Tuesday, April 10, 2007

beginnings

Ideas. I have lots of ideas. Some ideas are just a function of brainstorming. Some ideas had their beginnings in some other thing that inspired me to think and ponder. It may sound a little silly, but, I can tell when I've hit upon a good idea in a couple of ways. Some ideas just won't leave me alone. They haunt me until I succumb to doing something. My favorite ideas also make me jump up and down and do a little dance. I don't realize I even do it.

This blog is going to be about is going to be about one of those jump up and down ideas that haunts me.

Not long ago, I was perusing the internet, when I came across some photos of a display at Reed College out in Portland Oregon. Flags had been placed in the lawn. A red flag for every American who has died in the war, and a white one for every six Iraqis. There were 3055 red flags, and 112,000 white flags. I was overwhelmed.

I don't live in a hole, I consider myself moderately well informed about the world, but seeing the visual representaion of the consequences of war was so much more powerful than hearing, or reading the numbers.

Thus began the haunting. That visual was thought provoking without telling one what to think. It was something to raise awareness about something that is far to easy to ignore on a daily basis. But it was also impermanent. It would most likely be picked up in a few weeks when the lawn needed to be mowed.

Haunt. Haunt. Haunt.

Wait! I'm an artist, what can I do make something as a visual reminder? My chosen medium is quilting, so it would obviously have to be a quilt of some sort. The rest of that particular brainstorming happened so fast, I can't describe it for you, except to say I was jumping up and down and dancing the dance of good ideas.

Here's the idea - A small quilt for each American who has died and on that quilt small french knots to represent each Iraqi. Using the numbers from the Reed display, that's 3055 little quilts with 212 french knots on each one. The quilts will be made and bound with solid color fabrics. Any color is fine, they represent the soldiers who repesent us and we are of every color and ethnicity. The 212 french knots will be made with black thread. I've been using 2 strands of embroidery floss, and starting in the center, make a spiral of french knots. Each little quilt will be connected to the next with small brass safety pins. I am putting a purple bead on the safety pin between the quilts to represent the wounded. It's no where near the actual number of wounded, nut, they need to be represented as well. .

I am going to need help.

I have spoken with a few folks and have had really positive feedback I am hoping to find people willing to volunteer to donate the materials and time to make the quilt blocks. I will also be needing help with funds for the fabric, batting, beads, postage for shipping, etc.

I will post photos and a tutorial soon, but this will be the basic structure - the quilts will be 6" square finished. Each square will be made from a solid fabric on the front, any scrap of batting and backing is fine. The binding details are specific, as they need to be strong enough to support the grommets. So, I will wait until I get home to do those photos, and directions. (I'm on vacation in NYC, but, you know how it is with those ideas that haunt you.)

15 comments:

Gerrie said...

This is a wonderful idea. I would love to help. I will post a link on my blog to get others involved!!

Old School Acres said...

I found you through Gerrie. I too think this is an amazing idea.

MsLizzF said...

I read gerrie's blog and heard about you from her. Count me in...I'll make a square or two and I love to make french knots. This war has to stop....or we'll be over there for years and years. I will also post your blog address on my links. Lets get this project going.

McIrish Annie said...

i would be happy to help you with this project! just get me the details. it's an excellent idea and will definitely make a visual impact.

Lori said...

Wow! I don't quilt yet but I tie a mean french knot. I too was blown away by all those little flags. What a wonderful idea. You've got me doing a happy dance. :)

Beate said...

I found you through Gerrie. I too think this is an amazing idea. - I will post a link on my blog

Judy said...

What a fine idea!!
Please count me in.
I found you through Gerrie and
I too will post a link to your blog on my blog.

JulieZS said...

I found you through Gerrie. I would be happy to get involved with this project. I really like the idea of the french knots. The Iraqis always seem to get left out of these displays, so they will at least be represented.

Cathy said...

Another blogger who found her way here through Gerry's blog. Count me in also. What a great idea, I am so sad not only for those who have lost their lives but for those whose lives are forever changed from being injured. The amount of traumatic brain injuries is so huge....

Nellie Bass Durand said...

Count me in, as well. When you get a tutorial set up, I'll post about your awesome idea and include a link to you, too. Thank you.

Barbara said...

I think this is a great idea! I'd love to help. I'm looking forward to seeing your tutorial. Maybe if more people see a visual representation of the devestation of the war we can bring it to an end. I'll set up a link on my blog to share your idea and spread the word.

kristen said...

I found you through julie zs -- i would like to be involved. i'll need to practice my french knots.

Not said...

Found you through Neil. I'll help. I'm in Minneapolis, so let me know if there's anything IRL that you need to make this happen (maybe some places to display it when it's done?)

How are you going to account for the additional deaths/injuries between the IDEA and the finish?

Angelina said...

Thanks for posting on my blog. I want to say that I love this idea. Generally when Americans propose to honor their dead in any way, they don't simultaneously honor the people on the other side of our wars who have also died. I think that's beautiful because I can't think of our soldiers dying without also thinking of the Iraqis who've died. All of them people who were loved by other people.

I'm not in a position to help with this right at the moment but I'll keep my eye on your progress and if you still need a little help when I'm more free, you can count me in.

Anonymous said...

I am obviously finding out about your project a bit after the fact. I think it's a great idea. Perhaps more of a necessary evil, because these soldiers shouldn't be dying. What I wanted to ask is do you know who Neil Young is? At the last concert (last summer, the summer beofre that?)of his I attended he had a picture of each soldier killed. This was a backdrop to his anti-war song. As you might remember, he's an anti-war guy from way back. Anyway, it was quite moving as I'm sure your quilt is, too. I thought you might be interested.

Lois