Quilt Road or, Taking the Long Way 'Round

Untitled (as of yet), ©2010, Hannah Hunter, Collage

 I'm setting out on a year long journey. In November of 2011, I'll be participating in a group art quilt exhibit at the Davis Art Center along with seven other wonderful women artists and quilters. It's been awhile since I've been part of a group exhibit in which there is such a long lead time. While short notice provides the challenge of creating under a deadline, this longer advance notice affords an opportunity for a luxurious thought process.

My first reaction to being invited was me, "Me? I know how to quilt, but I've never been one for large scale pieces." One of the seven other quilters, Diana Connolly, creates lively geometric works and doubles as an ER social worker at our hospital. She's used to much tougher cases than my soft skepticism. When I voiced my doubts, she looked at me with an expression which could only mean something like: "Get over it and get on with it!"

So I have, backing into it in my own way. I'm connecting 12" x 12" Ampersand panels (which happen to have gone on sale today at Daniel Smith) and creating large collage pieces with allover patterning and funky quilted borders (I'm having fun stitching together border pieces which play on the idea of the traditional quilt border).  Quilts often tell stories and one of the works in process is an homage to a patient, whom I became close to before she died last year. I spent a lot of time learning her family history, a classic story of immigration from the Far East to America. 


         Composition V11, Deidre Adams, ©2007, Cotton fabrics, rayon and polyester thread, acrylic paint

I also decided to immerse myself in another way. Opening tomorrow at the Pence Gallery in Davis, Ca is a fabulous show entitled: 12 Voices, a collection of art quilts traveling the country and organized by the Studio Art Quilter's Associates. I volunteered to lead some docent tours so that I could learn about the quilts in detail. What a great decision! I was treated to a tour by Pence director, Natalie Nelson, and found my way into pieces that would have remained strangers, without her well informed descriptions of process and extensive information about the artists.


 Truth and Fiction, Joan Schulz ©2008, (48" x 98") Glue transfer process. Pieced, machine quilted

Over the next year, I'll be writing posts about my progress with my "quilts", their inspirations and mediums as well as descriptions of the artists' work (sneak peeks from our monthly meetings...) Hopefully, in the process, we'll be able to engage in a dialogue celebrating creativity of all kinds.