"Through A Glass, Darkly: An American Memory"
80" square, hand dyed cottons, machine quilted with nylon monofilament and silk threads, wool batt, all original free-motion quilting designs---except for Jeanna Kimball's rabbit
Made in 2001 with hand-dyed fabrics, this log cabin quilt evokes memories of our American heritage and all that quilting means to me. It is made of ½" logs, deep lapis blue and violet centers, and a rich butternut border. Rabbits and birds lurk, and feathers twine and move around the perimeter. The original feather designs spring from a Victorian pitcher with an English staghound as the handle. The designs in the pitcher are comprised of layers of "no-mark" free form quilting designs. Welsh spiral motifs are added throughout the border to symbolize life's eternal cycles.
The central portion was quilted "in the ditch" free-motion with invisible thread so the quilting lines wouldn't detract from the texture created by the tonal variations of the colors in the logs. The subtle variations in color give a depth to the blocks and makes them almost three dimensional, giving the feeling of looking deep into the center blue squares.
The border design was quilted with several colors of silk thread to add depth to the hand dyed cotton, and motifs were included for whimsy and a feeling of "folk art."
When viewed at a distance, the quilt is reminiscent of light passing through a dark stained glass window with bits of lighter colors distributed over the surface like sunlight. The log cabin pattern is an intrinsic part of American quilt history and this version celebrates its graphic simplicity and elegance as well as the complexity that can be achieved by color gradations provided by the richness and unevenness of the hand dyed cottons. The log cabin has a certain "humbleness" that is very appealing yet provides a tried and true sense of elegance as well.
I wanted to make a quilt that symbolized the foundations of our quilting heritage in America. It was an absolute joy to work with these colors and illustrate the light filtering through the dark times. Since that time, because of our national tragedy, the quilt has gained new meaning and significance. The light shining through is our American spirit, the spirit of those pioneer women quiltmakers who came before us, and the spirit of the country today that will take us forward through the times to come.
First Place "Quilts on the Waterfront" MN Show 2001
Faculty Ribbon MN Show 2001 ~ Ricky Tims
Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry, IQA 2001
Thirty Quilt Artists of the World Exhibit, Tokyo Japan 2002
First Place, AQS 2002
Masterpiece Quilt, by NQA 2002
First Place and Best of Show NQA 2002
Faculty Ribbon "Images" Lowell Quilt Festival 2004 ~ Jean Ray Laury
Photo ©Susan Druding
~Detail of border quilting~
Photo ©Susan Druding