April 2006, 26" wide by 23" high, © 2006, Maria Elkins, All Rights Reserved.

Redeeming Fragments by Maria Elkins
Redeeming Fragments

As my time at college was coming to a close, I took Beginning Lithography and Advanced Lithography classes. The focus of these classes was printing on paper, but on my own time I chose to experiment with printing on cotton fabric as well. At the end of the two classes, I took my samples and made this composition. The quilt top was presented in class for the final critique. Most of the students had never seen any fiber art before and it received mixed reviews.

When it was time to name this quilt, I turned to the Quiltart Internet email list for suggestions. I received more than one hundred suggestions, which inspired me to reflect a bit on my 27-year college experience. In many ways I was redeeming the fragments of my own life, piecing together the little bits of time left over between working full-time and being a wife and mother. The quilt was made from fragments of lithography prints that I made while experimenting with ways to adapt the printing process so it could be used on fabric. The title also reflects the idea of traditional quilts being made from useless scraps.

Then, during the short break before the next quarter began, I spent many early morning hours and even more late night hours quilting this piece so I could enter it into the senior show. I was thrilled when it was accepted! To my knowledge, this was the first time they’ve included a quilted piece. It was even more exciting when, a few weeks later, I was notified that it was accepted into the 2006 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. Imagine how I felt when I found out it received my first ever First Place ribbon at IQFl!