Sixteen years ago I was awarded a small grant to hang a couple of art quilts in a public building in town. I was lucky enough to find that the then new public library was very happy to accept them. They’ve hung above the main stairs up to the fiction section all this time and it was a lot of fun to see them on my frequent trips to the library. Also, if anyone asked what I did, I could say “have you seen those quilts in the library?” Recently I noticed that there were grey ridges of dust wobbling on the edges of the quilts about to create a dust storm on unexpecting patrons below and so I asked if I could have the quilts back for cleaning when they moved them in order to renovate (massive exciting extensions and renovations to a public library!!) the building.
I brought them home and literally threw them into the washing machine – (well, one at a time, “hand wash” and Synthrapol – to be accurate!) then hung them out on the line to dry. Yes, they are a little bit faded, but not much…more so on the commercial fabric I was using at the time – especially a particularly nice sponge print of Nancy Crow’s line of fabric. But I think they look pretty good and will be fine to be rehung when the renovation is complete.
Here is Stanley St, 16 years ago (professional slide) on the left…and now(snapshot on the living room floor…) after washing on the right.
Strangely enough I didn’t ever photograph the other quilt all those years ago! But it was one of a pair that were very similar (the other one is hanging in Harstfield Atlanta airport, Gate 29 – or will be when they have completed their renovations). They were made with the same fabric, the small details were different, but the overall plan very similar.
On the left the other original, on the right the current view after washing.
For 16 years of faithful service to the public, I don’t think they look too bad! So much for all those snobby folks who say no one will buy a fabric piece because it doesn’t last. These pieces lasted longer than the rest of the decor in the building!! Furthermore, how many paintings or sculptures can the maker carry home and chuck in the washing machine?!!
There’s no doubt about it: fiber rules!
If you have been, thanks for reading!!! Elizabeth
Ps I sure wish that time had had as little effect on my exterior!!