Art Quilts: Open Books
Where Is My Passport?
31" x 48"
Letterpress printing from wood type, hand-dyed solar prints, linoleum block,
machine stitched drawing, embroidery thread
45.5" x 39"
Letterpress printing from wood type, hand-dyed solar prints, embroidery thread
Seraph (the Holy Quilt)
40" x 68"
Letterpress printing from wood type, photopolymer plates, and linoleum blocks, embroidery thread
43.5" x 69.5"
Cyanotype, letterpress printing from wood type and linoleum blocks, embroidery thread
Water & Power: Ripples
49.5" x 69.5"
Family jeans, letterpress printing from photopolymer plates, embroidery thread
Water & Power: Pipeline
51" x 72"
Family jeans and pants, embroidery of "pipeline" and "river" Orienteering symbols
Let Us Reach to the Edges
72" x 48"
Letterpress printing from linoleum blocks and collagraph on cotton cloth, embroidery thread
44" x 66"
Letterpress printing from linoleum blocks on tea-dyed cotton cloth, embroidery thread
29" x 27.5"
Gesso stenciled imagery on canvas dropcloth, linen pants, sherry sack, flannel sheet, linen thread
25" x 36.5"
Letterpress printing from handset metal type on dyed cotton cloth, velvet, linen thread
Quilting snuck up on me. I made my first quilt when I was thirteen, and dabbled more as
our family needed coverings for our beds. Seeing the Gee's Bend quilts in The New York Times
article in 2002 was a significant source of inspiration for the quilts to come, although
I did not foresee my upcoming immersion then. My process took a turn five years after my
young son died, and I printed a poem on cloth to heal. I ripped the material— as one does
in mourning—and layered and sewed it. What was this thing I had made? I now know it is
called an Art Quilt.
Having worked small for decades making books and cards, I find that making quilts allows
me to continue to pay attention to each small part, while at the same time working toward
a much larger whole. After choosing a subject, making a rough plan, and deciding the colors
and materials, I piece intuitively, letting the quilt's pattern emerge. I quilt with a
plain pick stitch or use my own handwriting and sew freehand, enjoying the organic
letterforms as they contrast with printed type and sharp-edged stencils.
As a printmaker and writer, I am fascinated with marks and traces and how they become
symbols for and signs of the people who were there before. Each piece functions as a
page where I can print from linoleum blocks or type and embroider and quilt a longer
text. Many of the blocks were first used in my books, many pieces of cloth were first
worn by family members. I like the space between images and words where the viewer must
interpret or fill in the gap, a little mysterious leap of inference.
I've found that working with half of a twin size is perfect. It's also my height and
wingspan. In these quilts I embody the other half of the twin, the facing page, an open book.
Blog posts about my process
An Art Quilt Called Strength
Let Us Reach for the Edges: Art Quilt #2
Pipeline: A New Quilt
Piece-Quilt-Bind—Water & Power: Ripples
A Quilt as an Open Book: Hope Rants
New Art Quilt/Open Book: Hand Gun
New Art Quilt/Open Book: Where Is My Passport?
© 2017 Alisa Golden. All rights reserved.
never mind the press is a trademark of Alisa Golden.