Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Idea of Heaven

In Mexico, and increasingly in the U.S., the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. The holiday is time of celebration, when the souls of those who have passed come back to drink, eat and be merry with their loved ones. For us, it is also an occasion to enjoy the creative vision of artists who have incorporated icons such as skeletons, sugar skulls and papel picado into works of art.  We particularly love "My Idea of Heaven" by Janet Windsor. Her quilt won a blue ribbon for Best Use of Embellishment at PIQF XVIII.

My Idea of Heaven, 41 x 53", by Janet Windsor as seen at Flickr.  Pieced, appliqued and beaded cotton and silk

Janet Windsor's description card reads:  "At the end of my journey this is what I hope for… an eternity spent sewing and creating”.  She explains: "I love the Dia de los Muertos holiday in Mexico. I love the sentiment and the iconography. I cannot imagine a happier place to end up than at my sewing machine. So I borrowed an illustrator friend’s skeleton and took photos of it sitting at a featherweight sewing machine. I did a drawing from those photos which I then fused, appliqued, drew and painted on and heavily embellished with buttons, beads, ribbons, silk flowers, and milagros." 

Petal Fall, 2 x (16 x 48 x 2"), a diptych by Janet Windsor as seen at Flickr. Pieced silk and cotton stretched on frame.

The majority of Janet's quilts are abstract pieces, including the luminous "Petal Fall" shown above. She says:  "In my abstract work I always begin with photographs. I comb through them looking for colors and color combinations. The subject of the photos is not necessarily what the piece will be about. Sometimes it is just about color, although most of the time I look for photos which present the images I’m hoping to convey. Petal Fall is a depiction of the softness of the petals as they pile up on the hard ground beneath the tree. It is composed of commercial silks and cottons, and cotton and silk which I hand dye. It is machine pieced and quilted and stretched on a wooden frame."

Autumn, Sonoma County, 78 x 32", by Janet Windsor as seen at Studio Art Quilt Associates

"Autumn, Sonoma County" brings to mind the vineyards in Sonoma County, which are alive with color in the fall.  We love the vibrant russets, golds, fuchsia and olive green hues, which are capped by the cerulean blue of the sky. This piece was selected by Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Seasonal Palette exhibit, which is premiering this week at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, November 1-4, 2012. For the exhibit, the curators selected 37 artists from a field of 144 entries. After Houston, the exhibit will travel to the International Quilt Festivals in Long Beach and Cincinnati.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Janet Windsor, who resides in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California with a degree in painting & weaving. She had a long career as a graphic designer in Cincinnati. Janet has been sewing since she was twelve; she has combined her graphic design skills with stitching in her pieces. To see more quilts by Janet Windsor, visit her photo stream at jwindsoh at Flickr. For more information, contact Janet Windsor by email at

1 comment:

  1. I just started following you and want to thank you showing all the beautiful quilts. I just returned from the Houston Quilt Market and they had such pretty ones there but I was busy shopping for my shop and did not get to enjoy all of them as much as I would have liked to. Again THANKS


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