July / August 2014
Greetings LQP People!
We are moving fast ahead with the project. As of June 22, 2014, Quilt II: RedRum Summer 1919 was completed. About a week later it arrived safely to Indianapolis via the United States Postal Service.
First and foremost, I thank the 50+ individuals that have contributed to this quilt. There names and with a grid of who contributed, which block will be on-line in the next week or so. Two individuals that really need thanks are Ruth Edwards here in Indianapolis that allowed me to use her ample space to lay this monster quilt out over and over again. Ruth lives in a rural area (sorta) and over and over again, I made the drive out to her home. I would be greeted with panic attacks on the winding twisting roads through the woods and make sure I hightailed it out of there before it got dark and I got lost on these roads. Too many lynching stories dance in the subconscious of my mind.
I also have to thank Trish Wiliams in Illinois who took on the task of tackling this behemoth of a quilt. At at little over 12 x 12 feet, it was in her words, "larger than my bed. I had to take it outside and lay it on the lawn in order to get a handle on this thing. Every time I had to haul it outside, the neighbors became silent and just watched. They never approached and asked what I was doing; they just watched."
So this month, we'll just celebrate in pictures all the wonderful bounty of this new quilt. See the photo essay / history below. RedRum Summer 1919 will be on exhibit at the Indianapolis International Airport from August 3rd - November 16th. I don't know my way around the airport that well, but will get back with exact concourse and all that jazz as soon as we put it up. At the same time, Quit I will be on exhibition at Clowe's Memorial Hall at Butler University from August 18th - September 22nd. And if we work really hard and get Quilt IV's, now renamed Paradox, top pieced by September 25th, it will be quilted in time to go to Garfield Park Art Center Exhibition on November 1st.
What a great opportunity for cross community discussions about the quilts and more importantly these issues.
Final reminder, the schedule for sewing this summer is as follows so far:
Riverside Family Center
2420 East Riverside Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Thursday, June 5 - August 7, 2014 (Except July 10th)
1 - 3 PM
Please bring your own sewing machine or prepare to sew by hand. Don't worry. I'll teach you. We'll be sewing the 433 blocks from Quilt IV together.
Again, the goal is for the blocks for Quilt IV to be pieced together no later than September 25, 2014. We are on pace as all quilts squares have been tagged, cut and sorted. Thanks to Viola Ratcliff for all the cutting and sorting it took. Lots of work here, especially given this is her first time quilting and sewing. Thanks also to Denise Smith who is continuing to modify blocks.
Our goal as with all quilts is to use what has been donated. Given we had 433 blocks created from 31 different patterns, this meant at times we had too much of one pattern, not enough of others. So, instead of excluding the blocks, we found a way to re-purpose them into a missing pattern by adding embroidery and applique.
So please come out and support even if you can only sew a few blocks or just want to chit chat to keep me company. If weekend sewing dates would work for you, then let me know and we'll set up additional sewing times in Indy. Most likely on Sunday afternoons from 1-3 pm.
Thank you for your continued support!
With the utmost gratitude!
P.S. I found a place to garden this summer! Actually I found 3 places to garden. Spreading the gardening joy all over the city, just like all the quilt love!
My little plot front and center.
LINKS to LQP ARTICLES and TEDx Video
The History of Quilt II, RedRum Summer 1919
Original vision dancing in my head for 14 years now. In reality this is the first quilt . . . sorta. I made this as a flag from pre-cut craft felt squares when I created the collage piece Family Values in 2000. At this time it was simply a neat combination of my spiritual practice with art. No thought of LQP in my head as of yet. Hidden for 3 years while I made Quilt I, then I found it in the closet and the series really began to take shape.
Family Values (c) 2000. Very first successful project on lynching. After this I was hooked on this history. See the little girls watching a man be murdered. Are these the family values we continue to manifest in our society? R.I.P. Rubin Stacy murdered July 19, 1935 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Check out this article exploring the event.
Translating a sketch into a graphic image then a quilt pattern is a** backwards and a little more complicated then I previously understood. (L) First attempt at the blocks. (R) Experimentation on how to make the blocks work. This is where theory and concept meet the rubber on the road when they slam directly into reality and production and (gulp) the world of fabric and quilting.
Quilt II officially launched in Summer 2012. Slow going, but folks started to come back to the table - many new folks and novice sewers. Gaining momentum as more and more blocks come in. (Top, stacks of red blocks. Bottom; First community block I received. Novice Sewer. She did not want her name revealed. But I think she did a pretty good job!)
Then I met a group of ladies that would call themselves the Indy Connection Quilters, meaning they were the original group of quilters in Indy to take on the project. These ladies - Ruth Edwards (front), Annette Smith (middle) and Betty Fierson (back) - created 75% of the red centered, black strip blocks. You ladies rock! (Photo from Indy Star: Danese Kenon)
Gaining momentum as the months move on.
Ruth tackling the 12 x 12 ft. top bringing together final strips.
Fabric is so beautiful!
The final stages. Wow! We completed the top . . . FINALLY!
Oh, lawd it's too big! Lol!
Trish Williams knocks it out the ball park to finish it off! Stitched in the ditch of every single strip of fabric. That's 13 pieces of 4 sided fabric strips per block and 144 blocks for the quilt!
Team LQP we did it!
To those naysayers that wonder about the importance of community and slowing down and bringing many to the table, here is an example of what community power looks like in action. If we can do this on a quilt, imagine what we can do to transform our society to a more tolerant and conscientious place. I never said it would be easy, but patience, togetherness and lots of dialogue, honesty and of course gardening time means we can make it happen.
When surrounded by darkness, remember you are the light and your job is to light the wicks of those around you. Shine on LQP people!
Much luv, respect and gratitude.