Friday, March 13, 2009

Remember when?

When I was a child my mother and grandmother made quilts from remnants of clothing, furniture coverings, traded scraps from friends, fabric that my aunt sent from New York (very exotic in my childhood world), fabric my grandfather brought home from material salvaged from his job, and even old quilts that had been retired. The backings were often flour bags (then flour was purchased in large cloth bags) which were bleached white. Sometimes used sheets were used for backings. Nothing was wasted. I didn't know at the time how these pieces would provide a record of my years at home.

Many years later when my mother moved from our family home to a small cottage the quilts needed a new home. I claimed most of them because I saw them as memory markers. I knew that these patterns would some day end up in my art work. I've had many of my photographs printed now, and I'm in the process of sorting and resorting, waiting for an idea to attach itself to me.

This was a Sunday dress my mother had. I always loved that dress. I thought the red bits made it very exotic. To this day I love paisley type prints.

For many years there was a Singer sewing machine in the corner of our kitchen. It was beautified by a cover. This was the pattern that was on it for most of my teenage years.



Can you believe this was a cover for our sofa when I was a teenager (1960's)? I sure doesn't fit in with my minimalist look today.

What a smashing number I must have been in an mini dress made of this material!

An then there was the move to the flower power stage of my life.... And I wonder why I'm so attracted to memory, floral motifs and pattern in my work. I need look no more. It's ingrained.

3 comments:

self taught artist said...

i love that first one too. its cool to see your past through these fabrics, look forward to the next incarnation.

sarala said...

The old fabrics are great and I like the idea of you using the patterns as art. I wish I had old quilts but my family didn't keep stuff. I found your site from Paula's. I'm not an artist but I like other people's art. I do take photos.
I will try to come by again!

Miki Willa said...

I have a couple of quilts from my grandmother and I treasure them. The old fabrics are beginning to come apart in the nine-patch, so I have it put away. After seeing your photos, I may have to get it out and take photos to preserve the memories. Thanks for sharing this great idea.