Challenges seem to be the life blood of art quilt groups and the latest one I participated in had a community theme. I began one piece that I thought showed a community of women, but that veered off in another direction. It still features women but I think the viewer would see it more as a portrayal of friendship.
I decided to fill the gap with another piece I had set aside the parts for when I was playing with tissue paper fabric. It shows wind tossed bare limbed trees set in a frame of greens with some purply browns and reds.
First I free motion quilted the trees layer (a stencil spray painted on interfacing) between dyed silk organza and batting. After I sewed the ombre red band on the tissue paper background, I put the trees piece on top of the paper fabric and quilted wavy lines through all layers, including the green felt. I sewed on a strip of leftover tissue paper to give some punctuation to the bottom. Then, I stitched on the brown/red/yellow cording to frame it up. I still haven’t decided how much of the felt to leave showing.
It’s meant to be a community of trees, which I call Should Trees Have Standing? The title refers to an influential law review article by Christopher Stone, written in 1972, arguing in favor of legal rights for natural objects and areas. The reference harks back to one of my varied past careers.
To me a group of trees forms an interdependent system that suffers damage when even one part of it is taken away. I always said I wouldn’t make social commentary quilts, but I have shown myself to be a liar.