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Clowns and Soldiers
32 in(108 cm x 81 cm)
American Childhood is the term I use for this series of quilts which start with Mid Century baby blankets and quilts collected on the internet or in antique stores. I’m looking at several things here and one is the huge contrast between the cute and sweet images we surround infants with and the violent toys many of us grew up playing with. Some of the images depicted in vintage baby quilts show an idealized picture of American childhood that was completely unattainable for many. Some of these quilts I have created reflect on the sexual roles we grew up with and question the assumptions about a child’s interests based on gender. How might some of these idealized roles represented in toys such as soldier, fighter, defender, dinosaur lover, cook, space cadet, cowboy, hunter, baby minder, or scientist define us in ways that don’t really reflect who we are?
Vintage cotton baby blanket, commercial cotton
Hand embroidered, hand quilted