Home | News | Catalog | Classes | About the Press | Contact

Art Quilts: Open Books

Where Is My Passport? (October 2017)
31" x 48"
Letterpress printing from wood type, hand-dyed solar prints, linoleum block, machine stitched drawing, embroidery thread

Hand Gun (September 2017)
45.5" x 39"
Letterpress printing from wood type, hand-dyed solar prints, embroidery thread

Seraph (the Holy Quilt) (August 2017)
40" x 68"
Letterpress printing from wood type, photopolymer plates, and linoleum blocks, embroidery thread

Hope Rants (August 2017)
43.5" x 69.5"
Cyanotype, letterpress printing from wood type and linoleum blocks, embroidery thread

Water & Power: Ripples (June 2017)
49.5" x 69.5"
Family jeans, letterpress printing from photopolymer plates, embroidery thread

Water & Power: Pipeline (May 2016)
51" x 72"
Family jeans and pants, embroidery of "pipeline" and "river" Orienteering symbols

Let Us Reach to the Edges (Jan. 2016)
72" x 48"
Letterpress printing from linoleum blocks and collagraph on cotton cloth, embroidery thread

Strength (Oct. 2015)
44" x 66"
Letterpress printing from linoleum blocks on tea-dyed cotton cloth, embroidery thread

Act Now (2012-2015)
29" x 27.5"
Gesso stenciled imagery on canvas dropcloth, linen pants, sherry sack, flannel sheet, linen thread

Undone (2008)
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: Seraph (the Holy quilt)
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.