Daily Archives: September 7, 2011

Baby Biscuit Joy: Telling Stories With Fabric

I have a favourite sister-in-law. She’ll probably tell you she’s my only sister-in-law and while that’s true, I couldn’t ask for a better addition to our family. She’s intelligent – sometimes I need a thesaurus just to keep up to her – and funny and warm and kind.

Theresa is also one of the most creative people I know. Under the label Baby Biscuit Numbered Quilts,  she uses fabric as the medium to create art, like a painter uses paint or an author uses words.

“When putting together a Baby Biscuit Numbered Quilt, I select a palette for the interplay of colour, texture and pattern scale, cutting the fabrics into squares, pinning and stitching 160 squares to form 80 pockets, weighing fill to stuff the pockets, then closing them to create biscuits … little pillows of puffiness.

Why has Theresa chosen this labour-intensive craft as her creative outlet?

“There is the joy that flooded over me when I made my first biscuit quilt, more than 30 years ago, which has only intensified since I resumed with Quilt #7 in January of this year. It is the joy of total immersion in what I’m doing. I have so immersed myself in studying fabrics – juxtaposing texture, colour, pattern – that I now see or read their interplay as narrative. And even though each quilt is numbered  to reflect its uniqueness, I have discovered it also has a narrative and the story it tells has a name.”

Here’s Theresa to tell you about the stories in her Baby Biscuit Numbered Quilts.

The Personality of Baby Biscuit Quilts #7: PINK ZINGER
Baby Biscuit Quilts #7

“This quilt was made for a little girl I know so the foundation of the color scheme had to be pink. But the personality of the girl was not pastel. My search for fabrics took me to vibrant hues of pink patterned in diamonds and stylized florals. The pink paired itself to intense greens in paisley, stripes and dots. And the quilt came to be named Pink Zinger because the outstanding personality of its owner needed to be matched with a zinger of a quilt.”

The Philosophical Turn of Baby Biscuit Quilts #16: VERDIGRIS ET VERITE (Oxide and Truth)
Baby Biscuit Quilts #16

“I bought a fabric striped in shades of aqua and red to use as a piping strip. The colors reminded me of the patina of rust or metal oxide and the blood-red intensity associated with truth. Perhaps unpleasant to consider for a baby quilt but as I built the palette and worked with the fabrics, their color variations and patterns revealed a narrative. Truth is always contested and is always dependent on the interests at play in establishing its veracity. “

 

Truth may be overt or cloaked.

In different lights, truth takes on different meanings.

 

Truth can be maze-like, its core hidden at the centre, waiting to be found.

 

There can be half-truths.

 

Because truth shifts shape, it may need to be held in place.

 
“It was all there, waiting to be read. After I told this story to my daughter Erin, she said, “Mom, you need to write this down and include it with the quilt. You’re doing Biscuit Philosophy.”

The Puzzle of Baby Biscuit Quilts #17: CONNECT THE DOTS
Baby Biscuit Quilts #17

“I relinquish the solution to this puzzle reluctantly, but it’s fun, so I’ll let you in on the secret. Polka-dotted fabrics comprise the palette–at first glance, that is. What appears to be a teeny-weeny crimson dot on black background is actually an itsy-bitsy crimson diamond! And as with most things, all is not as it appears.”

To view select albums of Theresa’s Baby Biscuit Numbered Quilts, visit her Facebook page.

You may also contact Theresa at biscuit-quilts@shaw.ca

Now, take a look around your home or work area. If your favourite fabric could tell us about your personality, what would it say?

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