This grandmother’s flower garden quilt was actually influenced by three of Prince’s songs. Although each song was featured on different CDs during his career, all of the songs carried the theme of spirituality that can be found within his music. The first song was “The Digital Garden” on the Rainbow Children CD. I listened to that CD a lot while making the quilt. It is both an artistic and spiritual song about the blossoming of creativity and the burgeoning of spirituality within lyrical metaphors of a blossoming flower garden. I was inspired to create a pattern of purple roses that blossomed from the inside out with the light, medium and dark colored fabric framing one another. The second song was “When Doves Cry” from the Purple Rain soundtrack. Doves represent spiritual awakening. The border fabric has a purple background featuring white doves with the word “peace.” The third song was “Seven” from The Love Symbol CD. The song was about the symbolism of the number seven within the Bible. Prince was very emotionally connected to his faith, so I used seven rows of grandmother’s flower garden blocks appliquéd to the dove border fabric.
I worked through the entire holidays, so seeing Funkadesi at City Winery right after the New Year was a reward! Surprisingly, there were people in the audience who had never heard of them. After watching them perform, even they had to admit that they didn’t know they were in for a real treat.
I learned about them when I was a graduate student. I saw them at a local street festival in Evanston. I had no idea that they were Barack and Michelle’s favorite band. I learned that bit of information later. I also learned later that they have won the Chicago Music Awards 6 times. All I knew was they were great performers. There are a number of healthcare workers in the band. They have been together for nearly 20 years. They all come from different ethnic backgrounds: Latin American, Jamaican, African American, and South Asian. The music is a cross section of rap, Latin, Indian music, blues, reggae, and of course, funk.
As a result of this combination of musical and cultural influences, when they perform, you can’t help but move your behind, even if you don’t think you can.
They even cleared the areas near the wall for people to dance, which they did. Their ending song was “Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley, which made the audience feel real good about coming out and dancing in the middle of a cold winter night.