The Huichol Indians of Mexico are well known for their exquisite yarn paintings. They are made by applying yarn threads to a plywood base using beeswax as the adhesive. Many of the designs are representations of visions seen by those who ingest peyote during spiritual rituals. My designs are inspired by two vintage yarn paintings I purchased over twenty years ago. I was told by the gallery owner that the Huichol artist was in his 80’s when he created the paintings. The designs were much more primitive and delicate than the type that are being created today. The artist’s name was Cresencio Perez Robles.
I have recreated the designs from these yarn paintings as fabric appliqués. I used batik and Kaffe Fassett fabrics, both are 100% cotton. During the Covid-19 pandemic I made a quilted appliqué wall hanging using huichol figures. In the center of the design I created a large coronavirus design. After creating this labor-intensive piece I decided to make smaller versions that work well as pillows.
This appliquéd and quilted pillow cover’s central feature is Mother Earth, surrounded by shamans, a serpent, two scorpions, and a candle. Mother Earth holds in her hand a ceremonial peyote wand. Each piece of fabric is carefully sewed down with either a satin-stitch, or a blanket stitch. I also used free-motion quilting for the very small pieces of fabric and for the background. There is some hand embroidery as well. The pom-poms are handmade in Mexico. Each corner has a pompom with a tassel. The back has an envelope closing and it is signed. The pillow insert is not included, but you can purchase pillow forms from many locations.
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