Many of life’s most precious possessions are put away for safekeeping in a box under the bed, tucked back in a closet, or stored in a trunk in the attic. It may be an item that in itself is quite ordinary, made special only by our intensely personal emotional attachment. Many times these items belonged to someone we loved, sometimes not, but the item possesses the unique ability to trigger in us an emotional response, or to bring back a fond memory. Unfortunately, we cannot always find a safe way to display and enjoy these things that are precious to us. A quilt is a perfect way to showcase your memory or tell your story.
I specialize in custom quilts that tell life stories.
"Roses for Roseann"
This commission was made to honor the life of the client's mother. I was given the dress that 14 year old Roseann wore on her wedding day in 1948, along with the gloves and purse. I was given a detailed story of the client's memories of her mother, and each memory is illustrated in fabric. The dress has been mounted in a manner in which it can be safely removed, intact, if the client so desires.
Roseann had a photo taken of her hand on her wedding day. I was given the small black and white photo which I had blown up to the size of an actual hand. Then I slipped the hand into the actual glove it wore. Cool!
The purse holds a music box which plays Roseann's favorite song.
Jump Rope Eagle: The Eisenhower Years
Made in September 2010.
Sue Wildemuth of Illinois is an eagle quilt collector and researcher. When she realized she would never find a vintage eagle quilt for each decade of the 20th century, she decided to commission them. She chose different artists and assigned them a decade - I happily accepted the challenge of the 1950's. Parameters were that it had to be 24" by 24", an eagle had to figure prominently in the design, and it had to be easily recognizeable as depicting the 1950's. Well!!! I had already researched the 50's for the Happy Daze Craze quilt, so it was a piece of cake. There are 24 fabrics in the quilt, and 23 of those are authentic 1950's fabrics. The only newer fabric is the red and white stripe, which I utilized as lines upon which to write phrases relating to the 1950's.
"From Fried Pies to Glass Slippers" is the latest life story quilt, completed Nov. 2011. The recipient is alive, well, and amazing. When I was contacted about making this quilt, I told the daughter I had to see the stories first. The completed quilt can only be as interesting as the stories it illustrates. Well - I had no trouble on this one. The stories were fascinating and the memories vivid. The greatest challenge was using the client's clothing and fabrics. Most of the colors clashed, and there was scarcely a piece of cotton in the bin. The saving grace was a pink and white striped square dance dress from the 50's with umpty yards of fabric - cotton, thankfully. All the lace sashing came from the dress. Just whacked it right off the ruffle!
This block illustrates the husband on his white horse perfecting his roping skills on his young wife. The lilies (with beaded stamens) are spread around the surface of the quilt as tribute to the client's gardening skills and lily beds.
Here is the client, "Miss Attitude" at 2 or 3. Also as a young mother who could skillfully sew anything that a home or family could desire. The camel represents a trip to the Holy Land. As for the can.......it is a rebus. Look carefully.
Client's church, built of "shingles" I made from a dotted swiss apron. The wonderful oak tree is from a piece of 1940's barkcloth I had in my stash. Was I ever happy to find that tree!