Friday, February 11, 2011

A Visual Tribute to Oprah Winfrey

The other day I received an email with a title called, "The Book Is Ready!" It seemed to have happened so fast. It was just last fall when the call went out to artists. I set out to make my quilt in a two month window. Finding just the right look on Oprah's face and then on Gayle's face was a challenge. The image I had in my mind didn't exist, at least not in public pictures. I wanted my piece to tell the story of close friends sharing a secret, a story, a laugh together. Of course I couldn't find that picture because it would have to be a private moment and I wanted to capture a private moment between friends. I happen to know what that is like. I have been blessed with some really good friends in my life and have shared some really good laughter, secrets, stories and just plain fun.

I have to admit that I had some help finding just the right look. But when I did, I knew it was right. The hair for both ladies turned out to be much more involved than I thought it would be. At first I layered the colors of fabrics in. Although it is difficult to see on the picture, I did a lot of thread painting on the hair. Then building the faces was next. I achieved a really good reproduction of Oprah's mouth but had a lot of trouble with Gayle's. I just have to keep working at it.

After I finished the faces and hair, I decided on the color of their dresses. Then I worked on the background. I asked my son and daughter for help. I love asking them because they give me such honest opinions. Finally I hand dyed some fabric in order to keep the background from being so stark.

Making this piece gave me a chance to express my idea about Gayle and Oprah's friendship, but it also gave me a chance to pay homage to some of the great best friends I have had through several stages of my life. People come into your life just as you need them and stay as long as you need them and they need you.

Which brings me to my second piece, where my first real friendship started with my sister. This quilt is about friendship, Easter Sunday, and bangs. We all remember the bangs. So many people have told me how closely they can relate to this quilt. The baby doll socks and patent leather shoes, the frilly dresses and the hair experience. I made the hair on this quilt with braided yarn. It took me a good amount of time to braid it and an even longer time to sew each braid to the quilt. The dresses were fun. It took me back to making doll clothes as a little girl with all the skill I have as an accomplished seamstress. Many people have asked me where did I have the little dresses.
I sent the pictures in and waited. It seemed like time really flew after that. The next thing I knew I was accepted into the book. That alone was a tremendous honor. I feel so blessed to have been one of the few artist accepted into this book.

Now the book is ready. I am proud and honored to have three pieces in the book. Click here and peruse the book You can order your own copy today.


Dena said...

Hey, Aisha - maybe we should suggest to Oprah that SHE do a presentation about how quilting affects women's lives --! Thanks for sharing your story with me, and I'll make sure you receive a copy of the final paper.

Dena said...

Hey, Aisha - guess what? I did it!!

aisha said...

Thanks Dena. That is great news. Hope she will do that story.