Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Portrait of a Home Town
This photo shows my most recent quilt: Portrait of a Home Town. It's my rendition of Huntsville, Texas, my home town, in the early days. I printed photos of the original Huntsville homes onto fabric to add to the quilt. Most of the images come from antique postcards of the actual Huntsville houses, taken in black and white then colorized by hand. One image came from a 1919 photograph that a friend and postcard collector found somewhere. Another image came from a contemporary photograph of a house that has recently been restored and turned into an arts center. The forest of surrounding trees was meant to loosely depict the original vegetation of the area: magnolias, elms, oaks, and pecans; namely, no pines, which we usually associate with the modern East Texas.
The house on the bottom left corner belonged to General Sam Houston back in the day. I remember visiting it many times as a Brownie. Its original owner, Sam Houston, who gave his name to our neighboring Big City, was the first President of the Republic of Texas. The house directly to the right of his home is the President's House at Sam Houston State University, which started out as the first teacher's college in the state. Before he helped win independence from Mexico and start the Texan Republic, Sam Houston spent some time living with the local Native American population. They named him "The Raven," and in honor of that heritage, the quilt shows a raven flying in the sky above the town.