I'm back in the studio this week after a month of travel and family staying in my studio. I always have a hard time jumping back into my work but I certainly knew what I had to do this week, make some serious progress on the Cleveland Foreclosure quilt.
It was so nice to jump right in and I'm really looking forward to finishing this one. I showed it to my friend Myrna over the weekend who used to live in Cleveland and it was fascinating to hear her and her husband's stories about driving those very streets I've sewn.
These are my reference guides, maps with layers of tracing paper over them highlighting foreclosed and empty lots. The red lots are new foreclosures since I started working in this two months ago. It shows that there is no sign of the mortgage crisis ending soon, unfortunately. Some of these houses sold for $2,000.00. Seriously.
I always save the cut out lots. It's sad watching them pile up. I'm not sure what I will do with all of them. I have them from every piece I've made so far.
The quilt is almost finished. I made a patchwork backing this time to emphasize the random nature of these foreclosures. It adds a bit of complexity to the piece as the varying shades of navy blue and black poke through. I was thinking about black holes here.
Here's a close up detail of several lots. The mottled blue fabric underneath was an old botched dyeing remnant I couldn't part with.
My next step is to add the community gardens that have been created throughout this neighborhood. There are four at my last count; hopefully even more since I started. Myrna told me about this recent article in The New York Times on Cleveland's vacant lots. It gives you a little window into what's going on here on these very lots I'm cutting apart ...