Made by: Sonia Flores Ruiz
Materials: Wholecloth fabric, hand-dyed yarns and Swarovski® crystals
My inspiration to create this quilt was to showcase the diversity of this beautiful country, from the lush tropical jungles of the south to the arid deserts of the north and all in between. In the upper left part of the quilt, I start off with a representation of the Santa Maria Del Tule tree (sabino or ahuehuete) from the state of Oaxaca. It is famous throughout all of México for its enormous circumference of 148 feet (widest in the world) and height of 131 feet, and for being more than 2,000 years old. On the bottom left of the quilt, I have represented the Mexican wolf (lobo mexicano), which is now in peril of extinction. It can be found in the Sonoran Desert, Chihuahua, and central México. The lobo is surrounded by an agave, barrel cactus, and prickly pear cactus, which are among more than 850 cactus species that grow in our deserts. On the bottom right is a jungle scene in which I showcase the jaguar surrounded by hibiscus, bougainvillea, and other tropical flowers. The beautiful jaguar is the largest feline in the Americas, admired by the Maya for their bravery, and included in Mexican legends and history. Frida Kahlo loved surrounding herself with native and exotic pets, and who was enormously proud of Mesoameerican heritage, as am I.
Made by: Sissi Gutiérrez
Materials: Textile pastels
My inspiration for this quilt is based on a very personal anecdote. Since I was very young, I had very dark bags under my eyes, a unique trait which my grandmother would laugh and say “You look like a racoon with its mask.” I have always felt a special bond with this animal and I still identify with it—both because of the bags under the eyes, as well as the pleasure of working with my hands—as its Náhuatl name mapach means “the one with hands.” When I learned this year’s competition theme, I remembered the existence of a raccoon endemic to Cozumel Island that was quite uncommon because of its size. It’s known as the Cozumel or pygmy raccoon. The pygmy raccoon is critically endangered. This disturbing fact made me decide to use it for the creation of my quilt because I want to bring attention to it so we can all contribute to its conservation. This type of raccoon is unique in the world, and proudly Mexican.
Made by: Lilia Jiménez Meza
Materials: Polyester and rayon embroidery thread
The inspiration for this quilt comes from the grave, the jungle, and the embroidered work of indigenous women. This quilt is a simple homage to the magic and freedom of these women and their hands, which transcend through their textiles. In the center, Pakal’s grave sums up the Mayan cosmovision of life and death, where Pakal rises within the Ceiba a sacred tree with deep roots into the underworld which rises towards the main God and the infinite, reaching out with its branches. When we die, we become part of our earth. According to the vision of the Mesoamerican people, life and death are connected like the different cycles of nature. Pakal’s grave is found in the majestic ancient city of Palenque, deep within the jungle in Chiapas.
Made by: Sissi Gutierrez
Materials: Pastel paints and textile acrylics.
Yaxchilán is located on the southern bank of the Ucumacinta river in Chiapas, México. It was an important Mayan ceremonial center, and many of its buildings still stand. Magnificent lintels were sculpted there, narrating the ritual lives of royalty. Lintel 25 represents Lady Ix’ K’abal Xook (Shark)—the favorite wife of King Itsamnaaj B’alam II (d. 742)—summoning the founder during the rites of Shield Jaguar II’s rise to the throne. Ix’ K’abal Xook conjures a vision snake with two heads and the body of a centipede. High above, an armed warrior with a Teotihuacán headpiece appears. Xook looks at him, petrified, and offers him a piece of paper soaked in her own blood. Her right hand holds a skull that brings our attention to the relief of a rising curve that’s shaped like a fang and wraps around her name and titles of nobility. This quilt hopes to support the recent revindication of the Mayan woman, and thus pay homage to all women through this powerful Mayan queen.
NEVEREND'S SPRING (NEVERENDING SPRING)
Made by: Clara Rangel
Materials: Hand dyed fabric with Japanese inks, batik fabrics and starch
Flowers are very abundant in México. My theme is the never-ending spring, depicting flowers that we see year round in different places around México. Bougainvillea are always present in spring and found almost everywhere, also the California poppies or golden thimbles and the foxgloves–also called thimbles–are wild flowers. I really love the last two because their names identify with my passion: sewing.
DAY OF THE DEAD
Made by: Sonia Ruiz
Materials: Beads, sequins, embroidery thread, yarns, thread sketched, 3-D raw-edge flowers, photo of my father, a piece of my mother’s wedding rosary
Day of the Dead is a Méxican celebration, a day to celebrate, remember, and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. I created this quilt in honor of the memory of my father, Gregorio Humberto Flores, who passed away in March of 1994, and of the beautiful memories and love of our culture that he instilled in us. The year I made Day of the Dead marked the 25th anniversary of his death.
STORIES WOVEN BY AN ARTIST’S HANDS
Made by: Rosa Martha Girón Canónico
Materials: Textiles from San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, and Pátzcuaro, Mexican textiles, thread and fabric markers
My inspiration is born from an intense search that I did in order to find something that would motivate me to make this quilt, and that would also be representative of our beautiful country and its wonderful textiles. I also wanted to use an attractive color scheme that would transmit joy and pride in our roots. I enjoyed discovering that each textile is imprinted, not only with its maker’s original design, but also with the craftsperson’s ancestry.
POK A POK
Made by: Maria de Lourdes Cruz Romero
Pok a Pok is the name of the Mayan ball game, due to the sound produced by the ball as it hits the walls during the game. The ball game had a ritual sense that represented movement and fighting between light and darkness, good and evil, represented by the two teams of players that must hit the ball with their hips and arms, keeping it moving until it hits one of the hoops at either side of the field. The ball game inspired me because I think it represents us all, responsible for the positive or negative movement in our lives.
VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
Made by: Mary Ann Vaca Lambert
Materials: Colored pencils and metallic fabric paint
My inspiration was my grandmother, Maria Herrera Vaca. She gave me my first medallion of the Virgin of Guadalupe to wear when I was 10 years old. I have always prayed to her since then. She keeps me close to my grandmother. I had wanted to make this quilt for a long time and Expo Patchwork gave me the motivation to pay my respects to my heritage, my family, and the country they loved.
THE CATRINA IN MICHOCAN
Made by: Maria de Lourdes Cruz Romero
This quilt came from my deep love for México and its traditions. The inspiration came after a visit to the town of Angangueo—in the state of Michoacán. This is one of the places where the Monarch butterflies come to hibernate every year, after a long trip all the way from Canada. Since the butterflies arrive in Michoacán at the end of October, the Purépecha indigenous people believe that they carry the souls of the deceased back to the land of the living in order to spend Day of the Dead in the company of their loved ones. When I learned about this belief, I knew that I had to make a quilt related to the Day of the Dead, the most important Mexican holiday, celebrated since Pre-Columbian times. The Catrina is a very important Mexican character. Death has been an important part of life in México, because it is seen as the next step in the natural cycle. As the representation of death, skulls can be found in ancient temples, pottery, and figures. The image of La Catrina came first into existence in 1912 as an engraving by the master José Guadalupe Posada, who created it for a Day of the Dead cartoon to be published in the newspapers. Each year, families create an altar where they remember their beloved ones who have passed away. The altar contains photos of the deceased, things they liked, as well as their favorite food and drinks. The marigold flowers at La Catrina’s feet are traditionally used as decoration. Their bright orange petals are said to keep the warmth of the sun, so they are used to create a path leading to the altar, lighting the way to guide the souls back home. The bottom border shows pan de muerto or the bread of the dead, which is a sweet round bread decorated with bone-shaped pieces on top.
Made by: Martha Maldonado
I made this quilt inspired by the exuberance of the Mexican southeast, as well as the richness of its lands, which make it such an attractive destination internationally. I lived with my parents in Cancún for some years and worked in a hotel. Beautiful flowers are always a part of tourist destinations.
PAPEL PICADO AL VIENTO
Made by: Maria de Lourdes Cruz Romero, Karen Caballero, Carolina flores, Cecilia Koppmann, Marcia Baraldi, Gislene Caldeira, Edith Sanchez, Ilda Garcia, and Fatima Landi
This quilt was born in a class during the first Trajinera Quilt Cruise in Xochimilco, México City, famous for its charming canals. All the people who participated in the class donated one of their blocks so that I could put together a quilt to remind us of our first patchwork class on board a barge, among the mariachi music, the food, tequila, and many flowers from the ancient channels of Xochimilco.
Made by: Raquel Paulín Velasco
Materials: Wixárica or Huichol textiles
(this is who makes the textiles not the quilt made by the Marakame [shaman] Don Chabelo with his daughters, Irma and Gloria González González, who work in Santa María del Oro, Nayarit)
Some time ago, I was in contact with the Wixárika community in Nayarit. An entire family made a Huichol mural for the Paris Métro and I had the opportunity to coordinate its making and shipping. The Wixárica are an ethnic group from the area known as the Great Nayar. The states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Durango, and Zacatecas come together among rivers, mountains, and deserts. That’s where the Huicholes live, but they call themselves Wixaritari or Wixárika people. Their art is ancestral; they imagine dialogues with their images and they specialize in storytelling in everything they do. In their worldview, the deer sacrificed itself for them, and in every drop of blood that was spilled, a Tzikuri or peyote, their sacred food, was born. The eyes of God represent the coordinates of their sacred places. Everything they do carries a secret: in their clothes, wristbands, bowls, pictures, the hand-embroidered art pieces, etc., and it is all related to color. The deer represents truth; the eagle is related to the sun, which supports the world; the snake represents rain, sun-rays, and movement. Even though it may not be easy to understand the mysticism of these people, one cannot help but feel wonder at the colors used in their craft.
Made by: Elizabeth A Elizabeth A. Rising
Within the theme of traditional Mexican celebrations, I immediately thought of many colors and very happy music--mariachi! The collaboration of my daughter, whose friend is a mariachi, and with a lot of enthusiasm, Mariachi Tunes quilt was born. We are now missing only the chiles en nogada, which is a delicious walnut cream sauce.
Made by: Maria Cristina Lona Sánchez
Materials: Embroidery thread and paint
The most visited pyramid in México during the spring equinox is the Pyramid of Kukulkán, also known as “El Castillo” (The Castle) in Chichen Itzá. The equinox is an astronomical phenomenon through which the hours of the day equal those of the night. The cultural activities celebrating the equinox include dance performances, theatre, rituals, and many other activities. The spring equinox is the moment in which the sun crosses directly over the Equator, creating effects of light and shadow. The sunlight shining down the stairs of this pyramid in Chichen Itzá reveals the figure of a snake as the edges of the stairs create an undulating effect.
TULUM, CITY OF THE RISING SUN
Made by: Gethyn L. Soderman
I chose to use the ancient city of Tulum for this challenge because of my love of landscape, seascape, and architecture. The ancient buildings shining in the morning sun above the sea represents for me the Mayan desire to seamlessly blend people and nature.
Made by: Sonia Ruiz
Materials: Oaxaca hand-dyed woven belts and handmade dolls, orange peel necklace, hand-carved wooden fis buttons, assorted ribbons, thread, and various jewelry
In 2000 on one of our family vacations, we were visiting Tlaquepaque in Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende, and Dolores Hidalgo in Guanajuato, along with many little towns and markets throughout our road trip. In one of the markets I met an indigenous woman creating beautiful hand embroideries of daily life activities. I asked her if she could make one with three ladies representing me and my two sisters and the next day, to my amazement, she had. This is where my love of the three ladies or “Las Comadres,” as I call them, began. I had this embroidered textile framed for years, but with this quilt competition, I quickly unframed it and started looking at all my Mexican table runners. I wanted to showcase my ladies with colorful backstrap loom-woven table runners. I am very proud to say that everything in this quilt is made in México, except the batting.
Made by: Sissi Gutiérrez, Arturo Aranda, Verónica Toledo
Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, played a dominant role as a god, myth, historical figure, and symbol in the ancient consciousness of the Aztecs, Mayans, and other cultures. He was a man-god, who incarnated on earth, to bring spirit and matter into harmony. The study of Quetzalcoatl is complicated by the fact that he takes on many aspects, though the underlying motif remains an attempt to reconnect body and spirit. The Plumed Serpent becomes a perfect representation of wholeness. It combines the spirit’s longing for transcendence, yet the body is the vehicle through which we can serve others.
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