Well, it’s happened: I got a quilt accepted to a special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival-Houston! My quilt, We Can Quilt it!, will be in the “Power of Women” exhibit on the Special Exhibits floor, November 8-11, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The quilt is a six-foot-tall self-portrait influenced by the work of Gustav Klimt, featuring hand-painted silk and a selection of my favorite purple fabrics.
I created this art quilt specifically to enter this exhibit, but the techniques and stylistic choices are ones that I use a lot. There’s a lot of fusing, painting, and improv piecing happening.
I use Tsukineko inks, usually thickened with aloe vera gel, to do my painting, and they are phenomenal for fabric. I have really enjoyed using them, and the experience is very similar to painting with oils in portrait class at the Art League.
Here is a detail shot that shows the quilting once the surface was completely finished. The Diamond Star blocks by my head and the Dresden Plates on the left side are from the ancestral quilt block collection – blocks hand pieced by my grandmothers, great-aunts, or other elders in the family long before I was around. Large numbers of blocks from quilts that were never finished now live in drawers in my studio. I like to include those ancestors in my self-portrait, especially considering how often in the history of the world that textiles were the work of women in families.