Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tag, You’re It!

For our May challenge, we decided to do the Quilting Arts Magazine Reader Challenge titled, "Tag You're It." The requirement was to make a text based quilt,  8.5 X 11 inches in vertical (portrait) orientation.

Joan: "Mom's Advice"
 At first I really struggled with this challenge. Right away I had an idea but executing that idea in design was so difficult. At times, I thought a "real artist" would probably abandon an idea that did not work and move on to something else. I, however, could not let it go. Finally, when I simplified the idea it came together.

In July of 2007, my two sons went to Europe. While there, they decided to participate in the "Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain- not something a mother wants advance notice about. We had a little email exchange about the idea...I expressed my words of wisdom...such as they were and in the end, they did the run. My quilt includes an excerpt of my advice to them in our email exchange, a picture of my boys in the appropriate outfits, and a representation of the "bull run route" culminating in the "bulls eye/bull ring" at Plaza de Toros.

I started with a photo of my sons which I printed onto fabric. The photo is embellished with red silk and some stitching to make the photo pop. I also printed the excerpt from the email message onto fabric.  The  bulls eye arena was free motion stitched and a likeness of a map of the streets of Pamplona was used as the inspiration for quilting the piece

Hope: Like Joan, I loved the idea of this challenge, had an idea of what I wanted to represent but had a hard time creating the design. When I finally completed it, my family made comments like, "well, it's not pretty," and "I don't think it is an art quilt; maybe a novelty quilt." You be the judge.

My husband has had some serious health issues. In dealing with them as a couple, it has been helpful to remember all the good things in our life. As for the current challenges, well, "LIFE is what it is." We need to deal with the hard parts without losing sight of the good stuff.

My design is set up as a scrabble board. I made the "tiles" with fabric fused to felt, topped with a sparkly organza. In addition to the message on the tiles, the board squares have messages of all the good things in our life.

Melanie: The "Tag You're It" title of the challenge brought to mind the unique signatures ("tags") graffiti artists use to sign their work. I decided to use my initials in a way that communicates one of my passions (in addition to quilting of course). I love music and play the mountain dulcimer. My quilt uses my initials with a mountain dulcimer making up one leg of the "M." The letters are filled with musical terms.The background is a piece of my hand dyed fabric with pale notes printed on it.

I also did a second piece. This one is based on love letters between my Italian paternal grandparents. The letters are from 1920-1921 before they were married. My grandmother had immigrated to Rhode Island with her family and my grandfather was serving in the Italian army. The wrote in the English they had learned in school so their love letters could not be read by their parents. When he was discharged, he came to RI, they married, had 5 children and a long an happy marriage.

The background of my quilt includes excerpts from some of their letters and my grandfather's discharge certificate from the Italian army. I especially like the 1920's stationery with the woman in the dress of the period. The circles are meant to represent their wedding rings. It is hard to see in the photo, but the rings contain quotes from their letters.

Cathey: At the time we received this challenge, I was scheduled for a breast biopsy. The words constantly running through my head were, "Please be benign." I decided to base my quilt on that. The lettering is on painted Lutradur. The woman is me. I am known for my goofy earrings so I gave her one too. My hair is made from strips of black fabric and the "lump" is painted tyvek. I did make myself a bit thinner but was honest about my arms. :) The piece has binding on 3 sides only to accentuate the figure extending beyond the page.

PS - the lump was indeed benign.

Marcia: My quilt is built around 1 word: LOVE. I hand lettered LOVE in 29 languages. I also quilted "LOVE." I used Jelly Roll pens to do the lettering They are great fun to use.