Now

International Quilt Festival Houston
Both Sides Now
photo by Sherri McCauley

photo by Karen Alexander

I am so proud and thrilled that my exhibit, Both Sides Now, was so well received in Houston this year! And it wouldn't have been possible without the support of Becky Navarro at International Quilt Festival and my sponsor Juki America. I did not go, but had asked for photos of the exhibit from friends. I was overwhelmed with the response I got!!  Christi Carew and Suzin Stern took photos of almost every side of all the quilts!  Becky Navarro, Sherri McCauley, Susan Tennison, Frances Ledenbach, Karen Alexander, Cheryl Dagan, Deborah Boschert, and Carol Jones Morrisey took photos of the exhibit, many of which were showing people looking at my quilts!  And Andrea Brokenshire and Sarah Ann Smith took videos of the exhibit so that I could see what it looked like if you were walking around! Sarah's video included her commentary of my work which was quite lovely and gave it a very professional vibe that I LOVED! I am overwhelmed and so thankful for all the kindnesses! A big thank you to all so that I could share photos here with you!! It was almost like being there!

You can see both sides of every quilt in the exhibit, along with artist statement for the quilts, and links to the quilts while I was making them, in the new tab at the top of my blog, Both Sides Now

Turn the Dial (left), Flow (right)
photo by Susan Tennison

Neurodiversity (left); His and Hers (right)
photo by Carol Jones Morrissey

Bloom (left), Butterflies (right)
photo by Karen Alexander

Photo by Christi Carew

Diverging Distractions
photo by Suzin Stern

There were some unexpected surprises as well!  If you stood in the right place the lighting went through some of the quilts, showing both sides at the same time!  

photo by Deborah Boschert
The front side of Scarcity, Plenty to Go Around.
Plenty to Go Around
photo by Cheryl Dagan

photo by Deborah Boschert
The Bloom side:
photo by Suzin Stern

No Earth, slightly more subtle in the lighting effects, but also looks amazing from the back especially when you can see references of the front side.
No Earth
photo by Suzin Stern
The front side of One Earth:
One Earth
photo by Suzin Stern

I have been asked the following questions. So I thought I would answer that here.
Q: "Why make two-sided quilts?"

A: 1. I always wonder while I am working, WHAT am I going to put on the back of this quilt??? Sometimes my brain starts brainstorming ideas that relate to the work that I am currently making for the front.  It is like expanding an idea to include another perspective of it.  Like working in a series, albeit, a limited series of only two.

2.  I really enjoy designing quilts more than quilting them (now that I am older).  This gives me an opportunity to design TWO quilts for each quilt I have to quilt.

3. Storage space for my work is getting smaller and smaller the older I get and the longer I make quilts.  This is a somewhat futile attempt to have two quilts fit into the space in my closet of ONE quilt.

4. I love, love, love the challenge of making a two-sided quilt, where the meanings or stories connect with both sides.  Even better, is when the quilting motif ties the two together. 

Q: How do I line them up so well?
A: It is really difficult to line them up.  The back side gets smoothed and taped to the floor, front side down.  Then I put a layer of batting on top of that.  Now I can't see anything of the back side, and I have to lay the front side on top of all of these, top side up.  
1. Sometimes you can fold the quilts into quarters and put a safety pin on the folds at the very edges.  Then you have 4 points you can line up.  

2. I also found that you can FEEL the seams of the back side of the quilt through the quilt sandwich and make subtle adjustments to line up the front with the way that the seam feels. 

3. Sometimes the actual design of the two sides does not have to line up perfectly for it to work.

4. For the quilt, Turn the Dial, I used the same pattern for the front as the back, and tried to sew accurately.  That one got off about 1/2" in some places, but it is not noticeable. 

If you have more questions, please ask in the comments section.  I will be happy to try answer your questions.  I am not sure if the Blogger platform will notify you that I have posted a response, but I try to answer every comment I receive, so check back!

Two Halves
photo by Suzin Stern

the other side:
photo by Suzin Stern

I also had a few comments about the hanging tubes.  Those were dreamed up for each quilt, BEFORE the backs were made.  Especially in the quilt above, I had to make sure when I was batiking the two panels that were sewn together to make Overlap (above) that I made enough to include an extra piece with the correctly spaced and dyed stripes to add the hanging tube! And it worked!!

I don't think anyone commented about my labels....
I sewed those INSIDE the hanging sleeves, as per request from the exhibit curator and coordinator, Becky Navarro at IQF.  The labels usually go on the back side of a quilt.  If these were indeed two-sided quilts, with no front or back, then the label would need to be hidden from view.  Done!
Last, there is a giveaway on my Facebook page for free two-sided postcards from the exhibit.  I was planning to hand most of these out at the festival, but then didn't go.  I will send them internationally too, so if you want one, sign up there.  Posting has been delayed, because I have run out of envelopes.  They have been re-ordered and I am hoping a Nov 15 post date. 

Thank you for stopping by!