Inspiration

Women’s Encyclopedia

December 9, 2023

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I had the privilege of seeing the special exhibit, Women’s Encyclopedia, at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. This is a collection of quilts by Galla Grotto, who designed the women’s series based on cultural traditions throughout the world. It is her reinterpretation of myths, images, and symbols. The portraits are her heroines, goddesses, fairies, muses, and female images that convey ideas and express different feelings.

Bird Day

Bird Day
by Galla Grotto of Boussac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

The artist’s statement says, “(Birds) have always been considered a symbol of freedom. And the cage is its limitation. If the cage is open, it means a desire for freedom.

The woman is wearing a cage with an open door and a quite wistful look. Perhaps she is dreaming about her wish for freedom from something that is holding her back?

I loved the gentle color palette with the stronger colors in the cage. Will her wish for freedom result in strength?

The background includes so many birdhouses, including some with wings!

detail of Bird Day by Galla Grotto

 

I only saw 2 birds on the quilt, one in the applique on the woman’s shoulder and one quilted into the open cage door. Did you see any more?

detail of Bird Day by Galla Grotto

I found the quilting to be so fascinating! So many designs to look at. Interestingly enough, no feathers quilted on this quilt.

I was really intrigued by the quilting Galla used on the faces themselves. The Cubist style of the face lends itself to placing various designs in the geometric shapes defining the facial features.

detail of Bird Day by Galla Grotto

She used curved lines to her advantage in defining the contours of features, for example, the lips and the cheeks.

The quilting is done mostly in black thread except for the face. In the face she used threads that were the same color as the fabrics but a slightly darker value. She really wants people to see the quilting! My kinda girl.

Morning and Evening Fairy

Morning and Evening Fairy by Galla Grotto of France

Galla says fairies are good spirits and the most popular mythological characters. The morning fairy accompanies a person from sunrise to sunset, and the evening fairy guards his sleep.

Once again, I was taken in by the restful palette and the phenomenal quilting. And check out the binding, quite an interesting shape and the use of different fabrics.

detail of Morning and Evening Fairy

 

detail of Morning and Evening Fairy

Woman of the New Moon

Woman of the New Moon by Galla Grotto of France

Galla says, “A woman whose cycle coincides with the new moon is in good balance with nature. The moon is a living being with feminine energy. When a woman falls to the rhythm of the moon, the music of harmony and tranquility begins to play in her life.”

Loving the interesting shapes of these quilts!

Stay tuned, I’ll share more of these great quilts from the Women’s Encyclopedia by Galla Grotto in future posts.

Quilt Every Day!

by Mary Beth Krapil

Written by

December 9th, 2023

I had the privilege of seeing the special exhibit, Women’s Encyclopedia, at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. This is a collection of quilts by Galla Grotto, who designed the […]

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