A Quilt For My Friend Lee, Who Committed Suicide Cotton fabric, cotton batting, thread. 17 x 18 inches, 2017.
This quilt has no binding, and the top is attached inside-out, to reflect the unfinished nature of his life. The center square, which traditionally represents the hearth and heart of the home, has been cut out.
Quilted fabric, 8 x 8 inches, 2016. This is 78% of a potholder, to illustrate the gender wage gap in the United States.
I chose a potholder to represent this statistic, because potholders – being so strongly representative of the kitchen – are a quintessential signifier of domesticity. I chose to sew a quilted object because these activities, like many handicrafts, have long been considered “women’s work.”
Of course it must be noted that 78% is just an average. Black women earn only 63%, while Hispanic women earn only 54%.
Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton/polyester thread, buttons. 2017. This quilt mashes up the violent, misogynist song lyrics sung by Rihanna in her “boss bitch” persona with a quilt.
A quilt as a physical object is just a collection of assembled fabrics. But that collection of fabrics has a deep cultural resonance, and is imbued with a host of emotional meanings. It is the quintessential symbol of domesticity: Femininity, motherhood, female caretaking, and emotional labor.