I like to find good homes for my quilts, as people who read this know. Even old quilts that were in many ways mistakes may find an adopted caretaker. During my apartment sale I learned a simple thing: few people think of quilts as art for their walls. Most of the world simply hasn't been exposed to textile art. I can't call most of my quilts art anyway, but the largest number are wall quilts and the only ones that sold were the slightly larger ones that were suitable for a baby's bed or room.
But a few of the larger ones did sell. This Dahlia one did and it's new home is an amazement to me. As often is the case, I saw the quilt in a magazine at least 15 years ago. I loved the mandala effect. I figured out how to sew it together. I thought one would make a bed quilt, but it was square and didn't work. So, in a burst of enthusiasm, I made a second using the same fabrics, not an identical twin, rather a fraternal twin. Once joined it was too long for a bed! Of course. I should have realized that and made half a Dahlia. So, I had this ungainly thing and after a while the colors lost their appeal. So it lived many years folded away never seeing the light of day. It had surfaced late last year when someone wanted to buy a quilt. I photographed it, badly, as usual. But it wasn't the choice -- wise person. At my apartment sale a man said he wondered if it was possible to use a quilt as a rug. "If it's fairly sturdy and washable." I said. "Would it be insulting to you if I bought a quilt to use as a rug?" he asked. "No," I said honestly. And I pulled out the dahlia. "This one might be right." "I like the colors," he said. He explained that he lives in NYC [the building I was in] but has a home in Bogata, Columbia. The construction is basic, as is usually the case in Latin American houses. The floor is a polished concrete [not with bits of marble which would make it chic terrazzo], and perhaps that quilt would be good there. I agreed it might. He mulled for 24 hours and then came and bought it, along with a chair.
We had a lovely talk about the photography, ethnographic work he is doing in Columbia. He took a great many of my travel literature [not guide] books and a few others. We had a great conversation; I wished we had met sooner and I could have found out more about his interesting work. Meanwhile a quilt which languished long and lonely, has a new home and little did I ever imagine it would travel all the way to Bogata to finish out a useful life.
This strip quilt was made using drier sheet as the foundation. This quick and easy method is always fun because I can choose exactly which piece comes next but will always be surprised when I put several together and see the patterns formed.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!