My favorite place in the world (as known to me) is a narrow and hilly park along the Huron River on the north side of my hometown. This quilt, with its sunshine-and-shadows log cabin variation, reminds me of the sun coming through the trees and bouncing off the water in Argo pond. Log cabin quilts represent home and more than any place I have ever been, that stretch of forest is a home to my heart, mind, and body.
This quilt is the manifestation of several years worth of fabric scraps too narrow to use for anything else. With a few exceptions, the light and dark portions are made up of the same fabrics, half over-dyed with indigo before piecing. No new fabrics were used, and it’s possible to look close and find evidence of pockets removed, seams unfolded and stitches unpicked.
The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted with indigo space-dyed cotton thread. The binding is indigo dyed linen and hand stitched. The batting is unbleached cotton.
Completed in February, 2019. 42” x 42”
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Each of these quilts is a small memorial to Dan Arrington- made from his clothing and designed with symbolism significant to his closest family members; the tree of life for family, stars for sleeping outside, and log cabins for the building of a home.
Taking apart a person’s clothing is an intimate process and I got to know Dan again as an adult through the sand and pine needles worked into the seams of his clothes. I incorporated the stains and wear of the cloth into the quilts so they would continue to reflect his life as his clothing had. The quilts are bound in his softest t-shirts, and backed in indigo dyed cotton to symbolize Lake Michigan.
Piece of sky apron
When I was in high school my Oma gave me an Air Force jacket that had belonged to her neighbor. She loved camo, especially as a fashion statement, and imagined I would wear it stylishly. I've never liked camo. I feel that it's a violent pattern, made for hunting and in the case of the US armed forces, for hunting other human beings. But the fabric was beautiful. Worn and soft and high quality. And the pockets were full of sand.
As our country got more and more frightening my unease with the jacket grew, and last year I began to deconstruct it. Over the past months I have pulled out each stitch, one by one, and wound up with a pile of fabric forever embossed with the creases of its original form. I gave each piece a sort of baptism by indigo and sewed them into a garment that to me symbolizes practical work, love, and determination: an apron.
Not for sale
Quilt: machine pieced, hand quilted. 80"x90" // Throw pillow: Hand-knit front (wool, mohair), indigo dyed cotton back. // Washcloths: hand-knit, hemp. // Wall Quilt: cotton and wool/silk/mohair remnants. Machine pieced, hand quilted. // Not for sale
Tomorrow River Homestead
Textiles and design
Artist in residence room
In the Spring of 2018 I had the pleasure of creating textiles and consulting on the design of the artist in residency room for the Tomorrow River Homestead.
Having been an artist in residency at TRH, I strove to weave some of my experiences into the textiles in the room. I made a flying geese quilt for the bed, using men's linen button downs and vintage floral sheets. For the throw pillow I chose shades of goldenrod. The wall quilt is made from remnants of my own work, including the ends from the knitting I completed during my residency. Hand-knit hemp washcloths mirror the colors of the quilt I worked on during my residency.
Every piece of fabric in this quilt is a scrap from something else I've sewn- box tops, bags, pillows. It began as a way to manage the scraps from other projects- I would cut them into strips the width of my Opa's T-square and tuck them away for later. Eventually there were enough pieces for a quilt.
The fabric used to make this quilt is all cotton, linen and silk. Most of the linen was from my Oma's stash of colorful linen pants that she brought back from Thailand.
The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted with cotton thread. The binding is indigo dyed and hand stitched. The batting is unbleached cotton.
Completed January, 2018. 76"x84"
Broken Log Cabin Quilt
The pattern used in the quilt is a log cabin variation. Strips of fabric are sewn around a red center square, signifying the hearth, or the heart of the home. Pieced almost entirely from repurposed linen, cotton, and silk button downs, some of the fabrics have known histories- a traditional German shirt worn by my Opa, a batik cotton robe brought back from Thailand, an Indian vest handed down by an old friend and boss. Many of the fabrics are scraps from other projects, matching pieces worn by friends, family, and strangers across the country. The back is a thrifted sheet in a beloved favorite floral pattern.
The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted with cotton thread. The binding is repurposed linen, hand stitched. The batting is unbleached cotton. Completed October, 2017. 40"x50"
Tavi and I collaborated on this quilt, made for a dear and far away friend. I cut all of the pieces out one night while Tavi was drawing, and over the next few weeks we pieced and tied the quilt. The pattern is self drafted. We only ever worked on it together and it feels like a true labor of both of our loves!
The fabric was a mix of gifted calico from a friend, and a handful of vintage florals and stripes that I had stashed away. The quilt is tied with thrifted embroidery floss, which came from a garage sale in the neighborhood that Aisling and I grew up in.
Completed August, 2018. Queen Size
Not for sale.
I made this quilt in order to propose to my wife. When I first began working on it we were 250 miles apart and working on it made me feel closer to her. Once we lived together I found myself using the quilting as a meditation on marriage and our love (secretly, here and there, when she was not home).
The blue is indigo dyed by me- in Ann Arbor and Chicago. The fabric used is all scraps from clothing and vintage linens. I incorporated pieces of fabric from both of our families. It is hand quilted with vintage cotton thread, and backed with a rainbow sheet.
Completed November, 2016.
Not for sale.