Aslan's Song by Sarah Ann Smith of Camden, Maine
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There are three quilted panels mounted so they "float" above the background quilt. The panels are made similar to fabric postcards, then three additional layers of peltex stiffener, cut just slightly smaller than the panel and covered in black cloth, serve as a spacers. I like the 3-D effect and hope to use it again. Materials: cotton commercial batiks, artist-dyed and/or painted fabrics, polyester, metallic and holographic thread, peltex, beads.
My work is usually representational, so I challenged myself to work in a more abstract style for this journal quilt. I wanted to incorporate all four elements in my piece; as I worked on it, I remembered one of the most magical passages in literature that I've ever read: when Aslan sings the world / Narnia into existence in "The Magician's Nephew," the first of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I quoted these passages on the back of the quilt:
In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing.... Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. ... Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. ...
The lion was pacing to and fro about that empty land and singing his new song. It was softer ... than the song by which he had called up the stars and the sun... the valley grew green ... the light wind could now be heard ruffling the grass.
For me, the deep blue background is the infinity of space. The sun, clouds and sky (air, top panel) float above the planet (earth and water, center panel), while the molten core of the earth flames below (fire, bottom panel). The quilting on the three raised panels repeats on the deep-space-blue background quilt, where a tiny stitched border is beaded with deep blue hex beads to add a subtle framing.