Before our grand trip to Nantucket, I had planned a very different quilt. My quilt was even sketched and titled. And then in Nantucket I visited the Whaling Museum. There on display were 17 embroidered scenes and narratives based on the book “Moby-Dick” masterfully rendered by Susie Boardman. After seeing those gorgeous works of needle art, I’m thinking you-all will think it a bit “fishy” to say my original idea was “harpooned” and I immediately knew my “Time” quilt would be going in a different direction. This quilt is my attempt to reproduce Susie Boardman’s style.
Susie used only three different embroidery stitches: the split stitch, the French knot and needle-lace. She explained, “I never wanted it to be about the embroidery, but about the stories. I didn’t want people to be looking at the pieces and wondering what stitch I used here or there.” Originally I had planned to do the same stitches on my piece. However, I was not able to find a reference anywhere that described how to do needle lace and given the fact that I had a deadline looming, I used my old tried and true stitches: stem stitch, French knots and straight stitch.
Susie dye-painted certain areas of the fabric. After learning about Prismacolor water-soluble colored pencils at our workshop, I used those to pre-color the fabric before the embroidery was added.
Susie used gold leaf on each of the 17 embroidered narratives. I used gold ribbon. And so I owe a huge Thank You to Jane for the introduction to the water-soluble pencils and to Tricia for hosting such a wonderful experience and also for letting me borrow the magazine, “Nantucket Today” with the photos and story of Susie Boardman.
The quote used and illustrated is credited to Marcus Aurelius. One source says he was the last of the Five Good Roman Emperors and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.