Roadmap for 2024

Looking ahead at 2024, I think I've already planned the show quilts I want to make during the year – at least the first three. If all goes according to plan, these three quilts will take me through September next year.

Arcane Snap (working title)

Template for Arcane Snap
This template design for Arcane Snap is not yet complete.

Size: 60" x 30"

Magic exists in my steampunk world; humans just haven't learned how to harness it and have instead embraced steam power as their society's primary energy source. However, magic is a natural force that pervades the land. When magical pressure builds, it eventually has to equalize — similarly to electrical charges causing lightning or tectonic plates causing an earthquake. What arcane energy resets, it's called a "snap" (might change this word in the future), and the result is the spiral seen above — a spontaneous visual manifestation of raw, unadulterated arcane energy.

This snap is relatively small and harmless, akin to cloud-to-cloud lightning or an earthquake tremor. However, large snaps can have devastating and unexpected effects on the surrounding area. One such thousand-year snap occurred in a populous human city with cataclysmic results. This event is what made the human government realize the elves — whom have mastery over arcana but had been mostly ignored by humans before this point — maybe had useful knowledge to share after all. That's when the humans sent an emissary to the elven kingdom, as seen in The Arrival.

Of Magic and Machine (working title)

(no visual for this one, yet)

Size: 36" x 48" (approximately)

I want to do a very atmospheric, somewhat abstract picture to enter in Quilt National. Although I've worked out the story and have an idea of what I want to make, I haven't yet done any concept sketches or looked for research images.

Imagine standing before a colossal clockwork machine out in the desert. This thing is several stories tall and towers over the landscape. It's made from enormous gears, pipes, crystals, and unidentifiable sheets of metal. Sand has blown through the lower part of the machine, creating sweeping dunes and obscuring part of the device. The metal is lit by golden light from an indeterminate source. It seems to be glowing from within.

The sky is dark. Stars and the moon are visible. Wispy clouds blow by.

What this machine does — or did — is unknown. It's ancient, made by an unknown people who had technology that has been lost to time. But I want viewers to get a sense that this machine blended mechanical knowledge with arcane power. The two do not have to exist as separate entities the way they do in my "present day" steampunk world.

Profit & Loss

Profit & Loss

Size: 65" x 40" (approximately)

I'm very excited for this one. Dragons! Finally!

The story is that this magma dragon is using the lava lake as a natural heat source to incubate her eggs. The humans have also recognized the geothermal energy provided by the lake and have set up a factory to harness that power.

The suits in the board room decided the dragon posed too much of a threat to their operation. She had to go, and they sent the team of grunts (represented by the placeholder meerkats in the above image) to kill her or drive her away.

This scenario — man vs nature or man vs beast — is a very common one in our world, and the result is almost always the same. Man moves in and the creatures living there either die or are forced to move. Although this happens all the time, I didn't want to illustrate yet another scenario where the animals lose. I wanted to make a creature that could fight back.

Momma magma dragon is like a living, sentient volcano. There is no animal equivalent to this creature in our world. There is no power that man possess that will get her to move if she doesn't want to. And she's about to be very, very angry.

The true theme for this design is the hubris of man. The arrogant board members who care only for money and think the pesky critter "next door" can be easily put down send a group of foot soldiers to do their dirty work. The foot soldiers who think their weapons are enough to control a living, breathing volcanic eruption don't realize they have merely been sent to their deaths. And one incensed, overprotective mother who is about to teach the foolish humans a costly, blood-soaked lesson.