Cuyahoga Valley Forest Spirit
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, located in Ohio, invites teaching artists to develop arts activities that connect with the Park Association's interdisciplinary environmental education curriculum. Artists live in a cottage in the forest for 6-8 weeks and besides teaching, have time to work on personal art projects. In 2001, I accepted the invitation and enjoyed the end of summer, fall and the beginning of winter.
The children and I created a narrative, mural quilt depicting Ohio environments from the early 1800’s through present time; we wrote theater pieces that documented Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and created structures in the forest using only material that had fallen to the forest floor. To see more, click images below.
While I was there, the environment inspired me to create a quilt titled "Cuyahoga Forest Spirit." The surface design was created using a technique I call abstract positioning. It is the same technique used in Bebop in the Small of Her Back.
Other techniques include machine quilting, machine embroidery, beadwork, and stamping. Materials include cotton and synthetic fabrics, found objects, wood, paint, glitter, beads, sequins, and threads.
The stick included at the top of the quilt was waiting for me one morning on the steps when I went outside to drink my coffee. A gift.
Our Name Is Memory is a reissue of my collection of poems (first published in 2013 as Wild Howling Woman). The new and improved second edition is available here.
I decided to use Cuyahoga Forest Spirit as the cover, and with a little manipulation with filters came up with the following image.
Purchase Our Name Is Memory here.
Some years ago, I curated a quilt exhibition inspired by former slave, Sarah Wilson, who though elderly, said, "I Can Still Quilt Without My Glasses." Artist and exhibition designer, Elizabeth Asche Douglas, and I installed the exhibition at the Associated Artist Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. (2000)
Click the newspaper article and exhibition card below for better viewing.
Because of the marketing surrounding the exhibition, a lady in the nearby town of New Alexandria, PA, contacted me wondering if I would like to have a box of quilt squares she inherited from her mother-in-law, Mrs. Hargnett, who’d just passed away. Of course, I said yes, and in a few days a box arrived filled to the brim with Mrs. Hargnett's work!
This post describes Mrs. Hargnett's Nine Patch Blocks. Click the two images below for better viewing. You will see that a nine patch is 3 small squares at the top of the block, 3 in the middle, and 3 at the bottom. The combination of 3x3x3 and alternating color, makes the Nine Patch Block. See Redwork in Black to see another version of the Nine Patch.
During As We Mend, I shared Mrs. Hargnett's quilt blocks with my students. Of course, I was inspired to finally do something with them, but at the same time, remembered a quilt I created sometime after 2000 and before 2008. I forgot to sew a label on the back of the quilt, which is very important. We quilters have learned that we must document our work for future generations.
The quilt I will share with you now combines Mrs. Hargnett's antique quilt blocks with contemporary fabric, technique and surface design.
While I'm writing this I have decided to name the quilt, "Nine Patch in a Nine Patch in a Four Patch." I'll go back and make a label to attach to the back of the quilt later.
Let's start with my reinterpretation of one of Mrs. Hargnett's Nine Patch Blocks (above). The quilting is done with stippling, the overall, rambling, sort of doodling you see throughout. Then I added hand embroidery with pearl cotton threads and glass beads. That's the Nine Patch portion of the quilt title.
Using Mrs. Hargnett's Nine Patch Blocks as alternating color, I created the second part of the quilt title. In the image below, you can see three different blocks at the top, 3 in the middle, and 3 at the bottom which give us the Nine Patch in a Nine Patch.
Below is the final design.
So now, if you look at each section (orange, yellow, green and black) you will see four sections of Nine Patch in a Nine Patch as described above. Here we have our final quilt title explanation -- Nine Patch in a Nine Patch in a Four Patch.
The following images show more detail of quilt blocks. Each using a combination of old and new quilt blocks, acrylic paint, hand and machine quilting and embroidery and beadwork.
Well, that's it for now. Happy Quilting! or whatever creative endeavor you are doing or thinking about doing.
This is a blog about how we make things.