My last piece to date in the Wines of the World Series, “Dance of the Zindfandels” is actually an unfinished embellished top. Most of my art quilts are beaded as I go along when I sew the three layers (top, batting, and backing) together. This piece, however, had the top completed first. Right now, it measures about 70″ W X 44 ” T (178cm W x 112 cm T). Allowing for about 2″ shrinkage when it’s quilted and the ends evened out, it will still be one of my largest pieces ever when it’s completed. To quilt something this big, it will have to go on a quilting frame, which will take up a large part pf the family room, so the top awaits a commission to motivate me to haul out the quilting frame and baste the rest of the quilt together. I can see why there were “quilting bees” when it came time to quilt a piece that was meant for a bed. It’s just too much fabric to manage by myself unless a pay check is motivating me!
In the lower middle of this detail shot, you can see the main dancers for which this piece is named. They are a male and female pair of costume jewelery pins, and I put them close enough together so that they could hold hands as they twirl across the surface of the piece. For me, good red Zinfandels are a party wine and I love to serve it with BBQ ribs. Since such parties often go long into the night, there are a number of stars for my dancers to dance under. Along the bottom of the photo, you can also see some of the grape cluster buttons that I collected. Other buttons with purple centers help to give a “grape” look to the display.
“Lushness” is one of the descriptive terms I would use for a red Zinfandel, and “big and bold” is another. I think that the detail photo shows how I tried to incorporate those feelings with my use of buttons, appliques, and beads. If you’ve been reading these blogs for awhile, then you’ve heard me say before “Why settle for a couple hundred buttons and beads, when several thousand will make a MUCH bigger statement!” I think that I’ve accomplished impact with this piece, if only because of its sheer size and weight. It’s very hard to hang it on a study coat hanger and have it stay as it awaits its time to be finished,as the beads make it very slippery.
Collecting wine was a passion that my former husband and I shared, so I had lots of opportunities to share good wine with like-minded souls. I don’t have as many friends now that drink, so my mid-sized cellar is winding down. Still, there are a few friends with whom I still share the delights of good food, wine, and art, so while I may not dance as much as I used to, my heart still has many memories that cause me to still smile.
What are your favorite themes for your art work? How are you able to incorporate them into your everyday life? Are there secret dreams that you wish that you could include in your work, but haven’t chosen to express yet?
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