I finished my first portrait quilt this weekend. In celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, it's a portrait of Harvey Milk. I'm not much for big street festivals, as large crowds tend to make me anxious, but I can quilt!
I used a Denyse Schmidt small red check print on the back...
The design is based on the famous photograph by Daniel Nicoletta of Harvey Milk standing in front of his Castro Street photo shop. Dan graciously allowed me to use his image for my piece.
Harvey Milk. Photo by permission of Daniel Nicoletta
When I contacted Dan he told me that Elva Smith, the mother Scott Smith (played by James Franco in the film), was a dear friend and avid quilter until her death about a year ago. It was another reminder of progress and continuity. There is a famous refrain among quilters that nothing is ever new in quilting -- in the long history of the art, someone has done it before. While I strive in my work to be inventive and original, I am mindful of the work and creativity of those who came before me. Similarly, this time of year I remember the gay rights pioneers who came before, who fought, sacrificed and sometimes died to make the world a better place for all of us.