Color me Curious (19 x 17 inches)
Hand-dyed and commercial fabric, inkjet print on fabric,
machine pieced, ribbon and bead embellishment,
and machine quilted
Process and Design notes
As I studied the photo that I planned to use, I wasn’t sure if I knew who that child was or if she had anything in common with who I was now. At the time of that picture, my Dad was an Air Force pilot and my Mom, at 25, had just given birth to her third child (another would be born in just ten months), and my role of big sister seemed to be reflected in those Christmas presents.
I scanned the 2 inch square photograph into Photoshop and tried to imagine what it would look like in color. I looked for color clues in the gifts I had received. I was intrigued by the rug and curtains, and did manage to research what the curtains probably looked like.
As I looked more at the photo, I thought about my parents - who they were and what they wanted for me. Then, while I was considering the fact that my mother wanted four sons (she had four daughters), the song “Stout-Hearted Men” came to mind. Weird leap... but music was always in the house. The refrain was familiar to me but I couldn’t remember the lead in lyrics, so I looked them up:
You who have dreams, if you act, they will come true
To turn your dream to a fact, it's up to you
If you have the soul and the spirit, never fear it, you'll see it through.
Hearts can inspire other hearts with their fire.
For the strong obey when a strong man shows them the way.
The words inspired me and helped acknowledge the feeling that my parents had showed their children the way – the way to become the strong, independent, responsible and resilient adults that we are today.
As therapeutic as that was for me, I still needed to craft a quilt. I decided on the neutral palette and worked on the face to get the size and coloring I wanted. I was pleased when I found the fabric for the hair and where I had planned stronger punches of color for the hearts, I choose the ribbon primarily for the blue accents. I wanted to keep the quilting "juvenile" so I simply echoed the design elements. Finally, I added some beads to capture some light like that I saw reflected in the tinsel on the Christmas tree.