I thought I hadn’t been much affected mentally by the pandemic. I had my health and my art, and my family was safe. I used the extra time in isolation to explore mixed media – collage, gelli printing, painting. Thank you internet. Much of my sewn work was either long overdue finishes or scrappy pieces. Then I came to grips with two serious pieces I created over the past year. It seems my unconscious was having quite a response to the year, whatever I thought.
“Shattered,” the first piece, was based on a photo of a broken mirror. I distorted and recolored it in Photoshop and had Spoonflower print the result.
I chopped up the fabric and inserted strips of dyed damask and novelty yarn, but I found the result lacked something.
Finally, after this attempt was banished to the closet for months, I realized it needed color contrast. Back on the design wall it went, and I added orange.
Of course, I still have to figure out how to quilt it, but I think it captures our lives during the past year with the orange representing slivers of hope. Funny how that solution emerged after the Covid vaccines were developed.
The second piece, “Letting Go,” was based on a photo taken by my friend Penny. It also used an edited photo printed on fabric, along with hand dyed fabric and a smidge of commercial fabric.
I drew an outline based on the photo, and made freezer paper templates. I had planned to piece the steps but decided I could get the effect I wanted with paint and quilting.
After I added a lot of shading with water soluble crayons (Neocolor II) and netting, I realized I wanted the piece to represent a lightening of my burdens as I climbed to a less dark place. I created rocks as stand-ins for burdens, and appliqued them to the lower steps.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I don’t make “message” quilts. Chalk up another change to the past year.