Monday, October 28, 2013

The Oven Mitt

One of the ideas Julie and I discussed when we were brainstorming about the Chicken quilt was the idea of a pair of hands in the quilt (as if the chicken has escaped). Hands, we wondered, or perhaps a pair of oven mitts instead?

There's nothing wrong with this oven mitt, but there's not much about it that is really good. It's the right size, and it looks like an oven mitt, and with another for the other hand and positioned correctly it might be okay, but my problem with it is the fabric. It almost disappears and the chickens on the mitt confuse the viewer.

Rather than looking like an oven mitt, (or as a positive thing on a background), the white fabric "reads" as an oven mitt shaped "hole" through which you see chickens, and that confuses the viewer.

So I need to make the oven mitts remind viewers of a real oven mitt!  Which begs the question, what does an oven mitt LOOK like?  I went into the kitchen and took a look at mine.

Is anybody surprised that my oven mitts have cats on them? Or one is made with selvages? Um, no. Using this information, I went "shopping" in my stash.  Here's what I pulled out:

Cats and fruit. Could be cute, but I am worried they'd "read" the same way the original mitt does.

The big print on the right is fun but the scale is too big. And I think the peas with the black background would create too much contrast and draw the eye to that fabric and never move around the rest of the quilt.

Then I found this. The colors are perfect (I'd have to cut around the big triangles) and I love the idea of the foxes, because we all know that foxes like to eat chickens.

The more I think about this, however, the more I realize that I haven't fully resolved in my head just what this quilt is about.

When Brenda said, "I want to tell her to let the chicken go," she meant she was tired of leftovers. In that case she didn't want to see any more [cooked] chicken (and a pair of oven mitts fit perfectly here). But "let the chicken go" could also mean letting a live chicken go, in which case hands could be more appropriate.  In any case, whatever I choose to represent, the idea has to be very clear so viewers will "get it." If it isn't clear to me, then it won't be clear to the viewers either.

What are your thoughts?


Alice Turcotte said...

A live or cooked chicken being thrown into the air/sky by the hands/mitts. Enough already...let it go.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Brenda told the story with words . . . and we got it, instantly!

And so has everyone else who has heard or read Brenda's story.

You and I got carried away thinking about images to go with those words, but the story isn't about those images . . .

Babby58 said...

It seems that all your oven mitts have a binding around them. What if you did the same with your quilt mitts?

Peggy Bennett said...

I was thing of "Why did the chicken cross the road?" as a possibility too.

Anonymous said...


Millie said...

Dear Selvage Fairy, No fox, no chicken either. But thanks for the big belly laugh!