In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I have a "thing" about the Virgin of Guadalupe. I've always been intregued by the images of the Virgin Mary. I've also loved quilts which show a sense of humor.
At left is the detail of Donna de Soto's "Our Lady of Bling" shown at the Sacred Threads exhibition. Donna's piece combines the two! I don't know what she used for her "glasses" --looks like chips of mica, but they are superb!
"As my mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers did before me, I don't go anywhere without my rosary. I have always had a special devotion to Our Lady. I've not seen her portrayed before with a sense of humor, but I know she has one; she accompanied me to the fabric store and inspired these choices of exuberant array of textures, colors and fabrics. This piece was created joyfully!" (Donna DeSoto, artist statement, Sacred Threads).
The quilt is quite narrow and suprising. Donna combines commerical fabrics, embellishments and traditional pieced blocks in the wild and wonderful representation of the Virgin Mary.
Although I showed you the overall in an earlier post, here's another view, a close up one, of the area in Penny Mateer's quilt "I Could Just Eat Color." This too used one of the commerically printed cut blocks from Luana Rubin's "Enchanted Desert" line of fabrics. Luana herself has a pretty outrageous sense of humor and color, and I just love it.
Now...earlier I mentioned that I MEANT to enter the exhibition, but just didn't feel that what I had was good enough. Here's what I would have entered. This is my "Our Lady of Traverse City."
In 2003, Hoffman fabrics brought out this Cherry fabric used as the background as their challenge piece. I saw it and immediately thought of the roses traditionally used on images of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I had wanted to do a quilted representation and felt that this was the perfect time.
I lept into it. I painted Mary's face, and found a leaf patterned gold and peach batik for her gown. Her robe was a holographic star print on a blue cotton, and the lining quilter's lame. I painted the shading on the robe and gown with Jacquard and Dyna-flo paints.
Mary's hair is a print fabric, I think by Hoffman...or Kaufman, I forget which, which I painted to make darker as it was sort of a yellow ochre and raw sienna color.
The "flames" around the base are quilter's lame and sections of a batik with gold striations I fused onto a piece of muslin. I had never fused anything before. I had never used quilter's lame which has a nylon thread weft and a cotton warp.
I put stabilizer underneath and started zig-zagging around each one of those rays using metallic thread. I had never used metallic thread. I didn't have a sewing cabinet, just my Bernina 153 sitting on the table. As I stitched, the background stretched and humped.....I realized I'd not be able to finish this for the Hoffman Challenge and put it away.
In 2006, I decided it was time to finish it....especially since I had moved and I had a cabinet. I fixed the warped areas, and satin stitched around her with a copper thread. I didn't know I needed to use a stabilizer or interfacing behind her face, so now she sort of looks like she has 5:00 shadow.
I apologize I don't have a better picture of her. I was going to shoot another but I haven't had time and wanted to wrap up the Sacred Threads.
I call this piece, "Our Lady of Traverse City" as Traverse City, Michigan is the Cherry capital of Michigan. She has another name....one which makes some of my Catholic friends cringe, but it shows my off-beat sense of humor. She is one of a series of images of representations of various visitations of the Virgin Mary. I don't know why she intrigues me so much. Maybe it is the history of the rise of the Marianists. Maybe it is the whole story of Mary. I don't know.
I know that the Virgin of Guadalupe is especially meaningful to me as she was the first visitation in the Americas, and she appeared to a lowly Indian who had to convince the Bishop, a man WAY above him in station to build a church based on his report. I can't imagine the fear that Juan Diego must have had as he begged an audience with the Bishop. He was a man of perseverance and courage.
For more information on the Virgin of Guadalupe, look at these two sites: