Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tribute to Rosie Lee Tompkins

Yeehaw! I actually finished all 12 ATC's for the Bead Journal Project 2011 before the end of the year!

I knew what I wanted to do for my final ATC of the year. Earlier in the year I'd purchased a copy of Something Pertaining to God, the catalog that accompanied exhibitions of the work of Rosie Lee Tompkins. In reading through it and looking at the examples of Rosie's work I developed a feeling of kinship with Rosie Lee. I happened to notice that she passed away in December of 2006. That's when I decided that she would be the subject of my December ATC.

I started with a scrap of cotton but that didn't feel right. Going back through the catalog of her work I saw that a lot of what was not quilts was made out of velvets and other materials. So I went through my collection of not-cotton fabrics and found a man's tie that I thought would work well with the beads I'd chosen. Rosie's favorite colors were yellow, orange, and purple. In fact, she wouldn't let Eli Leon take her picture for the catalog but she did let him set up one of her favorite outfits on a chair as if she were wearing them and they happened to be in those colors.

Rosie's legal name was Effie Mae Howard. She put her name on a lot of her later work, along with birth dates and scriptural references. I copied the style she used when she put her name on her pieces, except for the star. That would simply have been another cross stitch. The red triangle beads represent her freestyle piecing.

I couldn't be happier with the way this turned out. And I'm over the moon that I finally succeeded in making 12 pieces for one Bead Journal Project. I was so excited that on New Year's Day I got out one of the journal quilts I'd started in the first year of the BJP and put some beads and yarn on it. There's still a ways to go before it will be anywhere near complete however. That's one reason I didn't complete the first year: my format was too big. That's okay though, it was a good learning experience. I think for this year I'm going to stay small but give myself a little more room by working on 3.5 inch squares. I already have an idea for what to do for January too! :- )

1 comment:

Michele Bilyeu said...

Wonderful, Sue! And how awesome to have made all twelve this year! Beading is time consuming but so much fun and yours are always great to look at, too.