What Did Ming Miss?

Several years ago, I read an article about a clam that was dredged up off the coast of Iceland in 2006.  By counting the growth lines in the shell they learned that the clam was 507 years old.  The clam was named Ming because it was born during the Chinese Ming dynasty in 1499, 65 years before the birth of Galileo, during the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.  So I wondered “What Did Ming Miss?” during those 500 years.  Ming became my artistic muse. 

I created the cartoon-like images in this series by modifying an obscure form of needle turn appliqué called tiling.  Historically, tile quilts were constructed of small pieces of cotton appliquéd to a white fabric leaving a narrow “grout” between the tiles.  In contrast, my tile quilts embrace the color, pattern, and imagery of contemporary printed and hand-dyed fabrics.  The quilts are hand- and machine- stitched, mounted on stretcher bars and framed.

Currently there are 23 quilts in the series. I plan to complete 5 more this year and then take a break from Ming!

All photos by Aaron Paden, Lawrence, Kansas

Home De-ranged

40″ x 20″

Strings Attached

Detail

Ming Dreamed Of Moving To Italy

28.5″ x 19.5″

Happy As A Lark?

28.5″ x 19.5″

Hafrün

28.5″ x 19.5″

Playing Dress Up

28.5″ x 19.5″

With Thanksgiving

Detail

Sojourner

28.5″ x 19.5″

Retreat Into Your Shell

28.5″ x 19.5″

Time Paradox

28.5″ x 19.5″

Silent Hostility

28.5″ x 19.5″

#Me Too

28.5″ x 19.5″

Home De-ranged

Detail

Strings Attached & Wired To Snap (assemblage)

28.5″ x 19.5″ x 3″

Just One Word

28.5″ x 19.5″

I Too Am Spent

28.5″ x 19.5″

Accessorize!

28.5″ x 19.5″

Paper Dolls

28.5″ x 19.5″

With Hope & With Thanksgiving (assemblage)

28.5″ x 19.5″ x 3″

With Hope

Detail

Unword Of The Year

28.5″ x 19.5″

What’s For Dinner?

28.5″ x 19.5″

Some Scars Still Bleed

28.5″ x 19.5″

Not The Timid

36″ x 19.5″

Nothing Has Always Been ( _______? _______!)

28.5″ x 19.5″