Monday, March 31, 2008

Community—ties that bind

I had so many ideas, most of them just terrible, that it was hard to settle on what I wanted to do about the theme "community". It seems a very abstract idea for trying to capture graphically. I tried to sort out in my own mind what makes a group of people a community. A kind of organization, for starters, whether it be formal or informal, and so I lined up my little faces in an organized grid. Then it seemed that organization isn't enough. The group becomes a community only when connections begin to be made. I was thinking about this 12 x 12 community and all the pictures we've posted of members meeting in real life, making those face to face connections, not to mention the comments and the encouragement. A connection here. A connection there.

The faces, which don't represent any real people, are individuals. You can click on this to see the faces more closely if you like—each is actually different from all the others. But taken as a whole, a community becomes an entity unto itself.

I had a lot of fun making the little faces. I drew them, then scanned them, then printed them on fabric. I painted them and stitched them to the background. I used several shades of thread to stitch them down to continue the subtly variegated look and planned to use several shades of floss for the connecting stitches. But when I was at the beach with my friends, my friend Gerrie (yes, our Gerrie) bought the last skein of a wonderful hand-dyed perle cotton that, it turned out, worked perfectly on my piece. I tried to ask politely if I could use a little of her beautiful floss, but I probably all but snatched it out of her hands! At any rate, she very kindly shared with me. Isn't that what community is all about?

13 comments:

Diane said...

Ooh! Great faces! I really like how you've connected them together with that stitching. And it's interesting how certain themes echo among our pieces -- grids, faces, connecting lines, blocks...

Kristin L said...

Beautiful! The hand stitching really is the perfect finishing touch.

That you and Terri (ah, the two Terr(y/i)s) have chosen similar visualizations, and yet they are distinctly different is wonderful. I probably shouldn't have been so concerned about influence in my earlier post.

Françoise said...

It's great! I like all these different expressions on the faces, and the connecting stitches are a very good idea.

StegArt said...

Oh I love this Terry. The colors in the background and the faces in the grid layout are all appealing to me. I love all the different face expressions.

Carol said...

Wonderful work - love the theme and how each of you expressed it with soul.

Karen said...

I agree with everyone else, the handstitching ties the whole piece together.

Gerrie said...

Gosh, doesn't my perle cotton look fabulous? : ) Having held this one in my hands, it is best seen up close and personal.

Nikki said...

The different expressions are so much fun. At least one looks not too sure about this community, but most are pleased as pie to be tied together. Love all the little details!

verobirdie said...

Those little faces are just fun to watch. It seems they will move in a second.

Brenda said...

These little faces really draw you in - again and again!

Deborah said...

Wonderful. Those tiny faces have so much expression. I think it is so interesting to compare the two different face/grid quilts.

Hey, can I ask a technical question? When you did the handstiching, did you go through all three layers? Did you hid the stitching in the batting? Or did you stitch before you did the sandwich? I'd be happy to hear from others who also used hand stitching.

twolimeleaves said...

Ïsn't it fun to assign different characters to these little faces? Several of them (particularly the snooty looking ones!) give me the giggles.
Terry, you really are clever - the little subtleties, such as the darker thread surrounding some of the squares, make this something special. Holy cow! I just saw my husband's cousin!!!

Terry said...

Deborah, I did the hand stitching before I put the back on the piece. It goes through the front and the batting.