Wednesday, December 29, 2010

lost heroes art quilt exhibit . . .

Yesterday I had the honor and privilege to work as a volunteer at the Lost Heroes Art Quilt project exhibit at our local Botanical Gardens. If you've not seen it or heard about it, you should check out their website (or read the rest of this post -- LOL).

It's a combination of a book . . .

And a beautiful, poignant quilt, to honor of those who have fallen while in the armed services to our country. Particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The quilt was worthy of hours of study. It was breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time. I purposefully didn't compress the above photo or the next three photos, so you can click on them and see them/read them clearly.

In the book she (Julie Feingold) talks about why she used childhood photos of the men/women who'd died. It sure does grab your attention just a little more, to look at a child's face in fatigues, and know that there is someone's baby who's not coming home.

She also spent a lot of time weaving in a secret message, using the colored crosses in each block -- you can see them if you go back up to the picture of the quilt. I stood there for a bit, trying to figure out the code, but upside down, in the above picture, she's got the answer! In the book she explains that it was also her way of nodding to those who served in the Civil War (connecting the controversial 'quilted messages' of the day).

I took closeups of the Alabama and Maryland blocks -- my two home states -- and took a picture of the page in the book dedicated to the Alabama soldier.

It was near impossible to read about each soldier/sailor without tearing up. The author interviewed a mom or close relative or friend to write an entry for each one.

Also, in the book, along with the child photo that's on the quilt, was a current photo, his name, where he was stationed/attached, and how he died. Again, I didn't compress the above photo and if you click on it, you'll be able to read the entire page. Don't do it unless you have a tissue handy.

Each soldier/sailor is stitched into place and then the jackets -- which are genuine G.I. Joe doll jackets are appliqued over the picture, onto the quilt. She notes in the book that it took her a long time to collect all the different jackets in the right styles.

Seeing this quilt was an incredible experience. If it's coming to a location near you, I strongly encourage you to check it out! The schedule of upcoming exhibits is HERE. From our stop it goes on to Jacksonville, Florida.

Also on display was a replica of a Civil War quilt that had been given to an Alabama family who'd lost a loved one to the current war.

Quilts and quilters are providing comfort and awareness; and still it seems like such a little thing in comparison to the ultimate sacrifice.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of some of the patriotic themed quilts our guild members provided to be on display along with the Lost Heroes quilt.

To those lost heroes, and those currently serving, I salute you.


2 expressed . . .:

Stephanie said...

Love this post! It is great to see all the pictures and it makes me feel like I was there. Glad you found my blog so I could find yours! Steph

Cathy said...

WOW, and one more time, Wow!!! that is an amazing work of art, and I can see how it would take hours to absorb. What an amazing think to think of, and to do.