I think it’s wonderful to find quilting inspiration in unexpected places. On Saturday, my husband and I visited an art exhibit at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada, Colorado, and I found some ideas. I’ll have to mull some of them over for a while to see how they can become something in my quilts. Three of the displays in the main gallery particularly caught my eye.
Do you remember the string art of the 1970s and 1980s? Back then I had great fun using colored thread and found lumber to create string art. Sylvia Dixon Dillo used that premise on a much grander scale to create her work. She used miles and miles of monofilament thread to make her installation. I couldn’t get a photo of it but she has photos on her website. I wondered how in the world they constructed it and how long it took. This is a room-sized display! What would happen if I tried quilting with a metallic thread on a whole-cloth quilt to come up with something to remind me of her wonderful structure?
The second artist, Rian Kerrane, used the plastic tape from unwound audio cassette tapes to suspend all sorts of items from the ceiling. There were hand mixers that actually ran, knitting needles, flatware, just about everything you can imagine. Some of the tapes were knit together into scarves. It was incredible to me that the tape could support some of the objects. Again, I don’t have a photo but here is a photo from her website showing some of the knitting. (See photo labeled Knitting Cassette Tape.)
Laleh Mehran’s Entropic Order was the third exhibit. It was fascinating.
The display contains 3,000 pounds of black sand. The sand has been leveled somehow so it is very, very smooth and it measures 12 feet by 16 feet. There are more photos on her website. This is an interactive installation. The brass pendulum responds to people. In the photo, you see the simple design it was carving when no one was there but when my husband and I came into the room, it did the zigzag lines at the bottom of the star. I think it’s a cool quilting design but not for a whole-cloth quilt like the first one. I think it would be super for a quilt with traditional blocks. And every time I saw the quilt, I could remember our fun morning.
I have to tell you one other fun story from the weekend. I borrowed this quilt from my son and daughter-in-law. It has one of my favorite pieced backs. My son got the quilt out of the closet with the stipulation that I bring it back before it gets cold. And the look on my daughter-in-law’s face when she saw I had the quilt was priceless. It was like she thought I was taking it back forever or something. You can see the whole story of this quilt here. I gave it to my son and daughter-in-law for their wedding present.
The Red Quilts will be part of one of our stage presentations at Quilting LIVE. We are preparing boxes to ship this week. The closer we get to the actual date, the more excited I am. I think part of it is that we are getting more and more of the preparation done so I feel more organized. Each item we can check off the to-do list is a good thing. If you want more information about Quilting LIVE, you can find it here. I think it’s going to be a really good time.