Paper Dolls and the Wedding Ring Quilt

Wedding ring a

My markers were running dry and Jon wasn’t around for lunch.  So I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and got Fate in the car and ate my lunch on the way to the Dollar General and Rite Aid.   This is one thing I learn in art school,  that my materials don’t have to come from an art supply store.   I love the idea that I’m using the same markers that my friends 12 year old daughter is using to make her own T-shirts.  And using them to draw on quilts and linens always feels a bit irreverent to me.

It’s really a mix of the old and new.  I don’t know that the woman who made this beautiful quilt wouldn’t have used markers if she could.  If she grew up drawing on T-shirts, the next most natural thing to do may have been to draw on her blanket.  It’s a much bigger canvas.

This morning I stitched down a lot of the pieces I just had pinned to the quilt.  It all felt too temporary, like I could still change it any time I wanted.  And that made me start to second guess my decisions.  I had to make the commitment to what I had already done before I could do anything else.

Then I started working on what I think of as the paper doll girls.  A while ago my friend Debbie sent me this piece of fabric with all these girls on it.  I was thinking of paper dolls and how they’re all attached to each other, usually holding hands and when I thought of this fabric I knew I could make it work.

So I cut around the girls,(true Everyday Goddesses) and left a piece of fabric between them to keep them connected.  I pinned them in place, drew an outline around their bodies then took them down.  In between each outline I drew, with my permanent markers, a goddess, inspired by my Language of the Goddess book. Wedding ring b

Then I colored the background hot pink and pinned the girls back up.

Wedding ring c

Ghost-like, the ancient goddesses hover behind the girls.   A little more of the then and now.

Wedding ring d

This is how I left it at the end of the day.  I’m noticing that for a Wedding Ring quilt there aren’t any men in it.  But there are a lot of Goddesses.  Even the butterflies are symbols of the goddess.  And Cinderella’s lost shoe isn’t made of glass.


12 thoughts on “Paper Dolls and the Wedding Ring Quilt

  1. The paper doll goddess chain is so delightful it’s making my heart thump. I love how all the different design elements and colors are coming together. Cinderella sent me a text message – she loves her new boots and plans to wear them the next time she goes horseback riding at Blue Star Equiculture. I hope someone takes pictures when she does!

  2. Hi Maria, one more comment then I’ll move on. I’d love to hear the story sometime of how your inner goddess convinced you to get an MFA at a time in your life when there must have been a lot of barriers inside you for doing so. If you’ve already written about that on your blog in the past, I’d love to know where it might be in the Archives. Thanks, Janet

    1. I don’ t think I have written about it Janet, But maybe I will. I’ll have to think about it. I don’t know that it came from as creative a place as I might hope.

  3. Maria, I know how you feel about it being a sacrilege almost to tinker with a sewn quilt, old as it may be but I’m finding it fascinating what you are doing with this. But for the life of me, I don’t understand the big red boot (Cinderell’s shoe)…how did this idea come to you, and in red?? I’m just curious as to your thought process….and then again, maybe you just didn’t have one, maybe you let it flow which for a quilter is often hard, for an artist, not so much. Not everything needs to be planned. Quilters are always so busy ‘planning’ their quilts that they often loose a sense of spontaneity but that’s the nature of quiltmaking. Do you have a sense of what you are trying to say visually or does it just pop up and out. Or do you know??? I usually know what I’m wanting to say visually but the fact is, it does not always turn out that way, which is kind of exciting really.
    SandyP in Canada

    1. I’m just about to write about that process now Sandy. Jon’s blog post Portraits of Creativity:Writing Class, Portraits of the Soul got me thinking about it in a different way. So i’d say your question is on my mind too.

  4. Today I was walking to the movies with my best friend and somehow we got on the subject of quilts. She said that she wanted a lightweight quilt. She has four of them that she has had since she was a little girl (we are both well beyond that in age). I said that she should give them to me and that I’d send them to you and we could have one made. She hedged a bit and said that she’d seen one online that she wanted. It was an Amish quilt. To show you how small the world is, she said it was a wedding ring quilt. I told her that someone had sent you one and that you were working on it right now. I tell this because I think it is such a coincidence that the subject of a wedding ring quilt came up and that you have one yourself. Sounds funny, but I wanted to share it with you.
    The movie we were going to see is Suffragette which just opened today. It was a wonderful, if disturbing film. Very thought provoking. It leaves one with a lot to think about. I think you and Jon might enjoy it. Anyway, keep working on your quilt; I can’t wait to see when finished. Jane

  5. There are so many versions of Cinderella. They come from all over the world. I have a friend who developed a unit on just those stories. She had her students write their own. Every one of the stories, whether it be published or those written by her students had the specific elements of fairy tales in them. Maybe one of them had a red boot, but I don’t remember and I couldn’t possibly have read them all. I guess Sandy’s email made me think about this.
    I think your red boot is sensational.
    I guess this weekend I am making connections.

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