About ten days ago I finished the first of what I hope will be a series of mixed-media-but-mostly-upcycled-textiles, Kiss Like A Backroad. Her foundation was built on remains of cutter quilts. Truly, earnestly, I dislike that label, "cutter quilt." It hardly honors the hands that made them, the years that aged them and the stories they'd surely tell if they could.
As you may guess, cutter quilts are what ever is salvageable of very old quilts. They make me think of shelter dogs, rescues of the textile world in need of some TLC and direction to become something lovely again. Sometimes, it's just a corner or part of a block, other times, it might be almost an entire quilt that lost its binding.
Kiss Like A Backroad started with the remains of a log cabin, corner remains of an 8-point star, and the blue and white sashings of an old maid's puzzle quilt. See those gorgeously rusty geese? They are salvaged from the inner workings of a piano my Mister brought home from one of his "I wonder where this dirt road goes . . ." excursions. They didn't make it into the final piece but they'll find a place in some future project.
Some stretches of North Carolina Road maps--I40 and the Outer Banks' NC Hwy 12--found their places alongside a suggestion of a tree line and a few very literal dogwood flowers. Okay, so it's an I Love North Carolina piece, isn't it?
My very literal dogwood flowers, those amazing Canadian geese and remains of a stretch of old tape measure at 65'2" because we never know--and it really doesn't matter--how deep, how far, how near.
And bound with a traditional binding in a vintage floral calico, mounted on stretched canvas. She's also got hanging pockets on the backing if at some point she's hung without the canvas. 12x12x1.5.
Here's a peek inside one of my cutter quilt bins:
A gorgeous and massive old wooden sign had been hanging around our house for more than a year, that story here, before it and I came to an agreement on what its next life should look like. What we came up with involved some painful dissassembly but in the end, it was the right direction.
Because the main body of the sign was a weather-worn red, you'd think that'd be where I'd start to find a heart. That's what I thought, too! But as it turned out, the first heart to come from the sign was built from the chipped white-paint wood framing. I didn't get how amazing that wood framing was until it was dissassembled.
After the pieces were cut (and cleaned a gajillion ways, lightly sanded, scraped and sealed), I wasn't entirely smitten with the hard angles of the assembly. I let it sit. And sit. And sit. I'd come back to it, play with it, only to abandon it again. Eventually, while mulling it over on a long dog-walk, it hit me: Movement, it needed just a little animation to bring it to life.
And that's how this big ol' heart became Hooked.