04 Jul


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.

Service Star quilt detail

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.

Service Star quilt WIP

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.

15 thoughts on “Independence

  1. Yeah – you´re making progress yet again! I remember the very beginnings of this quilt and am still in an awe of how much it changed over the years and how every little detail gave it more character and personality…
    I know you claim this is a “traditional” quilt but it is not by far.. lol.. yeah yeah – you have the PP stars and the Log Cabin border but I think that´s where the traditional stops 😀 It´s been your baby for such a long time, I KNOW you´ll NEVER give this one away.. smile..
    Hope I get to see your baby again soon, I love how it´s grown!

  2. Hmmm, what about UltraSuede fringe for the bottom?? It wouldn’t fray or shred, and if you cut it yourself you could make it whatever width and length you wanted. You could probably find the right color as well…

    I love the quilt! You described it to me when you were here, but my imagination didn’t do it justice in the least. It’s truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  3. i deeply love traditional quilts, and this is a wonderful one.
    love the bright red border and the white-on-white background stars!
    of course i can’t understand exactly what it means to you (meaning: not having the same background with my own dh) i can tell it’s really beautiful the way it is. i wouldn’ vote for a fringe, but i wouldn’t go for fringe anywhere else than on a flapper dress 😉

  4. The photos don’t begin to do it justice.

    It is awe inspiring.

    It is a fantabulous piece of art.

    And yes, you might think that it is traditional, but wow, it is all you.

    Here’s to hoping we have a cooler winter (though it’s almost winter this month, isn’t it?)

  5. I agree with katrin. a wonderful piece of art. the background of love to your country is something I can’t understand.

    the wonderful thing is, I can say: I admire the art, the work, the craftsmanship – even if I would never do anything in black, red, gold.

    (but I do have a very small flag for the soccer world championships 🙂

    kunst verbindet!

  6. It’s beautiful, Kristin, and well worth all the hard effort you’re putting into it. King size? That is a lot of hand quilting. Gorgeous. Love the artwork on the wall as well.

  7. Wow! This is impressive. I would love to see it up close and personal. I think it must be very satisfying to work on something this long, with loving hands and heart.

  8. Beautiful, thoughtful, creative, artistic – all describe you and your quilt. I am always amazed at how versitile you are in your artwork. I am in awe!

  9. Wow. Love that piece. Yes, it bows to traditional, but it also allows for the creative. Love the white background stars. I have NO ideas about the fringe. Is it strictly necessary?

  10. And now having said that — what about prairie points? Since this seems to be a study in traditional quiltmaking techniques?

  11. Thanks Kristin, I added your infos to my post. By the way the guilde show in Berlin was very disapointing, a fact I didn’ nt want to post.,Bad location and too many small quilts.

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