Somewhere along the line, the decision was made to name all the congregants who were in the Emanual AME church the night of the mass killing. Liz Ackert (“I’m Going to Texas“) stitched these names and created the lovely hands. I struggled with placement when they were white rectangles. But once I decided to reverse appliqué them with some reproduction Civil War fabric, they found their spots. The hearts were too big. Circles seemed just right. The only label left is the one naming the ten makers. The one saying these blocks were stitched with love, in grief and outrage and with hopes for peace.
And: “Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”
[Who are all of them?!! The blog roll on the right is a starting place. This morning, Robert Rauschenberg, John Singer Sargent, the Gee’s Bend quilters, Susan Carlson, and Ruth McDonald all come to mind. Jude Hill (obviously). Maybe I don’t think about this enough].
“Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.”
“We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism…. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.”
This is not hand-wringing, per se. Just follow-up to a little turn of the stomach. It’s important to follow up on little turns of the stomach. That might be a piece of advice I’d give an artist. Or just plain a person. It’s a little like Julia Cameron suggesting that we use a list of people we are jealous of as a laundry list of things we need. It works. Try it.
Meanwhile, I am in love with some new double exposures. I wish I could figure out what to DO with them!
And, not free of influence, obviously.
But seriously, running off to final of 16 dog obedience classes, then I’m making lunch for one of my favorite people whose birthday it is today, then I have to babysit a delivery window (we are finally going to replace the rotting deck rails, and YES, with a rot-proof composite) and then it’s the Newton, Mass. Charleston Vigil at 6:30 at City Hall. So, a more detailed ‘how-to’ post will come tomorrow, not today.
But the quick answer to when and how big is: 10.5 inches square, nine strips across and down, a heart about 4″ across, and August 31 deadline.
Mo, I realized shipping from Australia adds time, so if this feels too tight, l’ll work with that.
I was going to ask for as much indigo as possible for obvious reasons, but people are already volunteering. So there will be a lot of indigo. Whatever else gets mixed in will work, I’m sure. I made my strips 10″ long and used nine each way of unequal length, but you are welcome to use more or less.
My heart is going to be traditional applique (meaning edges stitched under), but rough edge is okay, too. My heart currently might be a little bigger than I want. I’m guessing about four inches across would be good. I want to embroider a word on my square too — this is optional. At first I thought I’d stitch it across the heart, but now I think I’ll stitch it in the woven section.
A few extra squares are welcome!