No. 2 in the Urban Series: Structure
Leanne asked us to consider the theme of Structure for this challenge. While other ideas teased, the vision of these immense structures of steel and wire kept haunting me.
My husband and I got off the freeway to follow a few, photographing their massive, yet airy, construction reaching high into the sky, grabbing a line and passing it to their fellow tower.
It made me think about structure in terms of how electricity — and their cousin, the telephone line — have created their own structure in our lives. We used to depend on mail, human contact, driving somewhere, but now we email, Instagram, Facebook, Skype, and need scads and scads of voltage to do it all. The structure of our lives has changed.
I had hoped to make a quilt of tiny envelopes, distress them somehow, then superimpose the grand power scaffolding on top of that, representing the change in communication. It was not meant to be.
I printed out the upwards view of the tower, intrigued by its criss-crossing lines, then proceeded to sew together a billion little angular pieces. I kept thinking how proud of me Leanne would be, as she is the queen of improv quilting.
As I completed a section, I’d lay it out.
Done, but it was a bit small, so I added a border.
I’m showing it from the back, as I’m mighty proud of those billions of seams.
I chose a variegated thread and quilted where I wanted to. Maybe those scribbled lines in the border are conversations? Or interrupted code from a blog post? Or the news from a family member, broken into bits and pieces as it is transmitted? The fabric is scraps from my most recent quilt, Amish With a Twist Two, perhaps because I wanted to work with line and not pattern (and certainly with all the weeny subdivisions, there is plenty of pattern) but also because the sack of scraps had not been put away yet.
I like this photo because the leaves and berries of the bush behind this tree call out the color in the quilt.
Posing with its soul mates: the telephone box and the power meter.
I had planned to piece all the little envelopes together and put them on the back, but I decided that with all the seaming, the quilt would be one gigantic lumpy square. Plain backing then, from the Collage line of fabric, and then added the label. That morning nothing would go right, so it’s on and done; not perfect, but sometimes that’s just how it has to be.
I owe my associations in this Four-in-Art group to these very structures, long looping lines bringing me quilting and friendship.
Take a look at how our group interpreted this theme: