13 June 2011

Just a little late for Harvey Milk Day


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...


with five Marianne stripes across the width.


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.

18 comments:

  1. that quilt have a strong spirit Dan! this is a great way to celebrate and honor a great men who fought for what he believed!

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  2. A.MA.ZING! You ARE the most inventive and original quilter I've encountered, I haven't seen anyone doing what you do and my gawd, you do it so well! I think there is something new in quilting Daniel, and that's YOU!

    Congrats on another outstanding, awe-inspiring, hall-of-fame worthy work of art!

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  3. Amazing! I would bet that nobody has done this before, Dan.

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  4. That is an amazing quilt. I am fascinated by your stencil work and can't wait to try (a very small, simple one) it when I get moved into my new place.

    Three cheers for Harvey Milk, Troy Perry and all of the other pioneers and activists!

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  5. That's just amazing how you can do that!

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  6. This is truly amazing. What a great tribute to Harvey! www.paperstarfish.prettyposies.com

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  7. Wow you've made another amazing quilt!

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  8. Wow. Wow! Concept, design, quilting, tribute, everything.

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  9. Yet another masterpiece! And I love the message behind it. I can't even imagine what my life would be like without the hard work of early activists (actually, I can imagine it, I just don't want to).

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  10. Another amazing quilt, and what a wonderful tribute. Great job!

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  11. Wow, really amazing! I was wondering, when you're making a quilt like this one, or your green deer quilt...do you make a large sketch and then work pieces of fabric within the lines, or how do you do it? Just wondering about your process in a quilt like this, because it's so interesting.

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  12. I LOVE that quilting can be so many things, and that you have used your talent to bring a message. Your work is always stunning and I thank you for the reminder to us all.

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  13. your quilt is gorgeous. another fantastic piece, Dan.

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  14. Wow. What a great quilt and like so many others have said, a great tribute to Harvey and other activists! I think you rock and am enjoying perusing your site!

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  15. I just bought my fabric to make my first quilt ever tonight. While it washes, I started looking for some extra inspiration and OH MY GOSH! This is incredible and beautiful in so many ways.

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