The original idea for The Drawing Quilts came following a visit to The American Museum in Bath, UK, by collaborative duo Quilos and the Windmill, comprising Linda Khatir and Michele Whiting. They visited the museum in preparation for a group show with Studio xyz. There they saw a particular vintage folk quilt made by early pioneer women who had left Britain and Scandinavia to begin new lives in America during the 19th Century. This quilt (shown below) became their starting point and inspiration.
At the same juncture, the artists were taking part in the Fall residency at Ox-bow (affiliated to SAIC) Michigan 2011, where they decided to create their own quilt through drawing, using brown paper, masking tape and red paint to make 121 monoprints – a significant number because it was the number of squares in the original quilt. Using ordinary materials to express ordinary things encountered during their residency reflects the methods employed by early settler women, who looked at the places and things around them, and translated this into small drawings which they then stitched.
Quilos and The Windmill (Linda and Michele) sketched 121 things including squirrels, jumping frogs, chairs, and fire pits among other images. Having made them into simply-drawn mono-prints, and they then took 121 photographs of the finished quilt - in the forest, pine cabins, by the lake and so on.
When their residency ended they took the quilt to England and exhibited it in the American Museum, the home of its original counterpart, as part of an exhibition ‘Migrations’ by Studio xyz. The 121 photographs were also shown as part of the exhibition 'Quilos and the Windmill - counterpaine'.