Tuesday, October 09, 2012

To Laugh Often ... and Quilt National Acceptance !!!



(Above:  To Laugh Often, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt.  50" x 36".  Crayon on silk grave rubbings, vintage buttons, hand and free-motion machine embroidery.  Click on image to enlarge.)


(Above:  The grave stone used for this art quilt.  Click on image to enlarge.)

I made the upper grave rubbing while visiting Edinburgh, Scotland last May.  It was the only one made during the trip ... which seemed a little strange since Edinburgh is really known for its ancient and ornate tombstones.  Well, the cemeteries were fabulous.  The state of decay added to the sense of history.  I was overwhelmed ... but the high/sculptural relief, massive sizes, and and the dizzying heights of these monuments just wasn't conducive for grave rubbings.  This really was the only stone I could have used.  Thus, I felt compelled to stitch it.  Somehow, it just needed something "more".

In July I figured out just what "more" would be.   A hair-brained idea took me to the local cemetery in nearly 100 degree temperatures ... armed with a big piece of silk, a black crayon, and the following Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation:

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
 


(Above:  To Laugh Often in progress.)

I ran around from grave to grave making individual rubbings of all the letters.  Then the stitching began.  First, free-motion machine embroidery around all the individual letters.  Then millions of seeding stitches for the background.  I stitched on this piece all the way to my art residency in Galesburg, Illinois and finished it during the first week.  I was so pleased with it that I didn't post the completed piece on my blog ... until now.


 (Above:  To Laugh Often, detail.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Why wait?  Well, I entered this piece and Circular Churchyard into the very prestigious Quilt National 2013 international juried exhibition.  This show has very strict rules about showing the work outside the realm of one's personal website and/or blog.  Since there's no real control over who may or may not "grab" an Internet image, I waited to post ... waited until now ... waited for a rejection.


(Above:  To Laugh Often, detail.  Click on image to enlarge.)

The waiting ended yesterday.  To Laugh Often was not among the eighty-five accepted works ...
BUT CIRCULAR CHURCHYARD WAS !!! 
(Click here for a list of all accepted works!)

Yesterday I completed and submitted the eleven-pages of paperwork required for this preliminary acceptance into the show most art quilters consider "The Holy Grail".  Now ... to mail it off for the professional photographs that will appear in the exhibitions accompanying catalog.  I'm on cloud nine! 

13 comments:

Lorie McCown said...

Me too! What a great day. I am really looking forward to seeing you and enjoy it all. Peace!
Lorie

Cindi said...

Making us proud once again, Susan!You are a fabulous diplomat for Columbia's arts community.

Dee's Diary said...

Congratulations, you deserve it, your work is wonderful.

liniecat said...

Congrats! Love the rubbing

Margaret said...

Congratulations, Susan! I'm not the least bit surprised, however! :-)

Penny Schine Gold said...

How great that you had a quilt accepted to QN--can't wait to see it!

Julie said...

Many,many congratulations Susan! I am delighted for you! xx

Frieda Oxenham said...

Congratulations, Susan, and so well deserved. I love your work! Wish I could see it in person but I'm already looking forward to seeing it in the catalogue.

Philippa said...

Fantastic news Susan and throughly deserved. What a thrill for you. Enjoy!

Philippa said...

Fantastic news Susan and throughly deserved. What a thrill for you. Enjoy!

Crazy Ravens Studio said...

I love everything about this quilt. Two thumbs up!

wholly jeanne said...

Congratulations! Great news and a great series. Love the To Laugh Often, and I can just imagine you traipsing around the graveyard on a sweltering summer afternoon. Totally worth it.

Wanda said...

This is fantastic! I am so proud of you Sue and you certainly deserve to be on cloud nine. And I just can't even imagine the piece that was entered! Wow! By the way...the 'to laugh often' quote can easily be a way to live life. I just absolutely love it.