Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bang You're Dead.

Many of you have been wondering what I've been working on. Well, I've spent this fall fussing over the idea for this quilt, whether to make this quilt, making the quilt, and finally whether or not to share this quilt.  This quilt was not inspired by the tragedies that our nation has suffered this year, though it may be more timely because of them.  The quilt is called, "Bang You're Dead."  It's not meant to be humorous, it's meant to be final.

This quilt is deeply personal and is inspired by my husband's work.  I don't want to share the exact circumstances, but suffice it to say, my husband is acutely aware of children who are hurt and killed every day, many in gun violence.  What he knows creates a sense of urgency for him as well as stress that shows on his face that never goes away.

Though the subject of the quilt appears to be about guns, it is really about the children who have been the targets and victims of violence, whose lives are damaged or lost before they have had the chance to live, to make a difference, to change, to make up for mistakes, to find themselves.  The gun on this quilt is one symbol of violence.  There are many I could have chosen.  The quilt wouldn't be complete without the blood dripping and forming a pool below.  It is a reminder that when the gun is gone, destruction remains.

Violence is pervasive in society.  I've talked on this blog about the written violence that many of us experience on the internet.  It's a drop in a very large bucket.  I understand the scope of the problem is broad and there are many causes: mental illness, poverty, gangs, culture, values to name a few.  I am also not naive enough to say that eliminating or controlling guns will solve the problem.  What I do know is that the solutions are many and we are in the position to contribute to the solution whether it be in our personal lives or in the jobs we do each day.
The process for this quilt is a little different than I usually work.  I thought I'd share how it came about.

I started with a sketch and idea after a conversation I had with my husband stuck with me and I couldn't get the words or the look on his face out of my head.
I moved to Illustrator and did a drawing to flush out the idea a bit.  I don't know much about the shape of guns, but i drew from what I saw in my head when I thought gun.  The blood was in my initial idea.
I was going to call the quilt, "The List", but I moved on from that idea.
After playing on Illustrator a bit I made the gun bolder, giving it a more intimidating presence on the quilt.  I also toyed with the idea of adding elements from the Chicago flag to tie the quilt to my city, but in the end only the light blue binding is a nod to Chicago.  I settled on this design and moved forward with construction.
I measured pieces, cut and placed them on the design wall.  That only lasted for a couple of days and then I started improvising.
As the quilt started coming together I had to cover it up while I worked on other projects.  A five foot gun staring at you from the design wall can be pretty disturbing.
I played for a long time with how to drip the blood from the gun barrel and pool it at the bottom.
I ripped those parts multiple times to achieve the look I wanted.
This is how the top turned out.  I think it's amazing and terrible all at the same time, but I'm glad I made it.  It's quilted with many straight lines.
The finished quilt will be shown in the QuiltCon show.

97 comments:

Shruti said...

This is a pretty bold quilt. I can totally understand your hesitance at sharing it, but at the same time I'm glad that you did! Yes,it is kind of disturbing to look at too, but at the same time, it'll keep us aware of the crimes happening around us! Awesome job Jacquie! You have managed to say a lot in just 3 colors and minimum shapes! Amazing!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

This is amazing and a very meaningful and moving work of art!

Sharon S said...

If we don't talk about a problem we can't be part of the solution. Kudos to you for having the guts to do this quilt &n to make people think.

Candied Fabrics said...

What a powerful quilt. I believe you've expressed what you needed to perfectly. It sounds like your husband has an extremely important job, and I am thankful that there are people like him who can do what they can to help (while of course being sad for the need for such people).

deadlycraft said...

Wow - good for you. There needs to be an openness and rawness around this issue before you guys can find a way to move forward. Many of us here in Aus cried for your children and support any way you can address this. The time is now indeed for this quilt, and hopefully so much more.

QuiltSwissy said...

It is amazing. At first I saw it as just jumbled squares of black and red. Then it hit me what it was. I love it, just wasn't expecting it.

Your work is so graphic. So emotional. It demands that you pay attention to the meaning, is it forceful.

glen

Norma said...

Just my first, gut reaction.........I find this quilt to be offensive. I can't say why, it just hit me that way. I respect your need to do this, but don't understand it at all.

So, having shared my honest reaction, rather than the usual warm fuzzy comments everyone makes, I fully accept to be taken down, but it is what it is.

Shevvy said...

I think this is more shocking because it is a quilt. The contrast of the image and the texture and comfort that I associate with quilts is really hard to reconcile in my head and heart.

But then, isn't that what great art is? Something that stops you in your tracks and engages you in an unexpected way.

Thank you for sharing.

Pauline said...

wow. jacquie that is very confronting really...I have to agree with Norma..as much as I love love love your work..and am hanging out to see you on the quilt show...I really am quite disturbed by this quilt..you are very clever..but No, I couldnt look at that..
cheers from down under

pennydog said...

I'm pretty sure good art invokes debate, so you're onto a winner!

patricia gooden said...

Very poignant. It is easy to dismiss a problem unless it is put in front of you. I appreciate your art and your courage for putting it out there. You make a difference. Thank you for sharing.

jacquie said...

Norma,
I appreciate your opinion and the respectful way you expressed it. It's ok to not like things.

Pinkadot Quilts said...

Jacquie I applaud you....finally some one out there in blog land who can take some constructive critisism (from Norma)with grace and character.
I am not sure how I feel about your quilt, but it is powerful.

Marie said...

wow, powerful bold yet subtle message.

TheaM said...

I find your quilt very powerful - gut wrenching, and timely.
Thank you for making this quilt.
We quilters tend to hide behind our quilts for comfort (and that's a GOOD THING!) but as artists, we have an obligation to face the issues of our time.

cauchy09 said...

such a great project! i find that more and more i prefer quilts with meaning and yours is chock-full of that. an impressive statement. and thanks for profiling the process.

Bridget said...

Powerful in so many ways, artistically and as a social comment. I can't wait to see it at QuiltCon.

Brava!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Intense.
Like someone else said, how incredible that this is a quilt.

Flaun of I Plead Quilty! said...

Art is not always meant to be beautiful or warm and fuzzy, even a piece of art in quilt form. In the vein you intend, this quilt is terrible, as are the horrors your husband and the dear children he tries to shepherd face. It fills me with awe for his strength and perseverance in the face of that violence, though I'm sure he would say he must continue for the children. I hope this awesome piece has given you some sort of cathartic reprieve, even if only temporary.

Elsa said...

Sort of shocked by the title of this post ~ but then, I suppose, gun violence is a shocking thing.
Very powerfully done Jacquie in an awful and terrible way. Brilliant of you to be so courageous.
I want you to know that everything I said is with the utmost respect for you and especially your husband.

Molly said...

Wow! I equate quilts with comfort, love and warmth which makes this all the more shocking. Very thought provoking and makes a powerful statement. I actually feel uncomfortable looking at it but have gone back to it several times. Truly a piece of art and look forward to the debate.

hilary said...

I think the need was there to bring about dialog,Jacquie. I do, however, think the name might be insensitive in light of the massive destruction of lives we just witnessed. How about "Anger kills". Of all the emotions that make someone do something evil, anger is the one that makes them act on it. Love,hate,jealousy,rage,envy,etc are all emotions provoking people to do bad things. But ANGER is the emotion that evokes movement. That's when they act upon those feelings and sense ability leaves. Just a thought. I would not like to see this powerful quilt dismissed or misinterpreted due to the name. Hilary

Leanne said...

I can't wait to see it. It clearly makes one think, which is excellent, and a contribution to the solution.

Angela said...

So very powerful,Jacquie! I applaud what you are saying with this quilt.

Michèle-Renée Charbonneau said...

Good for you! The name is provocative and makes it personal to each person who sees the quilt. With such pervasive access to guns, anyone can be killed by guns at any time. Very powerful!

Patti said...

Sometimes words are not necessary to make a statement. Well "said" Jacquie.

Jenny said...

Michele-Renee, Chicago has strict gun control laws, yet has the highest number of murders and -- by a huge margin -- the highest murder rate of all US cities. This tells me it isn't about pervasive access to guns.

Lee said...

Wow. Good for you, Jacquie. Thank you for putting this quilt (and yourself) out there.

Donna said...

I like the title as in I like it because of how many times I heard this said as a kid playing cowboys or cops and robbers and the innocence of just playing. As a kid you never expect those words to become reality.

Norma said...

I understand that this is a "art' piece rather than a "cuddle" quilt, I also understand that it is to make a statement. However, where it represents children is beyond me. I also feel that someone who is violent would be drawn to this quilt in a way completely different than it was meant. It could be a symbol for hate, used completely differently than you meant. Great decoration for a mass murder's room. It goes more in the negative direction than the positive.

Lynne said...

Incredibly powerful and evocative. The effect is chilling.

Cameron H said...

Wow. So powerful, and so disturbing, but in the way that makes you think, like any good work of art. Thanks for sharing it.

Sequana said...

Oh...........

I'll have to think about this. You are a brave woman.

Renae said...

I too find this offensive right off the bat. However, I think that if you want to make a correct interpretation of gun violence you need to add a human figure on the left side of the quilt, because guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Lynn said...

From a quilting perspective, you've used quilting as a medium in a way I've rarely seen. You've taken an object and reconstructed it, so that it jolts the viewer. The line here between quilt, art and social commentary is blurry. Which is what makes this piece amazing.
I really appreciate time that you've took to share the process of constructing this quilt.
Now here's the other part. You've said that this quilt is deeply personal and stems from your husbands work. I think some of the other people leaving comments may not fully appreciate the implications of that. I've been following your blog for a long time and I think this is in a class by itself. It's an achievement to be proud of.

weavinfool said...

I understand the desire to work out emotions through your art. I have made several art pieces that helped me work through trauma. I feel that this desire to make a statement is very healthy.

magnoliabelle said...

Ok I understand you wanted to express your feelings about the recent shooting crisis. BUT I am bombarded daily by news programs, radio talk shows, and newspapers about this problem. Now just when I want to enjoy the world of quilting and the peace it gives me, I see your gun dripping vivid red blood. Is there no safe haven left to enjoy because some people have lost their souls. I absolutely belive against publishing this quilt on this format. Leave something for those who try to find safe haven in their craft.

Rhonda said...

I think your expression of your feelings on violence and guns via this quilt is wonderful. I was unable to express my emotions other than a lot of crying and praying but I see your quilt and think, "yea, that's what happens when guns and people collide.

Aliceart said...

Jacke, this quilt is hard to look at and shocking. It conveys it's message very well. How sad that it is so timely.

kat nicholas said...

I've been thinking about you, your husband, this quilt, lately. Thank you for this. So so very important.

Jenny M. said...

Jacquie,

This is so powerful, eloquent, sadly timely, and riveting. From an artistic perspective it's so impressive, and yet from a personal perspective so horrifying that it's necessary.

Something that struck me in the image, and particularly as you broke down the design process, is the pixelated aspect to the fun and even more, to the blood, which seems to tie into the questions people ask about how video games influence kids' responses to guns and violence more generally.

Also as others have said, your post title (is that the quilt name, too?) is so evocative of childhood games and statements. So horrible to see those childish sayings pulled vividly into the realm of adult consequences.

Thank you for making this. Will you show the finished quilt at some point, for those not going to QuiltCon? I would love to see it. And any plans for permanent exhibition/display?

Robyn of Coffee and Cotton said...

Jacquie
Thank you for sharing your creation. Just as I am moved by the stories and lives behind Gee's Bend quilts, Civil War quilts, Depression era quilts and remembrance quilts I am moved by "Bang You're Dead". Quilts speak about life. The good, happy, ugly, sad and painful parts of life. You have made a statement. You have given the viewer pause to think, confront and remember. Thank you.
Robyn - Austin TX

felicity said...

Art isn't always about "nice" and "pretty" - what an intense piece, made all the more so by its being a quilt. The juxtaposition is extremely powerful.

Patti said...

So many have said it. This quilt is powerful. Powerful enough to take us out of our comfort zones. To evoke fear and promote dialogue. It made me sit up and take notice. Well done. Can't wait to see it once it's quilted. And I hope you and your husband can maintain a sense of hope. Because sometimes that is all we have.

SusieDW said...

I'm glad you shared this quilt with us, Jacquie. The process and the thoughts and personal side of the creation. Sorry for the stress this causes you and your husband but I'm glad there are people (you and him) who know the agony and address it. It's provocative and blunt. I've thought about it for a few hours. I keep going back to the "shooter". Not the victim. The image and style of the quilt speaks to me of the shooter. The digitized image, the cold, detached, inhuman creature who shoots to kill. Taking a life, plotting to take a life. Cold. The title is as cold and dispassionate. I like the sharp lines. However, I was thinking how "white" might represent to many of us "purity". For my interpretation was wondering if I might have chosen a muddy, gray, smoggy yuck color. I respect you and your courage and applaud your showing it at QuiltCon. Lots of quilters who want to take a leap forward with their creativity and expression will appreciate it.

Crystal Sparrow said...

A quilt is instantly perceived as warm, cozy and made from love and time. The cold, hard lines and the overall visual effect and imagery is a beautiful contradiction to the soft warm quilt. I understand that a few are not so welcoming of the idea, however, I think it's brilliant! Keep up the awesome work, love the blog!

Dana said...

Hmmm. My first thought when I saw the top of the post was that I was completely offended and to stop reading. As a person who has lost six people to gun violence, I am almost constantly offended when people have a light-hearted approach to firearms. However, once I continued reading, I understood this was not about being kitchy and hip, but about a different statement altogether.
I don't enjoy looking at it, but I do appreciate the thought you put into it and the message you are attempting to promote.

FrancisMoore said...

From a personal standpoint, I have been touched by gun violence in my family. This quilt is too "sad" for me to look at. Maybe I am pulling the wool over my eyes, but I prefer something happier. I especially don't like the title. How would I explain this title to a small child? Sorry for my negative views. I hardly ever comment on the quilting blogs that I follow, but this quilt made me want to express my views.

thepianohouse said...

I am a foster parent and also have a strong connection to children who've suffered too much. The first thing that struck me as I was scrolling down your quilt image on my computer was that the black of the gun looks like the harsh black lines a censor would use, like some sort of message is being hidden behind it. That wasn't part of your intention, but I think in some ways it fits. And I'm glad you told the story behind the quilt.

diegoagogo said...

Intense, powerful, thought provoking, debate inspiring, cathartic and even divisive.
Everything good art should be.
From the bottom of my heart I wish you didn't have to make it but congratulations & thank you for having the courage.
Warm regards
Lush xox

like you care said...

I have been following your blog for about a year now. I am so impressed by your abilities and the way you take a stand. For me, you elevated the craft today. This is not a quilt-along where everyone joins in; this is art with meaning. I appreciate that you described the quilt before you pictured it and I am glad that I took the time to read it before I looked at the quilt. This image is indeed hard to look at and the title is harsh. Violence by any means is hard to face and is as final as "bang you're dead". There is no sugar coating it, I appreciate that you didn't even try, and the timing for such an image will never be "right" or "good". Thank you for deciding to post it.

Wtrstone said...

Anything that sparks a respectful dialogue is a gift in this day and age. So many aspects to this problem of gun violence that need to be addressed.
Kudos and thank you to you and your husband for having the strength courage to deal with the bloody reality day after day.
Kat

Esch House Quilts said...

A stunning piece of art. Of course it makes us uncomfortable and we don't want to look at it for long - but that is the point. While we look away from too many guns and their consequences, people die.

Thank you to you and your husband and all the others who work so hard to protect our children.

sparklesax said...

Dang this is powerful.

I too live in Chicago where 500 people were killed last year from gun violence. No news crews have descended upon our city to follow the stories of the 1000s of family friends and neighbors who have been affected by these murders.

You have given us something to talk about. Thank you.

I'm so glad cauchy09 commented. This piece (<--see what I did there?) immediately reminded me of some of her recent work. I'm imagining a very powerful "this is not a just a quilt" quilt show.

Rotary cutters are not for sissies.

Anonymous said...

Wow - this really packs a punch! Definitely gets your attention. Not what you expect to see on a soft, cuddly quilt - kindof like seeing a teddy bear wearing a gun and holster. Not soon to be forgotten! Not all art is meant to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Bravo Jacquie!
~ P

Sarah D. said...

Wow Jacquie. I think you put it very succinctly.

It is amazing -and- terrible.

Sharing the story, and the design process, absolutely illustrates the thought and meditation that went into this project.

What a statement - for all kinds of reasons.

Quilt on!

Mary Anne said...

Disturbing, powerful, thought-provoking, impactful. These are the words that come to my mind when I look at this work. Words that I might associate with art, not quilts. I don't know if I like this quilt, but I do know that it has really made an impact on me on many levels...and I think that this is the point.

I'm glad that you shared your quilt and the story behind it...you are one talented artist. And...even though it unsettles me, I will look forward to experiencing it soon.

Cindy said...

I am glad that you shared your quilt. It makes one stop and think and that is what we should do. It is not comfortable to look at but many things are not – looking away will not make the problem go away. I hope that it becomes a catalyst for meaningful discussions. Thank you for putting yourself out there and displaying your art.

CitricSugar said...

Thank you for having the vision, courage, and conviction as an artist to create such a provocative and poignant quilt. I am moved, inspired, and more than a little heartbroken by it. A simple thank you does not seem enough...

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Amazing. This quilt speaks - I hear it. Click...BANG.

Miss Sews-it-all said...

And if you've ever heard a gunshot for real, and I mean in a real life place that should be safe like your neighborhood, or where you work, go to school, ect.... it can be a terrifying sound.

Pinkadot Quilts said...

It says a lot about you that you took the chance of putting this out there. You opened yourself up to a lot of critisim and you got it! I don't know how I feel about your quilt but I applaud you for not being politically correct. Life is not always sugar plums and lolly pops.

Star of the East said...

Wow, the first picture made me gasp!
The quilt is amazing and powerful, impeccably executed as always, but it can be interpreted in more than one way. It looks a lot like those game console symbols.
A red cross across the gun would make more explicit where you stand.
BTW, eliminating guns diminishes casualties, in the whole of Europe there are not as many violent deaths per year as in Chicago alone!

Alison said...

This is art to its fullest extent, it evokes a reaction that is deep seated and can at times be difficult to explain. This needs to disturb some, validate others, and the rest...well, it certainly will get the rest thinking.
I saw this for the first time yesterday, I haven't stopped thinking about it. This is what art is about.
Do I love it? I'm not going to explore that aspect of my reaction, I'm going to embrace the mix of emotions this quilt has begun in me and enjoy the time I spend pondering my gut reaction. I love when art isn't "safe".

Anonymous said...

This work leaves me astounded. As an artist you have created a raw, instinctive image that seems to have sprung from a deep, deep place. Thank you for sharing this as well as the process. I read your blog because you challenge me to take risks. I don't know if I will ever reach this level of expression. But I greatly appreciate the emotion, ambiguity and hurt expressed in this heart-breaking work.

Melissa said...

I have no doubt that a great deal will be said about this quilt in the coming days and months. It will cause a reaction in all who see it and there's so much that can be discussed about the image itself, the events that relate to it, the concept of quilts as art and so much more.

I thought about all of these things yesterday as I wondered about how to comment. What I'm left with today is an overwhelming gratitude that quilting can fill so many needs for us. It's an outlet for creativity, a way to serve and comfort others, a practical element in our homes, a way to add beauty to our lives, and sometimes a way to express ideas.

I'm so glad that you were able to turn to quilting when you were inspired by the events and people in your life.

It's a very shocking quilt and difficult to look at just as the subject matter is. I think you are very brave to share it and I'm glad you did because it's an authentic part of your journey with your art.

Deere Driver said...

Good art. Plain and simple.

Mariel said...

Thank you for sharing.

Jeannette Bruce said...

This is a true piece of art. What a statement. Thank you for sharing!

sarah in brooklyn said...

I think it's an amazing statement. I hope it helped you and your family release some of the stress you're feeling. Art has a responsibility to speak truth, and that's what you've done here.

Marla M said...

I am a quilter and I worked in the law enforcement field for 29 years. So I will speak from both sides of the fence. For 29 years I saw the horrors of what people are capable of. Quilting calmed my mind once I got home but quilting only blocked so much. Every night the quilting was put away and the next day the violence still remained. Bravo to Jacquie for her thought provoking quilt. Now what are each and every one of us going to do to help solve the problem of violence in our country?

Dianne said...

Brilliant piece of art Jacquie and judging by the comments it has done what it was meant to do - make people think and spark a dialogue about what appears to be a very sensitive subject in the US. What is certain is that death is undoable.We SHOULD feel uncomfortable at the sight of a gun and the thought that someones life has been snuffed out by a bullet.
Bravo to you for being an artist who is brave enough to put this out there and for being able to express yourelf so eloquently.
Thank you.

Betty said...

When this first popped up on my Google home page, I wouldn't open it and waited until now. So glad I did and I should have known it would be not something bad, but something deeply moving - only you! If it has to be said, then this is the best way to say it (your quilted interpretation). I fear it remains lost and just wish I knew how to do something, say something, which would help turn the tide. Thank you for saying it - whatever that means - this way.

Rita said...

Jacquie you are a wonderful artist. I believe that an artist's create beautiful work and also bare witness to events good and bad. Sadly, this quilt bares witness to a terrible tragedy. I think the title is perfect - hard-hitting, which is what is needed to jolt people out from under their wooly-eyed covers. The quilt presents an image that leaves nowhere to hide. Wonderful! Rita.

Denise said...

Jacquie, this is quite an art piece. Great job! I can see from the comments generated that this may be the tip of the iceberg. I just hope the QuiltCon attendees are respectful and open-minded. Anyone who has had the pleasure to meet you or follow your work or blog knows that this is an expression about today's issues and how it impacts us, and not meant to be insensitive.

Jan | Daisy Janie said...

My 15 y.o. son was checking out the blocks in the Bee Block Hop just now, and I had him captivated long enough to share some of the websites of participants. When I arrived at your blog and he saw this quilt, his reaction was, "That's a quilt? It really makes a statement." Yes, son, it does. I knew I wouldn't paraphrase your post in a justified manner, so I had him sit down to read it firsthand. He was moved. He completely understood the 'art' behind it. We have had our fair share of conversations about gun violence, but you can never have too many - and your quilt spurred another. That's what art is for.

Thank you for sharing, for allowing the conversations to continue and for presenting an emotional jolt to wake people up. I think it's too easy for folks to pretend like the problem isn't as heinous as it is and sweep it under the rug unless they're sensabilities are shocked to the core.

Poppyprint said...

You, yourself, said it best Jacquie: it's amazing and terrible all at the same time.

MariQuilts said...

Very Powerful!

mascanlon said...

This quilt made me cry for my one town Chicago. It's terribly beautiful.

Carol E. said...

I'll admit that I saw the little blog title in my sidebar, and I hesitated to come see what it was about. But I'm glad i did. You did this quilt out of respect and love. No matter how jarring it may be to see this sad commentary in quilt form... the message in your heart comes through and is very raw yet touching.

Mary Keasler said...

You are absolutely one of the most innovative and talented quilt artists of our time. I am overwhelmed.

Kate said...

I know it's art but it was just too soon after what my neighbors in Newtown suffered to appreciate it in any way. I know we all have to freedom of expression and yes, my son is also in law enforcement, but it was very disturbing. SOrry to say it kept me away from your blog for a while. I just couldn't deal with what it represented to us here in CT and the saddness it evoked.

QuiltyGirl said...

I'm a bit late to the game commenting on this, but I think this is an amazing piece of art. I find the contrast between the graphic image and the fact that we typically associate quilts with comfort and warmth to be very thought provoking. It is so much like the comfort that we should feel in our own homes, in our neighborhoods, in our schools....and yet that comfort has been stripped away and replaced by fear.
As a native Chicagoan, your husband's work (and your support!) is very dear to my heart. My sister lives in the city, my parents and brother live in different suburbs. My husband and I would like nothing more than to come back to Chicago, but I find the violence quite terrifying right now. I'm sure that your husband has a very difficult job, but oh so important.

LoBo333 said...

Bold, graphic, thought provoking and Art in a social dialog way that most quilts are not. I wouldn't want to sleep under it, but I definitely want it hanging on the wall to keep the discussion going so we can solve our gun violence problem. Thanks for sharing this quilt - it's already accomplished a lot.

Bonnie Miller said...

This morning I watched you on a quilting show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms. I am sorry to say I hadn't heard of you before, but I am exploring modern quilts...and there you were! It was fabulous to follow your process through your own words and actions...so after I had forwarded the video to my friend I checked out your blog. I live in New Zealand where gun violence has been minor but seems to be growing. The story made my heart jerk. Of course we wept along with the rest of the world at the horrific recent events. When I saw your quilt I was numb. I think the jerk in my heart was more violent than when I read your story. I would never have thought to make a quilt like that...but it is just wonderful that you have. Congratulations and thank you.

quiltygal said...

Wow .....thought provoking at the least ..... I know that "people kill not guns" but a person has to have access to a gun in the first place to be able to use it....thats like putting heroin in a teenagers bedroom but telling them not to take it

Jeanne said...

Someone talked about anger in their comment. Anger is really fear! I love this quilt. I am glad someone high up in the quilting business took on this assignment. Photographers take pictures of the horror on parents faces. Painters draw the same pictures. This is so awesome and thought provoking! I am so glad you laid out what you felt! I feel the same way as you do. But really, it isn't the guns that kill. It could easily be a knife or a cross bow. It's the people who do it. You should make a quilt showing a person who is too afraid to take their own life so they have to go to such extremes as to kill many others and leave themselves no other choice but to kill themselves because they fear prison and know how they would be treated by the other prisoners if they survived killing 20 children and were thrown into a maximum prison with violent offenders who, no matter what they did to get there, would torture and kill the person who was so much of a chicken to hide behind the big gun. Well, I guess after I said that, hiding behind a gun, quilting a gun is appropriate. But I am glad you were so bold and confident to make this quilt.

EG said...

It's pretty gut-twisting. It's art. Sounds like your husband does some important work. Thankful for those who have the heart for it.

Erika said...


Just from an art point of view, I think the way you used black rectangles to make the gun is really fabulous. Really stark and striking. It's something about the narrow and thick rectangles. Actually, it's true about the drops too - the way the size/shape changes connects to more improvisational quilting and thereby to lots of quilting history, but then the image is so modern and connects to art. I hope you have that satisfying feeling of a vision realized. The piecing is very very satisfying to me.

Karen said...

Wonderful. In the great tradition of many quilters who made political statements (and it IS political!). From the 1931 "Prosperity" quilt by Fannie Shaw in Texas, to the quilt entitled "Fuck You Cancer" by a local quilter appearing at the 2012 Austin Area quilt Show, women have been making serious statements with their quilts. RIGHT ON!

Sara said...

This is fantastic, and I applaude your apparent decision to make your statement. At the risk of using your blog for a soapbox, I will say your title, in my opinion, explains why guns are such a disaster in this country--it's so easy to kill people with them, and I think your title is an essential part of your piece. Abrupt and final. One minute the person is alive, the next minute, the life is seeping out of them. No, it's not pretty, it's ugly, the whole state of affairs in this country. And juxaposed with your tidy construction of the quilt, not your typical quilt-world blog entry.
I'm so impressed. Thanks so much for the art and for your cojones.

Anonymous said...

Just to remind everyone - if it's been said here before, please forgive me - guns don't kill people; People Kill People.
And, stunning, stunning quilt. Obviously a very visceral impact.

pwollen said...

I live 20 minutes from the latest gun tragedy in Newtown. On that day a cousin of mine sent me a text asking me if we were o.k. She had heard about the shooting and wasn't sure where we were located. My heart dropped and I froze. I had been out shopping and hadn't heard. It took five minutes to get in touch with my husband to find out what had happened. In those five minutes,well, let's just say I was shaken and paralyzed until I found out it wasn't my child's school. Then my mind jumped to the parents who had to find out that it was their child's school. For me, your quilt brings back all that, and the unimaginable suffering those parents went through and are going through. Your quilt is a reminder that we do need to regulate guns and do all we can so there is less gun violence in this country. The sad truth is that 30 people a day die in this country and we as a country have sat back and let it come to this. Your quilt reminds me to take action and keep fighting for a safer U.S. for all our children. Thank you so much for posting!!

Ddeem said...

I admire you for expressing yourself through a medium you love. I live near Columbine High School and not too far from Aurora. Before I read your story, I was horrified to see a gun depicted on a quilt! Now I understand, and I agree with you completely. I never have understood the obsession with weapons for other than the reasons most people have them.

Debbie Bein said...

BRILLIANT WORK! I hope you got best of show! deborah bein dot com

Lisa said...

It's true art because it makes people think and talk. Thank you for sharing what you could about what inspired you to make this quilt!

Kerri said...

I too was taken back when I saw this on Facebook and am glad that I came and read about the story behind it. The only thing that bothers me is that the image is about the gun and violence doesn't come from an object it comes for the person.

Though on the other hand I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in and posting this.