I have an art quilt on display at the Chicago International Quilt Festival! This is one of the biggest shows in the country/world and I’m thrilled.
My art quilt is part of a collection of art quilts created by members of The Professional Art Quilters Alliance (PAQA).
These quilts are our submissions to a challenge to create an 18″ square quilt based on the theme “The Midwest”. Here is my entry, “Harvest of Times Past.”
I saw about half of the quilts that will be displayed at our January meeting. The interpretation of the theme, The Midwest, was as varied as the landscape and culture here. Some quilts were whimsical, others more abstract. I consider my style to be Impressionistic.
What the Midwest means to me:
Our landscape is littered with lovely old homes and barns that have been abandoned. These old buildings seem to represent the evolution of this part of the country. This rich, black soil is what drew the farmers to settle this frontier throughout the 19th and early 20th century. As the farmers came to till the soil, the towns and industries to support them developed around them—evolving into the Midwest we know today. As farming methods evolved, farmers could handle more and more acreage, and the resulting economic changes squeezed out small farmers. Those old-fashioned farmers moved on, and left their homes and barns to stand as long as they might.
To me, this is “The Midwest” in a nutshell, and the farmhouse I depicted (just a mile from my home) is quite typical. This one isn’t terribly old and still seems quite structurally sound, but the exterior is deteriorating from exposure to the elements.
In this first photo you can see how I used fabric and then machine stitching to depict the landscape—the rolling fields and the forest beyond the fields. On the tree I used some light-colored thread stitching to show the low winter sun shining on the trunk and branches.
The second is a close-up of the sky. This is fabric I painted with fabric paints as I find it easier to paint that hunt for just the right fabric sometimes!
One last detail to share: the binding I used has meaning to me. It’s an old-fashioned print, which seems rather out-of-place on a modern quilt, but that was just the point! These old farmstead seem rather out-of-place anymore on these huge tracts of land. There’s a warmth and sentimentality about them, but they’re outdated, relics of the past—–like the little strip of fabric around my picture!