Sunday, 16 September 2012

Which Way to Hell?

The latest issue of The Quilter magazine (published by the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles) arrived within the past few days and in it was an article about the CrossRoads project of the European Quilt Association (EQA). It showed photographs of the CrossRoads quilts from various countries as they were displayed at Festival of Quilts this past August in Birmingham. That reminded me of the fact that I hadn't shown this piece to you yet since it was selected way back last year. Each of the EQA countries (18 in total) was asked to provide 10 20 x 50 cm quilts with a landscape orientation on the theme of CrossRoads. I was one of those selected by the British Guild, to my total astonishment I have to add. I thought the way I had interpreted the theme might have put people i.e. selectors, off!
I consulted my big book on symbols (The Book of Symbols; reflections on archetypal images, published by Taschen) which told me that crossroads have always been viewed as  places of extreme potency  and ancient travellers used to offer sacrifices there. According to the book "crossroads is where a pact with the devil is made" and it is the place where "one confronts the necessity of choice and the immensity of fate". It was also thought that there was an opening to the underworld at crossroads.
I took this very literally and selected an actual crossroads in our little lane, where north leads to Penicuik, south to West Linton, east to our house (and beyond) and west to the A702. Don't worry though if you're local. To date I haven't encountered the devil there nor found the entrance to hell. Nor are there any gravestones to be seen but once I had introduced the devil on horseback to the crossroads the graves seemed to be a vital accessory. And of course I have so many pictures of beautiful gravestones that just occasionally I want to put them to good use.

This is in essence a simply landscape quilt which is machine appliqued, and hand a variety of running stitches as you can see on the details. I've taken the liberty of making our tarmacked little lane into a cobbled one, to make it more interesting from a textural point of view and added some flowers around the graves too. Just because I wanted some colour. The devil on his splendid horse is a fabric image from a collage sheet by Alpha Stamps.

I'm not quite sure when these quilts are coming home or whether they will be travelling and if so, just how many crossroads they will pass, but I hope that an encounter like the one on this particular quilt will be spared them.

I found the size and orientation pretty difficult to work with but I am very pleased with the finished product!


Linda said...

Started an email and couldn't get logged in-hope this wasn't sent. The character at the crossroads is scary. As it gets closer to Halloween, you may want to stay away from that crossroads. Been gone and looking forward to seeing the art and photographs posted since I was last here. Love the detail of your quilt at the top of your blog-is it called the banner?

Linda said...

this is absolutely AMAZING Frieda!! Congratulations on having it selected by the British Guild! Your quilts are always so thought provoking and the work is impecable.


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