Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Denise Labadie: Unique Quilts

 Growing up, I knew handmade quilts as an often-cherished heirloom from previous generations made from clothing scraps. Long after work jeans had worn out in the knees, there'd be a salvageable bit of cloth that could be used to make a quilt. How things have changed!



Quilting is now less about homemade make-do warm bedding and more about gorgeous wall art. Nowadays, there's even an annual international touring  of small quilts that are executed by individual quilters based on a selected theme. The quilts are stunning! 





 I recently happened upon the works of a quilter/artist as none I'd ever seen before. She is Denise Labadie of Colorado.In her bio, she noted that it was on a trip to her ancestors' home in Ireland that she had a deep response to seeing the stones, monoliths and structures.





It was on subsequent trips to Ireland that Labadie also felt the inspirational impulse of the ancient ruins of monasteries with a special interest in the passageways and portals. 

Labadie's process of re-creating these ancient ruins and structures is very involved. As she says, "... construct [ing] the actual quilt the same way as a stone mason builds a wall – individually sizing and cutting out, piecing, and appliquéing each stone, one by one, working from the bottom up – each stone a foundation for the others that it supports or neighbors."




Stones are individually cut out of fabric. These are painted and while still wet folded, pleated, wrinkled and manipulated in ways to make the fabric resemble rocks. She also employs salt, sugar, sand and even dirt on the wet painted fabric to get the rock effect she wants. All of this happens before she begins to assemble a quilt.




Labadie does offer workshops, which are very hands on. If this master quilter is someone you'd like to learn more techniques of quilting, you might check her website for further information.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic artist. I’m envious