Sunday, May 6, 2012

"The Coffee Break"

"The Coffee Break" is my curator's piece for the upcoming special exhibition, "Rituals", which debuts at the International Quilt Festival, Long Beach, in July 2012.  After honing down which ritual theme I wanted to work with for this exhibition, I started and stopped several times.  I even changed the cloth on the coffee cups at the very last minute (see last image).
This ritual has to do with a long-running email conversation with my friend and teaching partner, Jamie Fingal.  When I see "coffee break" in the subject line, I know to get my cuppa and put my feet up, because it will be a long conversation in print.  We discuss business items, personal name it.
The coffee break has been a long-running habit which is often more of a lifeline.

I took quite a number of our email exchanges, printed them on paper, then cut them into small rectangular strips.  The strips were laminated onto polyester sheer with matte medium.  This was subsequently fused with Mistyfuse, cut into "vapor-like" shapes and fused to the surface of the quilt, along with the interior of each cup.
I wanted the quilt to have a mirror-image effect, so the background shapes and the coffee cup are inverted at the top.  The vapor was appliqued onto the surface, then more vapor was added by free-motion thread-painting.  The background shapes, though rather abstract, are created to reference portals, doorways, windows.  
Creating this piece was a joy.  I hope you like it, too.
Finished size:  60 inches long by 24 inches wide.

emails, cut into small rectangular pieces

after laminating to polyester sheer

looking at cast shadows.....

Here is my original cup (which I adore!). 
I changed it because I felt these got "lost" on the surface of the quilt.
I'm still sad about them....

...but they just didn't work as well as the black and white ones.
Also, the vapor looks too "vine-like" here.  
Picky, picky, picky.


  1. That's so awesome! I'm glad I was able to see it in person at the SAMQG meeting last Thursday. How neat to have a visual reminder of your ritual to look at whenever you want.

  2. Love it. Thanks for clue on looking at shadows.

  3. Wow! Very cool! When I heard the theme "Rituals," coffee was the first thing that popped into my head. I love my morning coffee and your quilt!

  4. This is fascinating. I want that coffee cup! I love the communication curls. Great intuition about how the first cup faded into the background. Neither you nor Jamie would ever do that!!!

  5. Leslie, I love this! The decision to mirror the coffee cups was a great way to resolve the long and narrow shape of the piece, and your choice to change the cup fabric was perfect. You're an inspiration.

  6. beautiful, Leslie. and I adore the story behind it and your emails with Jamie and your friendship...xoxoxo

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. It means a lot.


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