Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Peace Begins With A Smile"

I just got off the phone with my mum and she has told me that my very late Christams gift to her has arrived. So now I may show it to you. I have been pondering this piece for a long time. Everytime I auditioned fabric for it nothing seemed right. So I put it aside. I hate forcing things that are important! My muse would rescue me eventually. than after a trip to the new Artistic Artifacts Annex in Alexandria, VA and a heady dose of inspiration from the work of Judy and friends, I knew what I was going to do!!
the basis for this art quilt is a wonderful picture of my neice Kate and a young african girl who appears to be a close friend. In actuallity, the little African girl had no idea who my brother or neice were she just wanted to have her picture taken. My brother and family live in Tanzania and the family was on a beach outing one day when this picture was taken. It is an amazing picture and it tells an amazing story in it's very simplicity.

The photo was taken aout three years ago and has been a favorite of everyone who sees it even if they don't know that it is a family member. Yes, her hair really is that blond and her eyes really are that blue and she is an amazing child who along with her older sister Mali, is getting an amazing world wide education about all that is right with the world and all that is wrong. I only get to see her once a year when they come to the states on home leave. I will not get to see big sis Mali this summer as she is spending her leave time with a good friend in Prague!!!! Poor dear!

The strip of patchwork to the left of the girls is sashing from an ancient Crazy Quilt that my mom unearthed from a friends attic years ago. The fabric is quite fragile as the pieces were stored in a box and subjected to very hot attic temperatures in the Northeast. The basting stitches are original and the fabrics are all scraps of silks and taffetas and embossed velvets. The best part is that I have lots of the sashing to use in lots of quilts!! I must also credit Lesley Riley and her fabulous fabric collage pieces for inspiring me to leave things like original basting stitches in the piece. The stitches tell a very important part of the story. There was a time not long ago when I would have taken those out !!! ( Oh, the horror!!!) To hang the piece, I put a rod pocket on the back and took two very old metal knitting needles that had been my mom's and were the same blue color as Kate's eyes and attached them to each other with DUCK tape- gotta love Duck Tape!! The needles could then be used for the hanging rod.

One of the first decisions that I made about this piece was that I would use Mother Teresa's words to define whta the picture says to me. "Peace Begins With A Smile." That pretty much says it all, as far as I am concerned!

After finding the perfect bits and beads in my stash I signed and dated the piece and packed it up and mailed it off. I am going to be doing alot more work like this as long as my muse keeps me company!!! i have several wonderful pictures that my family have shared with me from overseas and then I have a stash of my own to use as well.


creative dreams said...

Hi Elizabeth, This is just brilliant, I love the warmth and the feelings it evokes. How wonderful you made this for your mum, how did she like it? The photo is stunning as are both little girls, well done Belinda

Marilyn Rock said...

Peace does begin with a smile; it says it all! What a beautiful art piece this is and I enjoyed seeing your other recent additions, here, on your Blog! Love your displays!

Heartinmyhand said...

Elizabeth, this is just wonderful. I love the colors, textures and all the beautiful beads.


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