2020 started like an ordinary year for us, quilt artists: busy creating new art, looking for calls for entries, and making arrangements for quilt shows and exhibitions. But pretty soon the year turned out to be an extraordinary, like we never had before. Our lives have changed. With every long planned event getting closer in time, we learned that it was delayed and finally cancelled at all.
Many of us, including me, were imprisoned in our homes. Actually, I liked being a prisoner in my studio. I was sewing and quilting like crazy.
There were 107 entries, and Brenda selected 40 works, including my Rainbow Iris. Actually this is the only exhibition that is taking place at the Gosford Hospital Exhibition Space, NSW, Australia, right now, from 9 November 2020 to 15 January 2021.
Fifteen by Fifteen group’s challenger for the year was to create quilts which were based on given letters. Every quilt had to contain that letter or a word with that letter. The letters have been chosen in advance for the whole year, and cover some of the commonest letters in use.
For the challenge I decided to use the letter itself as the main design element. I made all quilts in the same style and I used few of same design elements but different colors for each quilt. The letter always reached the edge of the quilt. The colors were placed the way that they transferred from one quilt to another:
I can mix and match the different ways:
In January I also made and mailed my 20 x 15 cm (8 x 6 inches) piece for SAQA online Spotlight Auction. I named it Broken Ice:
I also made a 30.5 x 30.5 cm(12 x 12 inches) quilt for SAQA Benefit Auction that I named simply – A Leaf. The auction also took place online:
Lolita asked me if there was any chance I could make a book. Not a traditional book made out of paper and filled with text but Instead it had to be made out of fabric and filled with stitches. We called it Quilted Diary. We planned to have a workshop at the library, and introduce women to quilting, that is not a traditional Lithuanian craft.
I started with simplest 9 patch block and ended up with a quilt made of plastic bags. I could not stop making quilts in different techniques. They all measured 29 x 22.5 cm (11.5 x 8.5 inches). Then I realized that would be too much for a workshop of about 8 hours. I decided to leave pages loose but make a cover large enough that I would be able to add more pages later:
Then I made a smaller book, Quilted Diary #2, 15 x15 cm (6 x 6 inches) with only 8 pages and a cover, all hand made. I knew that the library will not be able to provide us with sewing machines:
Making all hand made book encouraged me to do more hand work. Slow stitching is a good way of meditation and it also helps to give a new life to the old textiles. I upcycled and old, badly damaged, appliqued piece from Rajasthan, India. Elephants measures 202 x 156 cm (80 x 61 inches)
Last summer I still experimented with the same leaf shape using my own hand dyed fabrics. This way I made few more quilts:
Symphony of Leaves 91 x 93 cm (36 x36.5 inches):
Night Flowers 120 x 80 cm (47 x 31.5) inches:
From some my hand dyed fabric leftovers I made Color Play 61 x 61 cm (24 x 24inches):
This year I also made many commissioned quilts. One of them was Big Leaves. I was asked to make a larger quilt based on my last year’s creation. It measures 220 x 200 cm (79 x 80 inches)
The other big commissioned quilt was Flower Power 225 x 225 cm (90 x 90 inches). It is all hand made: hand sewn, hand appliqued and hand quilted:
Every year I make few of these machine free hand machine quilted whole cloth quilts. Usually they are on a black background but once I was asked to use of-white background with particular colors for leaves:
And last but not least, and my favorite, was Great Barrier Reef, revisited:
I was thinking of revisiting more quilts from my Water series. Unfortunately in September I got sick and didn’t recover until mid December. I lost three months not being able to work. I am sure I would have to show more quilts by now.
I am feeling much better now and started working again. New quilts are coming soon but they will belong to the year 2021.