The 12" x 12" square art quilt Whispers on the Wind (above) was made for Rust Tex's exhibition. If juried into the show, it will travel to England for their quilt festival. (Not that I'm hinting, Lois!)
The background began as a digital collage of photographs and vintage artwork printed on rust-dyed fabric. I added a wash of green for the forest floor, white for a shaft of light, and blue for the sky using Earth Safe Finishes Colorant + Fabric Magic + lots of water.
Free-motion stitching in a variegated black/brown thread was worked on the main tree, while monofilament was stitched free-form to represent sunlight through the forest canopy and wind through the tree branches.
Glass and stone beads were stitched on the surface by hand and the edges were finished with satin stitches.
The composition recalls a trip to the woods in early spring with my mother and grandmother to see the wild flowers. I was disappointed when my grandmother gently informed me the flowers had to stay in the forest; they would be unhappy in the garden at home. To entertain myself, I pretended the wind through the tree branches was the voice of many fairies whispering to me.
It's remarkable to me that this image, the colors, sounds, smells, and emotions are so vivid to me after 50 years or so—and a pleasant way to remember a day with two women so influential in my life!