Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mystical Rose


I finished my AAQ entry and mailed it off. Mystical Rose is one of the names of the Madonna, and the rose symbolizes Mary's mystery, her virginal role in the incarnation of Jesus. In addition, "the invitation ... 'Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds' (Wisdom 2:8) is addressed to all. We are called to be sons and daughters of God." (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/prayers/rosamystica.html)

This piece is a tribute to women’s spiritual lives and especially to their ownership of their spiritual practices. It also highlight’s Mary’s role as an icon of the feminine divine.

The central block is a vintage handkerchief, emphasizing the personal, and the everyday as valued parts of spiritual life. I recently connected my handkerchief obsession with the story of St. Veronica, who wipes Jesus's face on his way to the crucifixion, and whose handkerchief is left imprinted with his image. This story will be the subject of my next small quilt.

The name of the original owner of this handkerchief, Olive Welch, (or maybe Welsh, it's hard to tell) is stamped on its top white border. I bought this handkerchief at a garage sale in the 70s, so I never knew Olive personally, but I feel like keeping her handkerchiefs over the years has helped to preserve a relic of her life.



Here are some close ups.


The photo is a vintage holy card image transferred on to the handkerchief. All the lace in this piece is vintage.


I pieced the hanging sleeve and used a vintage doily for the label.


Another close up.
I'm glad I used these old treasured pieces of fabric and lace to make this piece. They really needed to come out of the drawers and to see the light of day. I find it ironic sometimes that so many of my art quilts are made with such a nostalgic and sentimental tone, but I find myself drawn to the innocence of my childhood, and especially to the core place religion had in my early life.

12 comments:

Judy S. said...

Beautiful work, Barbara. You've magically turned the "relics" into a treasure! I love the details, the silk roses, and the way you've used the buttons. Was the label already embroidered, or did you do that too? Very creative!

Rian said...

Oh Barbara, this is just wonderful! Kudos and bravos! And it's nice to see you working with the Madonna again.

Debra said...

Truly one of your best Madonna pieces! I love it, naturally.

Vicki W said...

It's beautiful!

quiltmom said...

Fantastic piece Barbara- lyrical, pretty, and all the special bits of embellishment to make it truly beautiful.
Thanks for sharing your process.
Regards,
Anna

Kay said...

Absolutely beautiful, Barbara! Everything works on this--a stunning piece of work. And you're right, it's wonderful to use these old pieces.

Plays with Needles said...

Mystical rose is absolutely divine!

I love all the small touches...I think the link to St. Veronica and the handkerchief is inspirational Barbara...and it lends so much meaning to the quilt and to its connection with you. The buttons, the stitching, the image...I love it all. And I can see your spiritual practice sewn into every stitch.

It's really really lovely.

Magpie Sue said...

Gorgeous, just gorgeous. An excellent tribute to the divine mother in all women.

dee said...

It is so miving to see any of your Madonna pieces. This one is so beautiful and I know it sounds silly but it is very feminine as well as sacred. Maybe it's the pink color or the sweetness of the lacey handkerchief or simply the subject herself. Whatever it is, I find such joy just seeing it.

dee said...

that's supposed to say moving. I haven't been mived in a while.

Allison Ann Aller said...

This is breathtaking. The feeling behind it is reflected in its loveliness...
Barbara, I'll be bidding on this!

Flor Larios said...

Wow! Gorgeous...love all the pink in it!