The first thought that came to my mind when we received the "Daydream" challenge was something we'd often see in Alaska that represented the spiritual world in the Native Alaska culture. "Dream Catchers" are available in many of the local shops throughout Alaska; the most sought after are those made by Alaska Natives (any of a number of Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, Athabaskan, etc. tribes), and other resident artisans. Dream catchers incorporate beautiful natural materials, and often have what appears to be etherial-type webbing that represents catching (encapsulating) the dream. Another "daydream" type structure is the Mandala, and it was from these two concepts that I made this quilt.
|"Dream Catcher" Overview|
I traced my image from a Mandala coloring book, selected 7 fabrics, layered them on top of each other, then machine stitched the Mandala pattern through all 7 layers of the fabric. I removed the paper pattern, then with my smallest (and sharpest) scissors started cutting away layer after layer of fabric to reveal the color I'd assigned to each section of the mandala. This mandala in many ways reminds me of a stained-glass window! I used a technique developed by one of Alaska's premier artists, Susan Schapira, called "Contemporary Reverse Applique." This technique involves cutting and removing the fabrics from the top down rather than applying (or appliqueing) fabrics on to the top of a base fabric. In this case, my top fabric is black. After the cutting was finished, I free-motion machine quilted this piece using 30 wt. black rayon thread on the top, and 60 wt. mono-filament thread in my bobbin. Starting from the center motif, I used a radiating type stitch that represents motion and movement.... perhaps the ascension of the dream into the heavens.
|"Dream Catcher" Back of Quilt|