… and the quilt tells a story, the story of our past
Patchwork and quilting once originated out of necessity.
In American movies you can often see brightly patterned blankets on the bed. But even in the European Middle Ages and in Buddhist temples, pieces of fabric sewn together into hangings and clothes had their importance. In English it is called Patchwork. But what Gabriele Heinz sews together is anything but just patched up.
For more than 20 years, the artist deals with traditional patchwork and quilting techniques that are found around the globe in different patterns and fabrics, telling the stories of their culture as in a picture book, for example, the Amish People in the United States with their special quilting techniques, or the Mola from Panama, which were known by their animal motifs.
In its original form, such a quilt, a simple everyday object, was composed of two layers of fabric and a filling. The technique of making a new whole from various components was actually born out of necessity. For the quilts old and worn out garments were cut up and recombined by hand stitching. But in the wake of technological revolution hand quilting has been replaced by machine made sewing.
Gabriele Heinz has been patching and quilting since her extended stay in the United States.
Sewing and crafts have always been her passion. Therefore, it was not long until the colorful patchwork captured her interest and no longer let her go.
Meanwhile, hundreds of stacks of material pile up at her home and "there are always more." Over time she has developed her own style combining old, discarded materials again and again, symmetrically or asymmetrically. Her works are based on the traditional techniques of patchwork and quilting applications, but aim at entirely new design horizons. Her quilt patterns, usually sewn by hand, highlight the patched surfaces. They are masterpieces of craftsmanship and harmony in color accuracy. The quilts hint at just how much patience and time went into such an object. From hundreds of remnants she assembles intricate patterns and quilts them by hand. These techniques also make beautiful backsides. She likes clear geometric shapes just as much as playful ones, depending on what is required of the old or antique fabric.
Some materials are even dyed with natural fibers to further enhance the work or bring out their natural colors.
Each work is made specifically for one unique person.
With so many different elements, it is important not to lose the overview. With a few tricks in the preparations the pieces are easier to sew. But in spite of concentrated work, many projects take weeks, months or even years to complete.