Family memory quilt combines photos from different eras
At Easter in my childhood, we searched for baskets of colorful hardboiled eggs. Easter was the only time of the year that my dad went to church with us, and my mom made sure we were looking spiffy. My dad always took our picture on Easter morning.
I printed images of my family onto Ultrasuede, then stitched them onto this tiny 8” x 10”quilt. It was fun to disregard time, and mingle the figures of myself and my brothers at different ages with their offspring. I appear three times—standing next to my mother, wearing my Easter hat and mary janes, and looking admiringly up at my nephew.
The figures were arranged according to whim. For example, the kid on the swing is my nephew Karl. Diagonally below him is grown-up Karl, with his own father Paul as a child below him.
The photos were printed onto Ultrasuede using TAP Transfer Artist Paper, then stitched by hand onto the background using a very fine thread.
Photos from childhood are by my father, Loomis Miller; recent photos are by family members.
I'm making a hoop skirt out of old window blinds for the eCouture Wearable Art Fashion Show.
It may seem strange that my first blog post is not about quilts, but after a month working on my new website and online shop, I was feeling in need of diversion. I was intrigued by the eCouture Wearable Art Fashion Show, an annual event in Powell River, BC where I now live.
I seldom make clothing, but decided to enter the “Artrageous Recycled” category with a modern hoop skirt made out of the vertical blinds I’d taken down from my windows when I moved in. I vowed to use only recycled, old, or discarded materials (though I did use strong new thread as needed).
This DIY project has tapped into a different kind of creativity for me, because of the constant problem-solving involved. Every step involved experimenting, playing around with different ideas to see what would work. My friends Lorrie and Elisha will be models at the fashion show, and we have had fun envisioning the five outfits that will use the hoop skirt.
Here’s a sneak-peek of the skirt of one of the costumes, displayed on a stool. It is made from a semi-transparent lace curtain—imagine seeing the model’s legs through the fabric, instead of the legs of the stool.
I will post the finished costumes in late April, after the fashion show.
This project has me pondering the tyranny of fashion, the constriction of corsets, the way that women's clothing has hobbled them through the ages.
How did these fenced-in women hug their children? How did they go to the bathroom rigged out like this? How could they move through a crowded room? How many yards of fabric went into their clothes?
I put on my modern hoop skirt--it looked really cool, in a totally peculiar way. I wondered how I'd get through doorways, or tie my own shoes.
Walking down the stairs, I realized how hard it was to see my feet, how easy it would be to stumble and fall.
This added an unforeseen element of danger to my foray into fashion.