A Fabulous Fat Quarter

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18. December 2012 07:32
by tbev

Finding Solace in Sacred Threads

18. December 2012 07:32 by tbev | 0 Comments

If this time of year hadn't already turned our thoughts to hopes for peace and comfort, certainly the events of last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut have. Today I am finding solace in a favorite gallery of quilts from Sacred Threads, an organization that recognizes quilting as an artistic medium and as a connection to the spiritual. Their exhibits have been shown around the country, and have even included a very special exhibit from women incarcerated in prison called Beyond the Barrier

From their website:

For the exhibit, quilts are divided into categories based on theme. These are Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood.  The artwork themes provide thought-provoking insights, encouragement, inspiration and healing responses to grief and human hardships. It has attracted a wide array of visitors and has proved appropriate for all ages from young teens to seniors. The exhibit is a positive influence on the human spirit, giving joy as well as addressing concerns of the soul and mind.

I've collected some of my current favorite pieces, finding solace in their incredible artistry and emotion to share with you, but I encourage you to explore the entire gallery. Below each image is a note from the artist.

1 ST 1

"The Last Squeeze"
Artist: Mary Beth Clark, South Elgin, IL

I was eight years old when my mother died unexpectedly. The last precious memory I have of her is sharing a tight hug. I wanted to capture that hug is a quilt design and layer in fabric some of the confusing feelings of loss and pain. Those grieving emotions have faded, but the memory of that squeeze has lasted my lifetime.

1 ST 2

Artist: Jennifer Day, Santa Fe, NM 

Abuela means grandmother in Spanish. This image of Abuela is a photograph of mine printed onto fabric and then stitched in intensive thread play. Her body is totally covered thread. The background is free motion embroidery. She is sitting in the window of an old adobe building near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her demeanor is one of peace and contemplation. You get the feeling that she has seen many things in her life and she is at peace with what she has seen. It was my honor to have captured this moment and have been able to express this through my art. 

1 ST 5

"Where Have All the Children Gone? Innocence"
Artist: Liz Berg, Castro Valley, CA

The series, “Where have All the Children Gone?”, is a lament for lost childhood.  Children the world over are being killed, tortured, turned in to killers, abused, ignored and forced to grow up before their time.  Old images, my own personal lament and other surface design elements such as discharging and foiling have been included in this piece.   

1 ST 3

Artist: Carol Auer, Carmel, NY 

An interpretation in fabric of one of the windows in St. James the Apostle Church, Carmel, N.Y. of "The Agony in the Garden" by stained glass artist Pierre Millous of Chartres, France. It took me seven years to complete this reverse appliqué quilt as I prayed through grieving the loss of my son, Nicholas.

1 ST 4

"Wish There Were More"
Artist: Mary Beth Clark, South Elgin, IL 

My mother died when I was 8 ½ years old. I have wanted to remember everything I can about her. Some memories are vivid moments suspended in time. Other memories are fragile and hard to hold, like soap bubbles. I find comfort in the memories that I have, but also wistful longing because I wish there were more.

Picture 13

"Pastoral Disturbance"
Artist: Susan Polansky, Dedham, MA 

I am but a child when it comes to understanding random acts of violence. I can look at the shattered remains and know what they used to be, but what forces brought on the destruction and why? Can the pieces be re- united; what is too damaged to salvage? How do people reconcile grief and anger with forgiveness? Pastoral Disturbance focuses on a Pennsylvanian Amish schoolhouse where a massacre occurred in October, 2006. The perpetrator randomly victimized the children within, and surprisingly, even after ten girls were shot and five of them died, the community responded with forgiveness.

Picture 14

"Can We Sew Peace by Morning"
Artist: Carol Bridges, Nashville, IN 

“Can We Sew Peace by Morning” came to me after thinking about the war in Iraq and the many wars that have plagued humankind. Quilters are a very compassionate people, often devoting hours of work into a quilt to be given to someone in need. This quilt depicts five women and a child, each expressing a slightly different emotion which they have embroidered into the quilt of the world as the sun begins to rise in the background. The fringe depicts that which is yet unfinished, threads of love not yet woven into the fabric of the world.

Peace and God bless to you, my friends, and to all those seeking solace.