Thursday, October 7, 2010

Quilt Road or, Taking the Long Way 'Round

Untitled (as of yet), ©2010, Hannah Hunter, Collage
 I'm setting out on a year long journey. In November of 2011, I'll be participating in a group art quilt exhibit at the Davis Art Center along with seven other wonderful women artists and quilters. It's been awhile since I've been part of a group exhibit in which there is such a long lead time. While short notice provides the challenge of creating under a deadline, this longer advance notice affords an opportunity for a luxurious thought process.

My first reaction to being invited was me, "Me? I know how to quilt, but I've never been one for large scale pieces." One of the seven other quilters, Diana Connolly, creates lively geometric works and doubles as an ER social worker at our hospital. She's used to much tougher cases than my soft skepticism. When I voiced my doubts, she looked at me with an expression which could only mean something like: "Get over it and get on with it!"

So I have, backing into it in my own way. I'm connecting 12" x 12" Ampersand panels (which happen to have gone on sale today at Daniel Smith) and creating large collage pieces with allover patterning and funky quilted borders (I'm having fun stitching together border pieces which play on the idea of the traditional quilt border).  Quilts often tell stories and one of the works in process is an homage to a patient, whom I became close to before she died last year. I spent a lot of time learning her family history, a classic story of immigration from the Far East to America. 


         Composition V11, Deidre Adams, ©2007, Cotton fabrics, rayon and polyester thread, acrylic paint

I also decided to immerse myself in another way. Opening tomorrow at the Pence Gallery in Davis, Ca is a fabulous show entitled: 12 Voices, a collection of art quilts traveling the country and organized by the Studio Art Quilter's Associates. I volunteered to lead some docent tours so that I could learn about the quilts in detail. What a great decision! I was treated to a tour by Pence director, Natalie Nelson, and found my way into pieces that would have remained strangers, without her well informed descriptions of process and extensive information about the artists.


 Truth and Fiction, Joan Schulz ©2008, (48" x 98") Glue transfer process. Pieced, machine quilted

Over the next year, I'll be writing posts about my progress with my "quilts", their inspirations and mediums as well as descriptions of the artists' work (sneak peeks from our monthly meetings...) Hopefully, in the process, we'll be able to engage in a dialogue celebrating creativity of all kinds.


  1. How exciting to be a part of a large group challenge and exhibit. I have to laugh at you questioning yourself. Why not you?

    I saw 12 Voices and was overwhelmed with the sizes of quilts and talent. An incrediable body of art work. I just wanted to stand there and soak them into my cells in hopes that one day I could do something a fraction of the awesomeness of some of those pieces...

  2. Your collage is striking and wonderful, Hannah. Shades of Sonia Delauney but with more oomph .... if that makes sense. I love the fragment of face amongst the rhythmic circular motifs.

    Well done for diving right into this new challenge. Hope you will keep us updated.

  3. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of your quilts unfold!

  4. Lynn,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I, too, am amazed by the power and magnificence of the 12 Voices quilts. I get what you mean about soaking them into your cells--that was my reaction too.

  5. Robyn--It does make sense. About updates--I like the idea of doing this because its a way of keeping a journal "on line," instead of on the lines of paper.

    Hannah--what a great pun! I love it. You literally have to unfold fabric to work with it, and you have to unfold each seam as stitch it-great choice of words.

  6. Hannah, this is wonderfully exciting (even though you feel a little anxious...that is natural and can be energizing, depending on how you direct it)

    I love your playful beginnings! I'm greatly looking forward to following you on this adventure!

    gentle steps,

  7. Laura, I do like to get caught up in little mind snares so I very much appreciate your words. I've already put the notion of "gentle steps" to work!

  8. Hi - thanks for stopping by at my blog and leaving a comment :o) your work is wonderful and you know what to do with figs! i'll visit again!

  9. Thanks 'nmp'--I do love my figs!