Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Thursday, July 12, 2012

STITCH snippets

My art quilt group, STITCH, met this week and we shared quilts with a political or social message. My contribution to the discussion was a quilt from this 1999 book, "Women of Taste," which matched up women chefs and art quilters to produce some pretty tasty statements.

I can't get my favorite quilt to rotate, but it's this one by quilter Ann Rhode. She looks at the yin and yang of men and women in the kitchen, with text and symbols for women cooks in the pink part and  for men in the blue. She asked the chef, Katy Keck, to list differences she's perceived between male and female kitchens.

No surprise, the men's side includes competitive (and this is before Iron Chef), dominates, lectures, architectural food, pushes new limits, egocentric and works alone. The blue side is overlayed with sheer images of knives.

The women's side includes comfort food, respects tradition, collaborative, nurtures, cooperative, team building, and collegial. The pink side is overlayed with sheer traditional utensils.

There is also text that reads: "While women developed the techniques and the tools for cooking, it was the men who wielded the knife, the tool that was used to dominate and conquer." I'd like to add that I CAN'T STAND the competitive, male-dominated cooking shows that have taken over on television. I hate, hate, hate them!!! I need a comforting brownie to calm down, and I just happen to have some that I baked last night.

Pat brought this very textural quilt. The background fabric is printed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Delaine wore her stars and stripes and also showed her beautifully pieced Lady Liberty quilt:

And then there was Pat's "Adam Was a Rough Draft," covered with pithy little quotes about men like this one by Roseanne Arnold: "Men have no experience 'taking hints.' Your attempts at subtlety -- which work so well with your female friends -- will get you nowhere with your husbands." I can identify with that!

Here's the whole quilt, with Guatemalan worry dolls hanging around the striped border.

Barbara showed her quilt top (above) based on Underground Railroad blocks. She pointed out that the idea of certain quilt blocks being used to guide escaping slaves is now considered to be a myth by many historians. You can read more in Barbara Brackman's book, "Facts and Fabrications: Unraveling the History of Quilts and Slavery."

Pieces for my little suffragette quilt: "Women bring all voters into the world."

Then Barbara set us loose to work on little quiltlets with a suffragette message. She printed images from the suggragette movement on ExtravOrganza and let us each choose one, and she printed oodles of quotes on fabric for us to use. This was a surprise project -- all we knew ahead of time was that we were supposed to bring embellishments to add.

We also shared regular show and tells, and Karen almost didn't show us this beauty because she said "It's not an art quilt." WELL, we set her straight. She may have used commercial fabric and a pattern, but it took someone with an artist's eye to arrange that color flow that keeps your eye moving. She cut everything except the borders from one fabric, which she described as a "really ugly" flamingo print.

Karen also brought some old hand-pieced quilts to ask our resident restoration expert if they could be saved. The answer was yes. Here are two of them:

Pat was just back from teaching quilt classes in Hawaii, hence her Starcluck Kauai shirt. And Delaine did a little dance to show off the summery jacket she made. There was much more inspiration, but I didn't get photos of everything. Hope you enjoyed these little snippets!



Diane said...

Sherrie - What a great group of women! Such diversity - how inspiring!

Judy Ferguson said...

Interesting women, with interesting stories.