There are so many things wrong with our country and world right now, it is hard to choose one thing to focus on. Instead, I decided to make a piece about my feeling that the world is broken and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. This is one of those pieces that started out with a very specific plan and then just didn’t work, so I had to take a few steps back and revise the piece until it made the statement I wanted.
I started by painting fabric for the sky and grass.
The painted grass didn’t look right, though, so I swapped it out for a commercial fabric. Once the grass and water were in place, I layered it and started quilting.
I chose a variegated thread for the water and clear thread to make clouds in the sky. In the grass, I used bright colors for free-motion flowers and variegated green for the stems and grass.
Once the landscape was completely quilted, I cut it into small pieces.
Then I started sewing the pieces back together, but all mixed up so the sky was mixed in with the grass and water. This was meant to show how mixed up and upside-down the world feels.
The next step was to create a purple person that would sit in this mixed up world.
But when I put the person in the piece, s/he disappeared and the landscape was too mixed up with nowhere for the eye to focus. After staring at it for a week or so, I took the seam ripper out and took all the landscape pieces apart. I also made a new purple person out of a slightly lighter fabric so s/he wouldn’t blend into the background.
Once the landscape was back in pieces, I started putting them back together again but this time closer to the original layout so it’s clear that you’re seeing sky, grass, and water.
The next step was to figure out how to position the quilt on the canvas and whether the figure should be sitting or standing/climbing. The second version seemed to work best, so it was time to attach to quilt to the canvas.
In order to mount the quilt to the back of the canvas without bumpy corners, I carefully cut the corners and stitched them so the piece fit perfectly and slipped right on.
Then just a little glue on the front and staples on the back held it right in place.
With the figure stitched in place and hanging wire on the back, the piece was ready to hang!
Now I think the next piece will need to be a little more hopeful that we can make a difference!