Marie Watt (Seneca), Butterfly, 2015. Reclaimed wool blankets, satin binding, thread, cotton twill tape and tin jingle

How to Make a Sewing Card

Look closely at Marie Watt's Butterfly. This textile was started during Watt’s residency at the DAM during the summer of 2013. She was inspired by two young female powwow dancers that described how they felt when dancing in jingle dresses. Large abstract butterfly motifs refer to one of the girls that described feeling like a butterfly, floating while fancy shawl dancing. An aspect of a jingle dress is that the dancer may write a wish and place it inside of the jingles, and if that jingle falls off during the dance the wish comes true. The Denver community wrote wishes inside of the jingles in Butterfly.

Colorful and patterned reclaimed wool blankets

Marie Watt (Seneca), Butterfly, 2015. Reclaimed wool blankets, satin binding, thread, cotton twill tape and tin jingles; 94 x 126 in. Denver Art Museum: Funds from Loren G. Lipson, M.D., Vicki & Kent Logan, with additional funds from Brian Tschumper, Nancy Benson, Jan & Mike Tansey, and JoAnn & Bob Balzer, 2016.1A-B. © Marie Watt.

Your Turn

Here are some questions to ask:

Describe...

  • What colors do you see?
  • Do you notice any shapes or patterns?
  • What kind of materials do you see?
  • What do you hear when you look at this piece?

Analyze...

  • What kind of materials do you think Marie Watt used to make this?
  • How do you feel when you look at this art?
  • Does it remind you of a certain emotion?
  • Do you think Marie Watt made this by herself? Why or why not?

Relate...

  • Do you have blankets at home?
  • How do you use them? Where did they come from?
  • Do these blankets make you think of any particular memories?
  • How do you share stories in your family?
  • Are there any stories in your family that have been passed down from generation to generation?
  • What are some ways that you express your emotions without using words?
  • What wish or emotion will you incorporate into your piece of art?

Invitation to Create

What emotion or memory will you recreate on your sewing card? Is there a wish, intention, or feeling that you want to sew into your piece?

Materials:

  • Sewing Card
  • Needle, Yarn and/or ribbon
  • Tape
  • Colored pencils

Artmaking step by step:

  • Choose 2 or 3 pieces of yarn and use this Sewing Card.
  • Add some color to your Sewing Card by coloring it in with colored pencils (optional).
  • Plan your finished piece by placing your yarn onto your sewing card into the pattern you want to sew.
  • Tie your first yarn onto the needle and make your first stich. Tie a knot onto the back of your sewing card. Use a piece of tape to secure knot in place.
  • Sew your pattern by pushing the needle and thread through the sewing card pattern.
  • Tie pieces of yarn together to make one continuous piece of yarn.
  • When you are finished, tie a knot onto the back of the sewing card, and use tape to sew it in place.

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