Monday, August 17, 2009
An Indian Log Cabin
Poets use words to express their emotion. Quilters use fabric, color, and design. Returning home from India, my head was full of colors - the colors we saw in the flowers, the saris, the landscape, the food. As I was assembling fabrics I wanted to use, I knew that gold had to be at the heart of this design. And I had some smaller pieces that just needed to be used. So I went to one of my favorite blocks, the log cabin. This quilt is the result.
Originally I was going to keep this quilt and back it with a piece of stamped fabric I got in Jaipur. But as I was assembling the 48 blocks of this quilt, Jeff Cylkowski made a visit to my studio. He was a child when we lived next door to his family in the mid-1980'a, and was a 3rd grader when his mom Linda died. Jeff went to high school in Pennsylvania and Indiana and then went to the West Coast to skateboard and breakdance. He also began doing graffiti. With the realization that he needed to formalize his art education, he moved to the East Coast and got a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and has been doing interesting things ever since. He is spending this summer in Philadelphia where he wrote a grant for the Asian Arts Initiative and curating a multi-media arts exhibit.
I am used to people liking my work, but Jeff saw this quilt and used his art vocabulary about this quilt - depth, opticality, movement, impressionism. At his sister Michelle's wedding in 2006 Jeff and I talked about exchanging art. Since then I have made his sister not only a wedding quilt but recently a quilt for her baby Camille. So Jeff has been on my list. And now I knew what to make for him - something similar to this quilt.
And that's when things began to take shape. Not only did this quilt not belong in my house, there was no way I could duplicate this quilt, partly because of the emotion that went into this but also because I used up the end bits of several terrific fabircs. This quilt became Jeff's quilt.
It's finished and ready to ship to Jeff when he returns to Brooklyn. It contains not only some of the emotions from when I returned from India, it also holds memories of Jeff's childhood and his family.