When thinking of what is interwoven, I thought of my family since it was December. The mixing of traditions and family personalities kept leaping to mind. The simultaneous reading of Middlemarch, with all its interwoven themes, just accentuated the chosen topic.
I remembered Celtic designs with their intricately intertwining patterns, and researched them on the Internet and in books. Rather than quilting patterns, I was looking for something wilder but still a controlled image.Since there were no fabrics with such designs and appliqueing would take me a year, I decided to enlarge to our 12” x 12” using squares and then paint the piece on muslin. Red and green holiday Jacquard Textile Colors mixed lightly with water left soft the white piece of fabric on which I drew. When the paint was dry, I accentuated the lines of the image with a Sharpie Rub a Dub laundry marking pen that does not bleed but gives a consistent wide mark. I stitched over all the lines with invisible thread to quilt to the batting. I added a red and green backing fabric that came up and over the edge, mitered at the corners. Finally, almost, I attached cheap red carnival beads all around.
Next, a friend suggested I mount my Family Holiday to a 12” x 12” pre-stretched canvas. I found canvas on sale at Michael’s and the shallowness was perfect for a quilt. I usually like deeper for a painting. I cut a 15” x 15” piece of the backing fabric and lightly centered the quilt and basted or stitched all around the back edges of the art by hand. I put the quilt, attached to the new backing, face down and dabbed Aleene’s fast- drying tacky glue to the back edges of the 15” x 15” and secured those outer edges to the wood. The result was a painting ready to display...but one with the floating softness of a quilt.