Ancient Echos by Elaine Luther Copyright 2013 Elaine Luther

Ancient Echos by Elaine Luther Copyright 2013 Elaine Luther

Call for Participation

Motherhood, the Crazy Quilt: Love Ya Like Crazy/Driving Me Crazy

The purpose of this public participation art project is to give voice to every part of motherhood. The gritty, the pretty, the parts you never dreamed you’d experience, the parts you hope you never experience again.

The highest highs and the lowest lows. You’re not encouraged to admit that your kids are driving you crazy. Where’s the safe space to admit that you’re so bored playing blocks, or pretend? You’re not encouraged to admit that… well, you tell me.

You also can’t brag about the best moments, except to family and your best friends. Ever been so overwhelmed with love that you actually thought your heart would burst? Is there anyone in this world you love more than your child? But who can you tell? We’re not supposed to brag, as mothers. You can tell me, and through me, the world.

You can tell anonymously if you like, or sign your name to it.

Mothers of children of all ages are invited to participate, either in person, or by mail.

Here’s the art project:

You know crazy quilts, right? Those impractical Victorian quilts made from fancy clothes and with fancy stitching on top, connecting the pieces? I want to take that idea of the crazy quilt and combine that with the idea of Love Ya Like Crazy/Driving Me Crazy.

But I only have so much to say on the matter. I’d like to share with the world a more diverse range of moms’ experiences. That’s why I’m inviting moms from all over the world to participate by sending in quilt pieces.

How to participate:

If you’re in the Chicago area, attend an in person workshop at Zenith Art Studio where all materials are provided, and make a quilt piece or two. Pay a nominal fee of $5.00 to cover the use of the art center. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to make one or two quilt “squares” or pieces to contribute to the project and make one to keep.

If you’re outside the area, or can’t make it to a workshop, you can mail your pieces to me at P.O. Box 5292, River Forest, IL 60305.

Open deadline, you may send pieces any time.  At some point, there will be a end to the project, I’ll post a final deadline as we approach that.

What size should you make? The collage pieces on canvas will be 24” x 36”, so quilt pieces that are anywhere from 3” or 4” to up to 12” would work. Shapes can be irregular, actually, they usually are irregular in crazy quilts.

Use any fabric you like: baby blankets, children’s clothing, your old maternity clothes, an apron, something new from the fabric store, a piece of a fancy gown. Anything that speaks to you. Even wide satin ribbon would work.

How should you embellish your fabric? Anyway you like. Fabric markers, Sharpies, embroidery thread, sewing on buttons or bits. Text is very welcome.

Have something to say, but don’t have the time or inclination to make a quilt piece? You can send me your text and I’ll do my best to use it. Write to me via this site using the Contact page.

What the finished pieces will look like:

I’ll combine the pieces into both collage paintings and at least one actual, finished crazy quilt that will be an art quilt, the kind that gets shown on the wall in galleries, not the kind that goes on a bed. You can see my art and learn more about me on this site.

I’ll do my best to exhibit the finished pieces in gallery shows. If you follow me on my blog or subscribe to the newsletter, or just check in periodically, you’ll hear about when the shows are.

The first show will be at Zenith Art Studio, follow the studio and sign up for a workshop at and on facebook.


About the painting, above: the piece includes three pieces of fabric, sewn together and then applied to the canvas. I almost always include fabric in my collage paintings.

Why? Why do I use fabric and quilt fragments in my artwork? I’ll do a blog post on that soon.

Update:  here’s that post


Update:  I thought it might be helpful if I posted some tutorials and inspiration links for you.

Embroidery tutorials from Jenny Hart:

Fabric markers and quick tips on using them:

I’ll continue to add tutorials and inspirational links here.

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