Friday, November 03, 2006
Printing My Grandmother's Quilts
My father's family comes from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia and my grandmother made quilts for all the beds in the farmhouse. There were winter weight quilts and lighter summer quilts. Many of these old quilts are still left on the farm and when I was there this summer I took pictures and made sketches of 17 or 18 of them with a view to making prints based on their designs.
I started with the quilt my cousin Daniel uses in his spare bedroom. The design is very plain, just a series of stripes, but the overall effect is very calm and pleasing. Most of the darker stipes are made from lightweight woolen fabrics while the very pale stripes are a loosely woven cotton fabric which appears to have been dyed in different colours. The upper photo shows a detail of the proof I pulled of the print. Some of the textural effects worked onto the blocks can be seen in the inking.