I See You | Art Quilts

For this month’s post one of my dearest friends (who does not quilt and prefers modern quilts) asked me if she could contribute to this column as her isolation has led to her contemplating how wondrous and amazing quilts are for her. I went over to her house (complete with face mask) to grab a few pictures of her quilts, made by Laura Herman who has won awards for some of her quilts. All of Laura’s quilts use batik prints. I present to you a non-quilter’s appreciation and love for her quilts. Written by WhiteAspen, or Kayt!

“I See You”

I have a quilt for each season of the year. On the day of either an equinox or solstice, I change my bedding to reflect the season into which I am about to embark. Usually September, the autumnal equinox and the exchanging of quilts means it is time for looking forward to such festivities as Halloween, Thanksgiving and the many celebrations in December. Seeing the quilt for autumn lying on the bed for the first time in a year has always brought me out of myself and into a world filled with the expectation of gathering with family and friends.

I See You | Art Quilts
Autumn by Laura Herman

This year, things are different. This year, there’s a question of how these things will happen – or whether they will happen at all. I don’t quilt but I have several friends and a couple relatives who do. This is what I’ve learned: being given a quilt is more than a gift – it’s a message. Remember the line in the movie Avatar: “I see you”? As I look at Autumn’s quilt, which was made for me by a friend who knows how important recognizing and celebrating the changing of the seasons is to me, I realize how it represents my connection to her and how I will miss making the physical connection this year. I also realize how this quilt reflects the depth of our friendship. She knows me. This quilt is composed of bright earth tones (oranges, browns, green and yellow – my favorites!), isn’t made in a ‘traditional’ style and uses batik material. The Spring quilt is made with flowery fabric with purple as the dominate color.

I See You | Art Quilts
Spring by Laura Herman

The summer quilt? (Not a quilt at all but rather just a one piece woven cover). It has no batting between a cover with a sun motif and a solid yellow back (a gift from a another friend). The Winter quilt has darker, earth toned batiks, framed with black. Color, pattern, style, use and preference are all chosen with me in mind.

I See You | Art Quilts
Winter by Laura Herman

I’ve found that this level of care and consideration is not limited to the gifts I have received. Other quilts, by other quilters, are often made with the recipient’s interests in mind. The primary fabric in a block quilt might have images of tools if the recipient is a carpenter or a center block featuring an antique car may be used for a quilt to be given to a collector of old cars. Baby quilts are known to have images that bring smiles and energize the imagination (in cool colors so that the energy is directed toward sleep). Quilting groups, as well as individuals, are known to make ‘topic’ quilts – such as those made using red, white and blue with eagles and other patriotic symbols for veterans or the massive AIDS quilt made to honor those who died from this horrible disease. Quilts with the theme of a favorite school or team are common. ‘Photo’, ‘collage’ or ‘memory’ quilts are memoirs with which one gets to snuggle! ALL of these quilts say “I see you”, “I know you” “I honor you”. And, in today’s world, we need to hear this message.

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