October 30, 2009

Today's Feature: Margarita

I am back in the garden today with "Margarita", named for the variety of ornamental sweet potato it features. It will be one the art quilts in my show at Isadore Gallery next month. I grow ornamental sweet potatoes in a planter on the front porch in the summer, and I am partial to Margarita, with its bright lime green leaves and enthusiastic sprawling habit. I made a cyanotype of the leaves and vines for the top panel, and a heliographic print for the bottom panel. I pieced it in a very straightforward way, to contrast with the sinuous vines, using Seminole patchwork in vivid colors. I used the quilting lines to add more vines, spilling out into the borders, then further highlighted it with paints.

Sweet potato vines are prone to attack by the Golden Tortoise Beetle, a fascinating little insect commonly called "goldbeetle"; their larvae have a unique protection method. They seldom decimate a plant, but leave a scattering of neat little round holes in the foliage, a form of patterning I find delightful and was able to capture in the prints.
"Margarita" has been exhibited in several quilt shows, including "Quilts, A World of Beauty" at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

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