Layered cotton fabrics, stitched with thread — 50″ x 65″
© 2010 Pam RuBert
This quilt was made for the International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB) at the San Jose Quilts & Textiles Museum, a juried exhibition of work by artists exploring the intersection of fiber art with new technologies, to be held in conjunction with San Jose’s biennial ZERO1 Festival.

Cell towers and electrical power poles have long fascinated me, both as visual elements and their integral part of our contemporary life. Click on a thumbnail below to see larger images of the inspiration, process of making the quilt, and close-up details.

Artist statement about the quilt for the ITAB exhibition:

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“Remember old vacation postcards titled “Wish You Were Here” that people mailed to friends and family? Today we’re all just a cell phone away…

During a recent trip to Japan, I recorded impressions of mountain shrines, stone Buddha gardens, and temples in Tokyo in my sketch journal using an ink brush and travel watercolors.

Later at home, I scanned, collaged, and redrew the images on computer… studied my digital photos of cell and power towers shot from moving cars… blogged and tweeted which is somehow part of my conceptualization process I call “thinking out loud.”

Somehow I wanted to create a picture story of a world full of overlaps and questions about old and new and enabling technologies that lift us up — and also put us at risk.

Though much of my process uses modern technology, it was a love of the handcrafted object that inspired me to combine my drawings with quilt-making. After finalizing the design, I printed a large pattern, cut the fabrics, and stitched it together using a sewing machine.

At the end of the process, I’m amused and oddly satisfied that the final object about high-tech life is constructed with low-tech scissors, cloth and thread.”[/box]


  • I started laughing and can’t stop. I just felt giggly by the content. I too love the power poles and lines and how they shape or outline our landscape.
    The quilt is fabulous. I love how you show the process developing. It feels so much like painting.
    I remember about 15 years ago thinking the same thing about music and had never made that connection before watching someone improvise on a live stage. Your work is original and fun..Thank you for sharing.

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