That's the name of this little quilt. I started it as an entry for the 2009 Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit. I learned about this show from Jackie. It benefits Bernie Berlin's "A Place to Bark", a non-profit organization that finds loving homes for abused and orphaned dogs and cats.
I started by brainstorming what 'home' meant to me. Then I made several sketches of ideas. Finally I pulled out a couple crates of fabrics and settled on these. I consider patchwork a metaphor for life and home so I started there. Since collecting and reading so many books and articles on art quilting I decided to skip the traditional piecing and just cut, press onto an adhesive batting and stitch over the joins. Now to fill those patches of my home .... ...to make my warm and cozy I sprinkled some lavender on one patch, some cinnamon stick pieces on another, palm tree bits from the yard, eucalyptus leaves and pine needles. I normally use these elements in my organic fiber studies that I add to my clay vessels but they are small and I can carry the fabric with its little seeds and petals to my machine, but this is 13" square and I want everything to stay in its own little box. I can't manage it without everything spilling all over, so I remember how the talented mixed media artists use Misty Fuse like glue. So I cut some Misty Fuse to fit under my little organic bits and then steamed with the iron without touching the surface. It worked! The heavier pieces needed a layer on top as well to really hold them. Home needed a few more elements so I added a couple of stamps for the communication and idea that others not physically present also make a home. Of course for me home can be symbolized by tea, representing the sharing of time and friendship. A Tazo bag added the bonus words of 'organic' and 'rich blend' and little piece of bag made a coffee table around which I embroidered hearts. Of course chocolate gladly enters a home so a few wrappers add some gold and once finished I would add a clay heart near the center of home. Seeings how the Misty Fuse was working so well I added another layer over the whole quilt to hold the netting in place while I quilted. Again this was a new step as with my little quilts for my clay work I don't mind getting some extra texture from the netting bunching up but I didn't want that with this piece. The one thing I noticed about using Misty Fuse is that it adds a slight gleam to the work which needs to be considered before choosing this route. Careful pinning is the route I'd take if I don't want that effect. Below it my piece after freehand quilting. The added layer of netting 'dulls' the work but in a way that I like. In fact that is often a reason for adding the netting, even if I didn't need it to hold those little tid-bits in place. Now to finish .... if this is going to 'Breaking Traditions' I had to trim it to an exact 12 by 12 inches. Oh dear, I felt it was at its best at 12.5" and so did my adviser, my husband. I debated but thought that I'm not ready to enter my quilts into shows and I may go trim it and 'chicken out' anyway. So this was a relief that it it's just too big. So I trimmed it to 12.5" square, cut some squares to add triangle hangers at the back and started digging out fabrics for a binding. I settled on a dark and a light and laid it out to see if I still liked it. OK I thought, I can finish this .... added the binding and sewed on the clay heart. And the one who really makes our house a home, he says it's one of his favorites! Hearts and kisses to him!!!!!