Saturday, January 15, 2022

Quilt Finishes from 2021, Part 1: Illustrations

I started 2021 working on my illustration project, and got pretty far before I abruptly ended it. I'm proud of what I learned though, and will share a little about why I had to stop at the end of the post here.

This was the final sample using the technique I settled on for depicting figures in cloth. The models are my firefighter nephew Andy's wife Caylie and their daughter Lily.


This experiment was putting Lily in a collage context.


My sister and I had written a little story and all the poses by Caylie and Lily were to illustrate it. I decided to make the figures first and then put them into their backgrounds. These took a long time and really REALLY made me stretch.



One of my favorite work in progress photos of the whole year is of all of them together on my design wall.

I started making backgrounds for a few of them.

But the backstory to this project eventually overwhelmed me. My nephew Andy was diagnosed with brain cancer soon after I began these, and I used the making of them as a way to reach out to Andy especially (sending him lots of photos as he lay in bed in the hospital or at his home.)

It was also my way of coping with this terrible, inevitable loss.

Andy died April 25, 2021.  Two weeks later, I gave a long-scheduled interview with Michele Muska for the Quilt Alliance's Save Our Stories project. 

Michele did such a gentle job with me that it was a fun experience.  Here is the YouTube link to the 40 minute interview about my life in quilting:

I  talk about Andy and this project at the very end of the interview.

A few weeks after the interview, I realized that I could not continue with this project. It is just too painful. And I'm ok with that. I learned a lot, and Andy and I had a sweet connection via these little illustrations over his last months.

As in all the QSOS interviews, I do talk about the bottom line of what quilting means to me. If you tune in at the end, you will know what this image means.

Always and forever, Andy.....



Part 2 of my Quilt Finishes for 2021 will cover my Palimpsest series, which I turned to with intense focus after putting Andy's project away. Stay tuned...





ABC said...

My two favorites are the dancing one and the one where she is at the invisible window sill. The little girl's expression is perfect!

allie aller said...

Thank you my friend!

Anonymous said...

What a heart rending story - so sorry for your loss. The mother and daughter pictures are magical, strong and delicate at the same time. Really lovely.


Carli The Quilter said...

These are so interesting. Your story, hugs as I understand. I lost a bestie in 2021 and have been thinking about how I would place her image on fabric. Thanks for sharing.

Jean said...

So very sorry for your loss. Hopefully the memories are more abundant than the sorrows.
Hugs to you and your family.