20 May

War Sucks…

I finished it (not in time to enter it in Houston as Deborah asked — although, even if I had I don’t think I would have). And although I am very pleased with how it turned out and happy to share it here, I won’t hold anything against anyone who clicks away to another site if it’s not their cup of tea.

I wasn’t completely sure where I was going with this one as I worked on it. I had more of a mood or feeling in mind than any specific pattern or construction method.

As I photographed it, I enjoyed finding interesting compositions with the larger composition.

The fractured aspect of crazy quilting made sense for the background, as did the hint of stitching the seams back together. Pretty silk flower stitches were obviously out, but more utilitarian ones like blanket, cretan, and plain old straight stitches were in.

I allowed for raw edges (war is nothing if not raw) and stitched on jumbles of knotted threads ripped from my fabrics after the wash. The red words are raw edge appliquéd with intentionally messy lines, but without fusible, so that their edges will deteriorate with each wash or handling.

I used stencilled, splattered, scribbled, new commercial, re-purposed, discharged, uniform, and dyed fabrics. I worked the fabrics both before and after piecing them. I experimented with using thickened Procion dyes because I like the hand they leave (or more like don’t leave) on the fabric, but am learning through trial and error that my manner of working lends itself better to paints.

The quilt is backed with an old woolen blend army blanket and I left the edges open and stuffed them with fabrics and yarns that could allude to bandages and guts. The intent is more gruesome than the look, but it works for me. The overall quilting is intersecting straight lines that could be tracer fire or bullet trajectories.

“War Sucks”      83.5″x53″    Kristin La Flamme, 2009

32 thoughts on “War Sucks…

  1. You really nailed this one kiddo. That is more than just fantastic…..I feel you……and totally agree! Opa

  2. Wow, this piece really resonates with me. I’m in awe of your skill at conveying the the powerful feelings about the suckiness of war. Thanks, I’m truly moved by your art.

  3. I’ve been painting small 6″x12″ canvas graffiti style and your quilt captures this so well, and not just in the overall appearance but with the materials and construction of it! You made the message plain and straight-forward which I appreciate.

  4. I hope you found some relief at finishing this powerful piece. It seems like you were able to say what you needed to and sometimes that can be so freeing. Have a great R&R with your husband.

  5. Kristin, this is just fantastic. Very raw and aching. I always love your work, but this one really touches home. Well done.

  6. Amazing, powerful quilt. I love it. I do hope to see it in a quilt show at some point, or a magazine maybe because I agree that many more people should see it.

  7. this is a wondrous piece of work, stunning to look at and truly evocative. it is great to see the close-ups too and your thoughts, mediums etc. brilliant stuff!

  8. This is the most powerful art quilt I’ve ever seen. You’ve sewn so much meaning and emotion into it, and you and your husband have lived the life that gives you every right to express this sentiment. The fact that you’ve chosen to express it through a quilt makes it even more subversive.

  9. I think that is a powerful piece, and you should hold on to it for the lifetime retrospective of your work that will happen when you are 75 (and still going strong)

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