Friday, March 1, 2013

Just doing what I do...

The binding on XX is being sewn down. The fabric was designed some time last year but the quilt I started in January and if this is any takes me about 2 months to finish a quilt  Yeah, I've been working on other quilts and haven't been singly focused on just the one.  But it is typical of the way I create.  Last week I was in the studio for about 15 hours.  I'll finish XX on Sunday when I'm at the gallery.  But it looks like I'll finish out this week with about 10 hours of studio time.

I'm already thinking about my next portrait quilt.  A newly discovered photograph of a great-great grandmother was shared last August at our family reunion. Her name was America Shannon.  I'm really puzzled and curious what it meant to her parents to have given her the name America in her birth year of 1860 (or 1863) at the start of the Civil War.  We have a marriage certificate of her 3rd marriage at age 40 to William Burnside. in 1900 having her age listed as 40.  Of course her portrait will be the focal point but I'm challenging myself to come up with a background which reflects my curiosity about her.
 America Shannon

The fabrics hanging around "Home" (working title) are being auditioned for 2 borders that I want to go around the passage way.  I have a vision of how I want to quilt the center with bronze metallic thread but I'm not sure my skill level can pull off the design.
 The fabrics at the top and the yellow-orange fabrics on the sides come from Southern Africa but I cannot recall what country specifically.  They are Jacquard and were made by a women's collective.  The backing fabric is a tie-dye that came from Nigeria.  Is my passage way a "door of return"?

Tomorrow, I'm heading to the Kentucky Crafted Market...a prestigious exhibit opportunity for artisans and craft persons in the state and region.  It started today but it is not open to the general public the first day, only to galleries and corporate buyers. I have a few studio neighbors who have been juried into it.  I hope they do exceptionally well! It gives us all hope to focus on the possibilities!



  1. What a great picture! Maybe she was named America as a means of acknowledging her rightful place in this country. Consider it a tribute. I am interested in seeing how you honor her in your quilt.

  2. That is exactly what I'm thinking also Patricia. It indicates to me that her parents were aware and lived with hope and intent that the future would change.

  3. I love that picture and the fabrics, I am looking forward to seeing this project progress.

  4. If Ms. Shannon was born the year of the Emancipation Proclamation, I can understand her parents naming her "America".

    Is the portrait quilt going with the African fabrics below, or are those two separate projects? The resonance of 'home' is moving here - the 'home' of ancestors as continent/land, and the 'home' of ancestors as connections to our inner workings...I also am looking forward to seeing how this goes... so hope that studio is up and running soon!!