This is Chapter 2 of my random musings about the 2017 Sacred Threads show in Herndon, VA, showcasing quilts submitted in the categories of Joy, Inspiration, Peace and Brotherhood, Spirituality, Healing and Grief.
Let me preface this by saying that I don’t feel able to talk about and showcase even a fraction of the quilts I found beautiful, thought-provoking and inspiring. It was sort of a random what-strikes-me-at-this-moment occurrence that resulted in my photographing the ones that I did. Many, many more were equally worthy and I am sorry to leave any of them out of my review. Where the artist had a website to link to, I have done so.
Henceforth, today’s selection focuses on color. I love color. I am apt to use a lot of it. I am less drawn to pastels and subtle shadings than I am to bright, vibrant pieces with lots of contrast and zing.
This is “The Garden” by Birgit Ruotsala from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Interestingly it was entered in the “healing” category. She speaks of drawing the picture upon which the quilt is based as a respite from the stress of family members’ illnesses and death. She says “The circles helped me to center and find peace.” Within the vibrancy of the colors and shapes there is a real calmness to this piece. I love the circles within circles, the border motifs, the gentleness of the whole although it appears to be so bright and happy. So here color is serving as a balm.
There was an exhibit within the overall show called “Live Your Brightest Life,” honoring the late artist, quilter and teacher Yvonne Porcella‘s life and showcasing works made by various artists in styles reminiscent of her work. Yvonne was not afraid of color, which you will see if you click the link to her site. I aspire to her freedom of expression! This tribute piece is made by Libby Williamson. I was taken by the whimsical nature of it, and the orange and purple outfit – an unconventional color scheme that works so well in this fun little piece.
I’ve often admired this artist’s work in magazines and it was fun to see one of her pieces in the flesh, or in the fabric, as it happens. The texture of these pieces can only be appreciated in person; the photos don’t impart well the richness of the cloth and stitching. This is “VW Bus” by Teresa Shippy of Santa Ana, California. A red sky? Why not? It serves the piece well.
Below is “Flames and Embers” by Shelly Burge of Lincoln, Nebraska. The beautiful dyed fabric caught my eye, as did her artist statement which really speaks to me: “A light in the window on a dark night, the flames of a campfire, or the glowing embers in a fireplace grate; these flickering fires symbolize home, warmth, and comfort. As we make our way through this complicated world it is the home fires that guide us back to family and friends. Whether our family is connected by blood or a common bond, they give a sense of belonging.” Home, the warmth of light and connection – such a great theme, and a unique expression of it.
And then there was this beautiful mandala! I have been making mandalas for a while now, primarily abstracted ones constructed from flowers. I just loved this rendition with its depiction of the seasons in the outer ring, the various flora and fauna of the earth, its ring of flowers, its central sun. This quilt is called “Finding Sacred Space” and is by Lynn M. Kunz of Woodstock, Illinois.
This fabulous landscape with its purples and oranges is “Be Still and Know” by Jean C.R. Grimes of Wolfforth, Texas. It had so much texture, many of the seams were split so that the ragged edges protruded from the surface of the quilt. I’m afraid my picture doesn’t do it justice. The colors were so vibrant.
And then there is “Moon Flower” by Martha Petry of Westerville, Ohio. She says “Moon Flower is inspired by Matsuo Basho, a renowned Japanese poet who wrote this insightful verse more than 300 years ago: ‘There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon.’ I find immense hope and wisdom in Basho’s simple words.” Since I have been working almost solely with flowers for some years now, I find those words very validating! This is another piece that I find calmly happy.
I have one more post about the Sacred Threads show to share; next one showcasing quilts in quieter palettes.