This is my final quilt to honor the election of our new president Barak Obama. It will hang in a Art Show in DC on the inauguration. (See details of show in previous blog entry)
I originally start ed this concept several months ago when Obama was running for the democratic nomination. I wanted to portray Obama as looking into the future as he is America’s great hope for some radical changes and unity that is so desperately needed here in the USA. I pieced the flag with scraps that represent all of the diversity in the US. The dove is the symbol for hope. The dove holds the leaves – green leaves – hopefully we will become more green as a nation. I named the quilt “It’s a New Day” after Will I Am’s song (singer from the Black eyed Peas) which is about Obama and the changes. It is an amazing song! Check it out!
I started the quilt as a pencil sketch. Once I had a rough concept I searched for an appropriate image of Obama – and finally made a composite of my own from several images and manipulated the image on photoshop to get a division of gradation. I made a very detailed acetate overlay map of Obama – the figure. I selected 12 grades of skintone and made several patterns from freezer paper. I turned all the edges and stitched the face together. Once his face was a unit I made scrappy red fabric by taking red scraps from my scraps bag and sewing them together randomly. I did the same for the white and blue. Once I had my scrappy fabric pieces I made a flag and again used freezer paper to make patterns. I purposely placed him on a flag because I remember being moved as he said….We are not the red states of America, We are not the blue States of America – we are the UNITED states of America. Originally I was going to have the edges of the overall quilt be random and end at the edges of the flag and his shirt. However he looked so good on a black background that I ended up placing a black border around the inside design. I bound the edges with a stripe (of course!) and I piped metallic gold cording in between the background and the binding.
I placed my embroidery watermark on the bottom right as I always do. (See pix) I made ONE red stripe in the upper left top corner symbolizing the first month – #1=January. I placed two red stripes in the upper left on the side for the year 2000, and nine red stripes in the border on the bottom for the year 2000 + 9 = 2009. All together by looking at the quilt you can see the initial image – my watermark and the month and year it was made 1-2009. I have been making all of my art quilts with this unique marking. It has become my own trademark for my art quilts.
The last touch were the addition of the three stars. The stars certainly represent the states but they also represent the trinity in hoping that God will walk with him on his huge journey ahead. He is a brave guy to take this job. I really hope everyone can be patient to help get our country back on track!
This quilt was made for the inauguration and also as a commission. I plan to show the quilt to my patron very soon. It is going to be tough to let this go. I do plan to exhibit it for a little while before it goes to it’s permanent home.
Pictured above is the back label. It reads:
It’s a NEW Day!
“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the UNITED States of America.” 2008
“We are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the the UNITED States of America. ”
2004 Keynote @ Democratic Convention
~ Barak Obama 2008 ~
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. ”
~ Abraham Lincoln 1863 ~
This quilt was completed on January 4, 2009 in honor of Barak Obama, our 44th elected President of the United States of America. It was designed, pieced and quilted by Debra Gabel. (www.zebrapatterns.com) All Rights Reserved©
Below is a picture of the overall back of the quilt with the label in the bottom corner.
I would love to hear your comments! Happy New Year – and It’s a NEW Day! Thank God!