Finally got around to getting photographs of some more of the quilts/quilt tops I have collected. Here is one of the very early ones. Now, as I see the photos of these collected quilts all in a digital file, I begin to see how much many of these works influenced my journey as an artist.
The year is 1991. I had first seen this quilt top in the display window of Sharks, a used clothing store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. It was part of a Christmas display, and was tagged “Not For Sale.” In May, the quilt top was on the store’s shelf of linens for sale, and I jumped at it, probably overpaying at $85. Didn’t seem to matter, since I thought it was marvelous. According to my journal, I “ran home with it and put it on the wall to stare at it.”
Then began an exercise that I can hardly begin to comprehend now: I started hand quilting it, using an Aunt Grace fabric for the backing and 100% cotton batting. This quilting took at least two years, and I was approaching the time when I would begin machine quilting, having taken a beginning class at Cotton Patch, a fabric store in Lafayette.
See the detail below for the tedious way I decided to quilt this beauty. Perhaps this labor was why I was warming to the idea of machine quilting.
And, as if hand quilting wasn’t enough for me to take on, I decided to bind this quilt without squaring it up (and using coarse feed sack fabric) JUST BECAUSE I KNEW HOW TO DO IT. A true what-was-I-thinking moment ! ! ! It took forever.
Actually, the choices were either whack off the entire outside row of triangles, or hand sew a new row of squares all the way around that I would be willing to cut in half, or bind it like this. This whole project was finished in 1993.
Headless Susan and daughter Maggie (age 4), posing with the finished quilt
Click here to see how I used this same pattern, using larger squares and putting the patches on point.