I don't often include an Artist's statement but in this case, it's important. Also, because I put out a call for help with naming the quilt and many of you on IG answered that call. So many of the suggestions were very clever and clearly the result of a talented group of insightful individuals. I loved so many of them I couldn't pick just one, but they all got me thinking and many of your suggestions helped me compose my artists statement.
"Designed in a simple style, this quilt's message is anything but childish and on closer inspection, everything is "knot" as it seems. As the slow drip of information continues to be discovered, Russian meddling into the bedrock democracy of the United States become more apparent. As the slow drip of information is collected and analyzed (often in secret), a dark cloud looms over us all, casting a long shadow. The initials "USA" are made from thousands of french knots reminiscent of the raised letters of a varsity/collegiate "letter", a symbol of achievement. But those letters are shadowed by another set of letters, both separate and intertwined. As more information becomes apparent the letters become more defined, like a political game of hangman, but with much higher stakes.
After reading the artists statement to my son (the quilting environmental engineer), he said it reminded him of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. He sent me a quote that he thought summed it all up. Unfortunately, the entire quote was too long for the quilt title. Due to space limitations it was shortened slightly and seemed in the end, exceedingly apropos. Those of you that offered covert, punny and exceedingly clever suggestions might see your influence in the artists statement and I thank you from the bottom on my heart for that. For a simple quilt, there is a lot going on, and nearly all of you got something that I hoped would be "seen" with close inspection.
23" x 23" (letters USA= 5.5" tall)
100% quilting cottons front and back without attribution in case we differ in our views on Russian meddling.
100% cotton batting remnant
2" SOB color matched binding.
Simple echo quilting surrounding the cloud with color matched thread (again, manufacturers names withheld). Ghost FBI/CIA in the cloud. Russia spelled out in a combination of ghost and french knot letters, hiding Russia and emphasizing USA.
Detail hand stitching rain with drops (french knots) in color matched embroidery floss. Red and blue variegated embroidered letters with thousands and thousands of french knots. Photos show full letter and detail of the french knots. It's hard to tell from the photos but the texture and dimension is remarkable. No lie- it took forever, way longer than I anticipated, but now that's complete, I love it.
If the quilt makes it into the show the opening reception is in my home town of Lowell, MA at the New England Quilt Museum. That's an opening reception I wouldn't want to miss. Fingers crossed.