"She Became Me " 2005
Art Quilt by Studio Artist Dottie Gantt


Size 31" w X 35" h


Artist's Statement:

The Child asked - "Mama, will I be like you when I grow up."
     
She smiled - "You already are."

The Teenager said - "Mom, I never want to be like you."
    
She said - "I know dear."

The Young Woman said - "Mother, I am going to be my own woman."
   
She replied - "Be independent, but don't forget that you will always have part of me, your Grandmothers, and all the women in our family who came before you."

The Adult Woman pleaded - "Mama, please don't die! How will I do without you?"
    
A whisper came back - "I won't be far away."

A year later, with tears in my eyes, I looked in the mirror, and saw my Mother's face.  I knew the that the healing had begun because

     "She Became Me, and I Became Her"

(In memory of my Mother, Emma Neal Montgomery, who died as the result of a stroke on October 24, 2003.)








Attaching the mask to the top with free-motion stitching.

 


Techniques:

The wall hanging top was machine pieced together, and quilted prior to application of the three dimensional face and its hair.

The three-dimensional face and hair were created using a plastic mask for the mold, and applying multiple layers of raw edge fabric pieces using a white glue. After the face and hair had dried, the piece was removed from the mold. Additional fabrics were applied to the inside of the face with more white glue to stiffen/harden the piece so it wouldn't be fragile. Just the fabric face was sprayed with a clear gloss acrylic spray. After pinning the face and hair to the top, free-motion quilting was used to create dimension to the hair.

Materials: 
Fabrics used were batik, commercially printed (Pointillist Palette Series by Debra Lunn & Michael Mrowka - Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Swirl Print by Karen Jarrar for Marcus Brother fabrics, and Jinny Byer - RJR Fabrics), and hand-marbled cotton fabrics.  Threads used were nylon invisible thread, cotton and rayon threads (Sulky, Isacord, and Maderia).  Batting used was Thermore polyester batting.

Other products used were: Mystic Masque plastic mask for the mold;  Crafter's Pick Fabric Stiffener;  Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick Aluminum Foil; and Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating.

Detail View


Awards and Recognition:
"She Became Me" was juried into the Sacred Threads 2005 Quilt Show in Reynoldsburg, Ohio - June 15-29, 2005.  This biennial exhibition was established to provide a venue for quilters of all faiths who see their work as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their spiritual journey.  This exhibition was open to all quilters throughout the United States and Canada.  The 2005 show presented over 190 quilts, exploring personal expressions of joy, spirituality, grief, healing and inspiration. 

As an artist, I am rewarded when viewers of my artwork take time to   Stop - Pause - and - Think about my art.  When my artwork evokes an emotion from the viewer, I feel validated.  Sacred Threads provides the opportunity for viewers to provide participating artists with written comments and feedback concerning their response to the quilts exhibited.  Viewers comments received from this show about "She Became Me" are listed below.  I was very pleased that my art gave voice to viewers emotions.


"Thank you for a quilt that reminds me so much of my Mother and me."

"So very well expressed. I have heard similar concerns from my daughter saying how will she ever go on without me.   Also, I will never forget the day when I looked down at my own hands and saw my Mother's hands there. Good work and very creative."


"My Mother died in 1999 and this speaks to me.   Thank you for showing this wonderful work."

"Having lost my Mother (at my age of 45) I still - at age 54 - "feel the pain" of her passing.  Your words were most inspiring."

"My Mother passed in December 2003.   Reading your passage - tears came and the flood gates of my heart were opened.  Thank you."

"Your colors and form meant so much to me on my journey thru grief!"

"As I read what you wrote.   I could feel these words speak to me.   Just as if I was saying them.   I had tears as I read them.   For I feel just as you expressed.   Your quilt was wonderful."

"I thank you as a Mother and daughter for the truth of this piece."

"This piece spoke to my place in my journey of life."



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