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A Blanket For My Father
quilting, log cabin quilt pattern,coloour, women's art forms, labour of love, commemoration,hand-written text, memory, father, love, adversity, colour photocopy on fabric,black and white photos, colout photos Metis artist, women's art forms, identity, tribute
description

In this blanket, Sherry Farrell Racette uses the traditional women’s art form of quilting and a traditional log cabin  quiltAnything that is quilted; esp., a quilted bed cover, or a skirt worn by women; any cover or garment made by putting wool, cotton, etc., between two cloths and stitching them together; also, any outer bed cover. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  pattern. Over the past centuries in Saskatchewan quilt-making has been a labour of love through which women constructed warm blankets for their families and created beautiful patterns and colours to decorate their homes.

start quoteMemories are passed down through the blood.end quote-- Sherry Farrell Racette

For Farrell, as well, this  quiltAnything that is quilted; esp., a quilted bed cover, or a skirt worn by women; any cover or garment made by putting wool, cotton, etc., between two cloths and stitching them together; also, any outer bed cover. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  is a labour of love in which she commemorates the man who was her father. In the photographs and the text the viewer is introduced to a larger-than-life man who had a positive attitude and a love of life. He faced adversity with laughter.  Each day like Christmas and, according to Racette’s memory, he was a creative man who could do anything he undertook.

Racette has selected seven black-and-white photographs and two coloured photographs to depict the many aspects of her father. She has included a handwritten text to give further insight into his character. She has placed the photographs on a blanket of coloured quilted cloth where the colours of red, black, white and brown are prominent. A strip of red fabric frames the photographs on both sides and the log cabin quilting frames the top and the bottom of the blanket. Farrell Racette has created a personal tribute her father, who was an outstanding individual.

additional resources Things to Think About

Uneasy Sleep

  • Look at the photographs in A Blanket for My Father and see if you can figure out what some of the activities Farrell Racette’s father enjoyed doing were.  Do you think he was comfortable with who he was? Now read the text. Were your assumptions correct? Do you think she needed to include the text? Why did she include the text in her own handwriting? Why do you think she included the little story about him on the roof?
  • Discuss the compositions of the photographs and their placement on the blanket with fellow artists, students and teachers. Do you think these are professional photographs? Can everyone be a photographic artist?
Studio Activity

A short story

Write a short story, like Farrell Racette did, about a significant person in your life and present it visually with pictures and designs.

Create a photo essay

  • Include yourself and others who are important in that person's life.
  • Mount the photos in a book and write a brief introduction describing why you made the work.

Quilt-making

  • Find out more about quilt-making.  Here are some websites to get you started:
  • Make your own quilt.
  • Glue the pattern on a strong paper or fabric backing.
  • Arrange a number of individual pieces together to form a crazy quilt.
References

Herland, Karen.  ‘Finding  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  meaning in museum collections.’  Concordia Journal, Vol. 2, No. 10, February 8, 2007.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning