I began doing patchwork when I was teaching at Kenyon College, a class on art by women. All the students made their own textile work and talked while sitting together, discussing women's issues in the 1980's. One of the students eventually wrote her PhD about the class. When I had to teach painting I stopped stitching and only took it up intermittently while focusing primarily on oil painting, wtercolor/colored pencils, and drawing. Now it's the stay-at-home COVID time, and I found myself wanting to stitch patches together again, for healing, for myself and the soul of the world, as the old Bangladeshi women in the 19th century did. It's actually making my painting better when I do go back to it.
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Patchwork 27x33' 1935
This quilt was done after a residency in Finland in the town where my ancestors left to come to America. The cemetery in Alajarvi has a lot of very old ornate wrought iron headstones with the name Koskenmaki
and there is a road leading to their farm called Koskenmaentie. This is my homage to our ancestors who left home to find a better life.
The earliest attempt at stitchery, inspired by the women of Bangladesh in the 19th century, who believed their stitching together of old fabrics helped to heal the soul of the world.
The title is from a French song about beggars marching.
This piece burned in our house fire in 1977.