Thank you all for the kind support of art over housework. I especially appreciate that my moms are so supportive of my creative ventures. I’m very fortunate that way.
The point I was trying to make yesterday was that not all creative/crafty gals have picture perfect homes with coordinating linens and seasonally appropriate decor (or even the blogland impression of such). Many of us are messy. Probably a great deal more of us are messy. And that’s OK. That’s just the way it is. We make choices each day to clean up, or to make art. We hope to create a balance between a home that is hygienic enough for our families and time enough to stare at our navels and create wonderful things out of that introspection.
So, there will be no lovely still lives of cherished possessions or tidy corners on this blog. However, it appears from your comments that that’s not what you’re looking for on my blog anyways. You came here to see art quilts! And quilts there will be.
In honor of American Independence Day, I’ll share what is shaping up to be my longest work in progress. (The first quilt I started took eight years to finish. This one has been in the works since 2002.) This is the last quilt in the last five years in which I relied on traditional patterns and drafting, although it’s probably not the last essentialy traditional quilt I will ever make.
I made this in the fervor of patriotism after Sept 11, 2001, but it is more a response to my husband’s deployments and the sacrifices all service members make and have made throughout the history of the United States. It’s a little bit about the connection my husband and my grandfather had as well, both being officers in the army. It is a big Service Flag. It seemed appropriate to make when all the soldiers around spent the better part of 2002 with very long days and nights trying to balance their training with guarding their units and families. I had already made a very small service flag quilt when TS&WGH went to Kosovo three years previous. It became all the more poignant when my husband and his unit deployed to Kuwait and eventually Iraq at the end of the year. I made great progress on the quilt in the first half of 2003, but then hubby returned and it was the hottest summer in Europe since who knows when (though we got no sympathy from our troops returning from the desert!). Needless to say, it was too hot to hand quilt and my King-sized Service Flag got put away, and then got shoved aside for “the great gallery show preparation of 2006.” I now bring it every other week to the hand work group I belong to and manage to quilt in the ditch of one log cabin border block each session.
The quit is made of 50 paper pieced “white” stars making the background of the service star. On top of that is appliquéd one large blue star, embellished with trapunto and a broderie perse garland with embroidery. The red border is log cabin blocks representing the home fires. In the centers of 25 log cabins are US flags divided into two groups of 7 and 18, representing the month and day TS&WGH went off to basic training. Many of the fabrics have stars, stripes, or the Pledge of Allegiance. The back of the quilt has a large panel with the Pledge of Allegiance printed on it. Did I mention I’m hand quilting the whole thing? I’m not sure how, or if, I’ll add fringe to the bottom. I suspect I have a year or so to mull over the options. You may note in the background is a WWII-era service flag, though not my grandfather’s, and a WWII-era Fifth War Bond/Victory poster by my favorite poster artist Ludwig Hohlwein. Yes, my American is showing.