Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Memory Such As It Is -- AKA The Next BIG Project

Over the next year (and probably a bit longer) Dr. Gaither will be working on a project involving every community she has been associated with in her lifetime. The project is a multi-quilt project which will incorporate quilts by Dr. Gaither and quilted circles from people she who have had some sort of connection to her during her lifetime.

The project begins with two white quilts representing the decade she was born in. Out of courtesy to her, I won't state what decade that is although she has fessed up to that in the past. The quilts are square in shape and have images and memories of her life in each decade. As she works through the decades, the quilts increase in number, size, and vibrancy of color. This follows the line of thinking that as you get closer to the present, your memory is more vivid. The greater number of quilts allows for more room to show different aspects of her life as well as the growing number of communities. The final project will include 37 quilts with the largest quilt starting to approach J2WH size (8 ft by 8 ft)!

The square quilts will chart people, places, and events that were important in her lifetime as well as different personal events. The whole project was inspired by a visit to a restaurant with a large gift shop attached which sells cards/books giving the price of milk, bread, gas, cars, houses, etc. during a particular year and/or decade. She is taking the idea and putting a personal spin on it, placing these events within the context of a personal story. It is basically her memoirs in visual form. She always tells me that she doesn't like the computer so perhaps this is her way of "writing" her life story to share with others without having to sit in front of a computer screen.

This project wouldn't be a Dr. Gaither project without the involvement of the community and this project won't disappoint. The community involvement this time doesn't take place on her quilts but rather she is asking people to create their own quilted works to be included. Dr. Gaither is literally asking anyone and everyone she has ever come into contact with during her life to contribute. Participants are being asked to create circular pieces that can fit into embroidery hoops for a size between 6 and 24 inches. The design of the circles is being left up to the designer with the idea that the design should represent their relationship to Dr. Gaither and how they know each other.

Dr. Gaither is looking for a huge number of circles. The number used to be 1,000 however it appears to have doubled in the past month. I am anticipating some fun storage games with this project. If  you would like to participate in this project, please join in! Participation from Dr. Gaither's blog community is definitely welcome! Email us at JGaitherStoryQuilter@gmail.com and we will send you instructions for the quilt circle project.

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