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 wall hanging features the sun surrounded by shamans, deer, a dog, a spider, reptiles, candles and corn. All of these figures are important to the Huichol culture. 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. I added glass beads to the six peyotes in the center. The border is a dark brown. The back of the quilt has a fabric sleeve that can be used to hold a rod or dowel for hanging on the wall. In the photo of the back, you can see that a quilt hanger rod has been inserted. This is not included with the quilt.
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