Thursday, October 2, 2014

How can you laugh? Because you know I'm down!

I recently participated in an art quilt challenge.  Each participant had to pick a different song from the Beatles discography and interpret it in a 24" by 24" wall quilt.   The results of this challenge were compiled in a book called Inspired By the Beatles.

All the quilts are presented in alphabetical order and we each had a full page for the picture and accompanying narrative.
The following questions were part of the submission package:

Why did you choose this song? 
I’m Down was released by the Beatles in 1964.  Michael Jackson owned the rights to the Beatles vault in the 1980s and refused to let the Beastie Boys sample I’m Down.  This song went out as a demo to various radio stations of that era but was not allowed to be a track on the Beastie album.  I never was a MJ fan, but this made me even less of one.
What inspired this quilt? 
Obviously  I’m Down needed directional arrows.  The seven arrows represent the 4 Beatles and 3 Beastie Boys.  The Beatles arrows either have beetle insects, beetle cars, or London double decker buses as motifs.  The Beastie Boys arrows represent each of the members of the group: crowns for King AdRock Adam Horowitz,  guitar-playing buddhas for converted Buddhist MCA Adam Yauch, and diamonds for Mike D Michael Diamond.  The downward pointing arrows are arranged in the shape of a capital letter I.

The sequin thumbs-down hand with the NO sign represents that bad decision of Michael Jackson’s not allowing the sample.  The HA! represents the “How can you laugh because you know I’m down?” that is on both versions of the song. The HaHa fabric is from the curtains in my oldest child's bedroom.  The fact that I still had them 20 years later just shows what a packrat I can be.

Materials used in your quilt: Cottons, Flannels, Sequins, Beads
Do you consider yourself a Beatles fan?  I am a moderate Beatles fan.  I like their original albums, really did not like their later work.

Do you have any Beatles memories or stories to tell?  I wasn’t even born after the British Invasion had already occurred but at the age of 8 when I was given a portable record player for Christmas, my parents included “Introducing the Beatles” album which I alternated with my Partridge Family album.
What effect does music have on your creative process? I do have all the Beastie Boys albums on permanent rotation in my car.  I tend to design quilts in my head during my commute.

Tell me if you have a musical background, or experience. 6 painful years of violin and orchestra, 3 of bells for marching band.

Why do you quilt?  I find it relaxing.  In my younger days as a SAHM and officer’s wife, I enjoyed taking on projects with permanent results. Meals get eaten, laundry and houses get dirty again, the lawn keeps growing.  Doing something that did not come undone made me very happy.  Although the kids are grown, I still enjoy seeing completed endeavors.

Why are you participating in this challenge? I like challenges and being forced to think outside the box and/or my comfort zone.
Do you have a typical quilting style?  Is this particular quilt typical? I tend to design picture quilts and pick my fabrics accordingly.  I am not a huge fan of making traditional quilts  (although I admire other people’s work!) and tend to go with my own designs.  In terms of this quilt being typical, I am rebelling a bit as usual by making this quilt about both groups singing the song.

Did you listen to Beatles music when you made this quilt? I initially listened to all the versions of I’m Down that I could find on youtube.    I have repeatedly listened to the Beastie Boys and Beatles versions as I was coming up with ideas.
Did anything special happen when you were making this quilt?  I just enjoyed breaking the rules a bit by including the controversy as images.