Sunday, January 23, 2011

Endless Life, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt

(Above: Endless Life, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt. Crayon on silk rubbings on repurposed painter's drop cloth. Hand and free motion machine embroidery. Click on image to enlarge.)

I've been working on this piece for weeks and weeks. It's been my evening handwork after dinner while watching television. It's been on our road trip to Slippery Rock for New Years and on the plane and back from Seattle. There must be a million little "seeding" stitches.

(Above and below: Endless Life, details. Click on any image to enlarge.)

I made three of the rubbings (the folk art angels/skull) while in Lydford, England. The markers were from the late 18th century.

Two of the other angels date from the same time period but were in Maine. The epitaph, however, comes from Rock Creek Park Cemetery in Washington, DC. Two of the letter....the ones right before the date....were not quite defined in the rubbing. I went to my computer to check the photos I snapped that day only to discover that the recent hard drive crash claimed them. I really thought I had all my images backed up....but apparently I'll need another day in that cemetery! I stitched what I could make out....almost an "I" or an "L" and almost an "R" or a "B". Fortunately, I don't think it matters at all!

The background of this piece is sort of special too. I friend here in Columbia, Libby Gamble, moved to California to pursue an MFA in photography. She gave me her stash of vintage clothing, material, and other assorted fabrics....including an old painter's drop cloth. I don't think I could have intentionally created a more perfect ground for these rubbings. Occasionally, I'd hit a patch of more solid, acrylic paint through which it was harder to stitch....but it was worth it!

(Above: Endless Life, reverse. Vintage embroidered cloth on vintage damask. Click on image to enlarge.)


Connie Eyberg Originals said...

That is a great quilt. You have put a lot of work into that piece! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your day, Connie

Wanda said...

Really pretty. The one angel is pretty creepy often true on some graves from that period. I wanted to rub a couple of the graves in the Fairbank Ghosttown cemetery but didn't have any paper, much less charcoal or a crayon or even a pencil. Did you get to? Not that there was alot to rub there but a couple things.