During my recent visit to Kodiak Island, AK, I went to the Baranov Museum. These two salmon quilts were hanging in the gift store for sale. Both are made by the same local artist, Sally Troxell. The fish panels are made from Shibori dyed fabric, printed with hand carved stamps using Daniel Smith oil-based water-soluble ink. Commercial prints surround the panels and the quilts were machine quilted on a domestic sewing machine.
The Reeds, depicts seven salmon swimming through the reeds.
The River, shows the salmon swimming upstream. The combination of watery colors punctuated with orangish-red make beautiful settings for both of these quilts. The quilting designs add to the pleasing effect. Salmon play an important part in this corner of the world and Kodiak Island is a hub for the fishing industry. There are reminders of this all over the place. In downtown Kodiak, the garbage cans are made to look like the salmon cans from the 1950’s. Here’s an example.
The large salmon sculpture by the harbor is made from marine trash from the ocean and designed to draw attention to ocean pollution and the damage that it is causing in the ecosystem. Iqalluk, Alutiiq Salmon was made by art students at Kodiak Middle School and High School with teachers Bonnie Dillard and Marcin Mazurek with support from KIBSD and the AK State Council for the Arts.
On my recent trip to Kodiak, AK, I saw this attractive triptych wildlife quilt hanging in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. I was in Kodiak to teach at the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters and was able to stay additional days to explore. Members of this lovely group made this quilt and donated it to the Visitors Center in 2007. It hangs near the entry way in an area with seating where people may watch a video about the wildlife on Kodiak Island. I love the animals and wildflowers. Check it out if you are in Kodiak.
The Project was coordinated by Darsha Spalinger, Ilva Fox, Christy Kinter and Sheila Wallace. The quilting is by Sue Thompson. Here are some detailed shots.
Fireweed by Becky Applebee. Fox by Elsa Dehart
Otter by Christy Kinter. Puffin by Mary Buben.
Bear by Sandy Peotter. Forget-me-nots by Sheila Wallace.
Salmon by Ilva Fox.
I’ve just returned from a teaching trip to Alaska and had the good fortune to spend time on Kodiak Island with the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters. We had three days of workshops and then I stayed an additional three days to explore the area. I went on a trip of a life time, bear watching. We flew in a float plane for an hour to a remote area on the Fraser River near a fish ladder where we could observe Kodiak bears fishing for salmon. We saw five bears. The 900 lb mama with two second summer cubs were the most photogenic. This was an incredible experience! Despite the mist and rain, we had excellent views. The bears crossed the river and came up on the trail very close to us. Our pilot was not concerned and reassured us that these bears are well fed on salmon and salmon berries and were not interested in us!
The following day, I had dinner at the Old River Inn and spied this bear quilt on the wall. There was no label on the back and the restaurant staff did not know the maker of the quilt. It’s a pretty good representation, even down to the massive claws!
In May, I taught in Santa Rosa at two quilt guilds and stayed in the lovely home of quilter Janet Tonkin. Several years ago, Janet purchased a Navajo hand woven rug at the Hurbell Trading Post in Ganado, AZ. The 20″ x 30″ rug was woven on a loom by Lenora Davis and the style is Two Grey Hills. Janet has it displayed on a wall in her home. This rug inspired her to design a quilt using the rug pattern as a guide. She was able to break the pattern down into squares and rectangles to piece this beautiful replica. Here are the quilt and rug side-by-side.
As you can see, Janet added red to her quilt and used grey tones rather than the browner tones in the rug. The quilt is about twice the size of the rug. Janet has it folded over the back of a grey couch in her living room where it is a pleasing addition to the decor and can be used as a large lap-quilt on cold evenings.