01 Feb

Have a Seat

The theme for 12×12’s seventh challenge was “Chair.”

The week the challenge was announced, I had just bought four new dining room chairs. I still had eight miss-matched ones at home, four of which were slated to GO, but hadn’t gone yet. Having so many chairs in the house was bugging me and thus this quilt was born. Gerrie kindly made me a thermofax screen so I could print a bunch of chairs. While I was waiting for it to arrive, I got another idea.

“Too Many Chairs” �2009 Kristin La Flamme

Did you know that Iolani Palace in Hawai’i was the only royal residence in the United States? It was built by King Kalakaua and was also home to his sister and successor Queen Lili’uokalani who was the last ruling monarch of Hawai’i. Seeing that I now live in Hawai’i and the palace thrones are the only royal seats in America, I decided they were worthy of commemoration.

Red and gold are the colors of Hawaiian royalty, so redwork thrones made sense to me. Lauhala weaving is a traditional fiber art used to make baskets, hats and mats to sit and sleep on. I got very excited and pulled these elements together to create a formal redwork version of the royal thrones of King Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapiolani on a background woven lauhala style.

“The Thrones of King Kalakaua & Queen Kapiolani” �2009 Kristin La Flamme

As I was putting the finishing touches on the thrones, I was watching a TV program that featured various birthing methods. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about what could be the most important chair of all: the birthing stool. I can’t begin to explain how powerful I felt birthing my daughter on one of these, with my husband behind me for support and the midwife and doctor below me — actually sitting on the floor. It didn’t hurt that my nephew was also due any day and the plan was for his to be a natural birth at home. I was going for monumental status with a simple, centered composition, but I wonder if I went too vulgar with the background. I almost re-did it, but decided that risk taking is part of the challenge and my own personal growth.

“The Birthing Stool” �2009 Kristin La Flamme

So which one did I choose? Go check out 12×12 to see…