I have written about several of my own and others’ UFOs (Unfinished Objects), but here’s one of mine that fell victim to my divorce. One thing that my ex and I did well together was travel, and this rather large art quilt top, 73″ or 185.5cm W X 45″ or 115 cm T) was originally intended to portray many of the places around the world that we had visited. I carried it with me on our last big trip together, to Italy, in 1998, and worked on some of the hand embroidery in my lap whenever I had a flat surface to work on. I had a small drawing board that I carried for that purpose, and would work in train stations while sitting on my suitcase, or in airport waiting areas while getting ready to board a plane.
This detail shot shows a typical scene when my ex and I used to travel together. We’d be lost and he wouldn’t stop the car to ask for directions. I got that he didn’t like asking someone else for help, but he wouldn’t stop so I could get out and ask. This was in the days before GPS systems, but near the end of the marriage, he did get one of the early tracking systems that worked on with a satellite detecting device on the windshield that was then attached to a laptop computer, all powered by the cigarette lighter. It was state of the art at the time, and probably saved the marriage for longer than it should have as there were fewer arguments over which way to go next.
In the center of this detail shot is a pin of a British double decker bus. It’s a reminder of a trip to Hong Kong when we were caught in a monsoonal trough that translated into 22″ ( 56cm) of rain in two days. The streets of the mainland were closed due to the high water and the only vehicles allowed to drive were these buses that were leaving wakes of water behind them when they went by. When we had been in Hong Kong the week before, I kept finding little rosettes of canvas on the ground, like the one to the upper left of the bus pin. I love picking up “treasures” up off the street to use on my work, but couldn’t figure out what these little circles of fabric were. Finally, it hit me. They were the covers on the tips of umbrellas where the circle of the umbrella meets the tip, covering up the hole so that rain won’t come on. I was rather proud of my archeological sleuthing.
“Viaggio”, which is Italian for voyages, was intended to be displayed above the sofa in our living room and would be a great conversation starter for dinner parties. Instead it ended up tucked away in the recesses of my studio after we separated. The quilt top is just about finished, and buttons and beads would be added when it gets quilted. Anybody out there interested in having a map of this quilter’s travels in your home?
To see other great blogs about textile art, go to …. http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/
I’m still looking for well-lit full and detail shots of your unfinished textile object for consideration to be included in this blog. Send me some photos and tell me a little about the story behind your UFO to firstname.lastname@example.org
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