Red Ripples and Red Remnants by Margaret Ramsay
Many of my textile artworks use sections of old, over-loved quilts, too worn now for functional use. As I bring new life to them with layers of paint and additional stitch, I wonder about who stitched on them previously and used them in their lives, feeling a connection to cloth and to the past.
My walk to work takes me along the river Thames. It’s different every day and changes in the tide and traffic remind me how waterways form a connection through time and space – the Museum of London holds items found in the area dating back centuries. On the towpath after high tide I found a treasure of my own: a piece of wood, perhaps from a boat, weathered and with peeling paint.
A ragged antique Irish red and cream strippy coverlet with a hand woven twill backing, hand quilted with chevrons , has provided the material for a series of four quilts based on the colours and textures of that weathered stick and the patterns of water on the Thames. ‘Red Ripples and Red Remnants form the last two in the series, almost every scrap has now been used.
Red Ripples 24 x 48 “
Torn masking tape strips were laid on a section of antique red and cream quilt, acting as a stencil and layers of acrylic paint (Winsor and Newton and Liquitex Heavy Body) applied with brush and palette knife. Machine quilted with 5mm twin needle using red and blue varicoloured threads (YLI and Superior King Tut).
Red Remnants 24 x 48”
Referencing the lock gates where the Grand Union Canal joins the Thames, inspired by and assembled from the offcuts and trimmings of 3 quilts made from antique red and cream quilt including very worn sections. Scraps sown together with machine zig zag and decorative and structural hand stitched darning with red crochet cotton. Additional acrylic paint applied in some areas to unify.
This quilt is part of the Connection touring exhibition by Cwilt Cymru currently showing at Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch.