The Devil in the Basement

My husband’s paternal grandmother made a table cloth and an apron from these cement sacks.  On our last trip to see my father-in-law, I was allowed to take them both, as well as this scrap, which has already been incorporated into this poppy quilt (below).   It wasn’t until I was viewing the cement sack as a photograph that I noticed how nasty this particular devil is —  playing with his pitchfork, as it were.  “Devil’s Slide”, indeed!
You can see the bottom arc of the grey and white logo.  Since this photo was taken, I machine stitched in the rest of the words “Devil’s Slide” in white thread.  This quilt continues with the use of words from journals that I kept in the 80’s.  Some of the splotchy grey/green textures in the middle are second iron-offs of transferred words from two quilts made earlier this year.  The torn pages come from the previous piece I did on innocence (with the figure of the boy?  — it is now finished, by the way).  The lighter brown rectangles were dyed with onion skins, gessoed and written on — again with words from old journals.  Although the words are of some mild interest to me, and I’ve begun to think of this grouping’s title as, “What Was I Thinking?” — part of the point of choosing words from old journals was to de-emphasize the business of articulation and expression… I wanted the shapes and sounds and even the meaning of words to be central, without making any attempt whatsoever to describe any part of my inner or outer states as I see them now.
This quilt got quite puffy and uneven in its surface when I went to integrate it all.  Even layering tulle and machine stitching did not quite bring things to order.  One of the problems is the green upholstery-weight cotton that comprises the first of two ‘matts’.  It is very dense and almost rubbery and not at all receptive to a needle or iron.
My plan is to work on this one tomorrow.  I had made a smaller fabric version of the cement sack by photographing it and then printing it on cotton fed through my inkjet, but the watery-blue-grey is a bad match with the warmer neutrals of the quilt.  At the library this week (they have the machines that make copies that will transfer with eucalyptus oil), I made a copy of a vintage etching of a trombone.  I will transfer it to muslin, like the french horn already on the quilt — to continue the play with the word ‘slide’.

"What do you really need to know to live"