67” x 42” ©2003
This is my latest quilt; thirteen pink skulls with butterflies and flowers. I call it Pushing Up Daisies. You may have discovered that our household has a macabre sense of humor and every few years I feel the urge to make another skeleton quilt.
A skeleton is symbolic of our mortality as well as a wonderful graphic image. I love the way the Mexicans celebrate life by honoring the dead with sugar skulls and paper mache skeletons decorated with brightly colored flowers and ribbons. These images seem especially exotic if you were raised a protestant Midwesterner.
We are fans of black humor of all kinds. We are wild about cartoonists Charles Addams (The Addam’s Family) and Edward Gorey. Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorite films. I love the work of Viennese designer Dagobert Peche because it is beautiful and a bit scary, a most intriguing mixture and one I try to have in my work, too.
Upon viewing my quilts a woman once whispered, “These quilts look like nightmares to me!” I was delighted! Even though she had not meant it as a compliment. She had felt the atmosphere in the work. My quilts usually have something dangerous mixed with the beautiful. Pushing Up Daisies is a strange combination of excessive optimism and monstrosity.