Monday, July 10, 2017

New Quilt: Listen Louder than You Sing

While I was at Asilomar this Spring for my artist residency, I started work on a project called "Listen Louder Than You Sing" a piece I wanted to finish in time to enter into Threads of Resistance.  I feel like so much of our current strife is caused by people not being able to look beyond their own experiences.  I decided the piece would be openwork, with multiple layers of writing.  Something like the idea of a palmipsest, except that the first layer hasn't been erased on purpose.  

I started with my standard polyester satin random apparel fabric (thanks again to Georgia, I've found lots of this kind of thing in the boxes from her and I routinely use this as a quilt base).  I layered my quilt sandwich and then put down a full sized  printout of my letters to use as a guide for quilting.  Ripping off all that paper after the fact was a pain!  As was the fact that I had to do that quilting using my old teensy travel janome and there was not very much space to ball up the quilt and paper underneath the harp!

My two texts are: "My American experience is not all American experiences", and then superimposed on that is the text "Listen louder than you sing".  Our choir director says this to us with some frequency, largely I think to try to get us to blend harmoniously (with limited success).  But I think it speaks to the same theme: to know what others are experiencing you have to listen louder than you're talking.  And yes, the irony of making a large loud quilt talking about listening is not lost on me.

After ripping off all the paper, it was time to paint the background.  These are a couple of the color schemes that inspired me; I wanted a dark background with pops of red orange and maybe some greens.  I painted the whole background with dark greys, greens, blues, and purples, then used a stencil to paint on the front letters in orange-pink-red.  Finally I cut out the back letters along the quilted outlines so that they're open.

The background looks like a fairly uniform grey, but there's actually quite a bit more variability than these pictures captured.

This is the back you can see places where the grey paint seeped through.

The final step was quilting it, and I'll be back with those pictures on Friday.

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