Friday, December 13, 2019

Blessed Sleep in Blue

 (Above:  Blessed Sleep in Blue, detail.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

On Monday I posted Franklinton Cemetery, a grave rubbing art quilt started as a demonstration while conducting a workshop last summer for QSDS (Quilt and Surface Design Symposium) in Columbus, Ohio.  As I said in that blog post, I pride myself in actually FINISHING every piece I start, especially if I begin while people are watching.  After all, I come to workshops not as an artist with a proper, academic studio art degree and not as an instructor with a proper, academic education degree but as an ARTIST, a professional studio art ... someone who makes artwork.  So, my best asset is in "making art", not in making another sample.  I spend a great deal of time encouraging every participant to "make art" and thus I ought to be doing the same.

(Above:  Blessed Sleep in Blue, a crayon grave rubbing combining both hand and free-motion machine stitching with vintage textiles, buttons, and beads.  14 1/2" x 11 3/4". Inventory # 4641. $300.)

Well, in that same workshop, I demonstrated how to make a grave rubbing before going as a group to Franklington Cemetery.  I can do that because I bring a broken gravestone with me.  Yes, I own such a thing!  I bought it several years ago at Bill Mishoe's auction.  I had to stay for most of the entire sale just to bid a successful six dollars (the minimum amount to start any item or table lot.)  I have no idea why it was there.  Perhaps a family saved a broken marker when replacing it with a new one?  I simply knew that such an item would come in handy for my "Second Life" workshop.  If, while teaching, it was raining or there wasn't a nearby cemetery, I could still demonstrate how to make a grave rubbing and participants could still try it for themselves.

 (Above:  Sallie Meetz' broken gravestone in our Pet Cemetery.)

Sallie Meetz was born in 1796.  She was only four years old when buried beneath this marker.  I have no idea where she is interred.  Meetz is a very, very common name here in South Carolina.  What I do know, however, is that her broken marker is in our back yard, in the area we call The Pet Cemetery.  It is planted by a rose bush and regularly removed, washed, and taken to workshops before returning to this resting place.  The broken stone has been to Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, and to North Carolina where it was featured on a segment of the Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I love the fact that I can show others how to get a good impression from the high relief of the rose motif and that the epitaph is sweet and memorable.

(Above:  Blessed Sleep in Blue, reverse.)

I have made quite a number of pieces with the rose motif and words "Blessed Sleep".  This one, however, was a challenge.  For some unknown reason, I threw the rubbing together with a very bright, white doily trimmed in blue crochet.  That doily really didn't go well with the other beige and off white fabrics.  Then, I did the free motion work while talking to the workshop ... fast and sloppy ... without really basting the layers together ... which created a very small crease near the top of the rose.  So, I had to tackle these problems.  Running stitches in a tan wool knocked down the stark white.  White embroidery floss and sequins along with blue perle cotton and beads transformed beige areas just enough to integrate them with with the doily.  The blue buttons finished the piece off.  The reverse used a peach guest towel and two, small blue coaster-like doilies.  I'm very pleased with the results and happy to say that I have no other UFOs (UnFinished Objects) anywhere in my house or studio! 

1 comment:

Ann Scott said...

Wow, such an auction find, I'd say discovered by the perfect person. Who would have thought a grave marker would have been auctioned. So old and marking a sad story. Neat that you hold it in your pet cemetery area. NO UFOs, now I truly am impressed!