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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Erika's World

My sister in law asked me this summer if I would make her an art quilt wall hanging for her den. She asked that it be about her mom. Thus Erika's World was born. Erika is my ma-in-law, and she has been in my life for 30+ years now. We have quite a history...we used to write to each other weekly for MANY years (and she saved all those letters)... we have visited twice a year for many years summer and winter sometimes spring between California where I am and Minnesota where she is now. (Earlier she lived in Cambridge, MA near Harvard Square).
But in her latter years in MN she was pretty home bound in her daughters home in MN where she lived with her grandson from the time he was 6 months old until she was placed in a nursing home this past summer. Grandson is now a senior at the University of MN in the drama dept.
Erika loved to feed the birds and squirrels in their backyard and did so sun or snow on a daily basis.

The quilt depicts as best I could her love of nature and her love of music. You can see her in the upper right hand corner playing the piano in the nursing home where she lives. Dementia plays an active role in her life today. So I am hoping this quilt will bring back pleasant memories for her of those things and family members she loves so much and who love her in return.

This first section in her bird houses, birds and flowers in the back yard of their home. And she and I taken last summer when we visited.

And this is the reverse side of the same section of the quilt. I love how the bobbin threads transfer the picture so nicely again.

Here is the whole thing...birds, trees, ducks, squirrels, music, grandson hanging from center tree, son and ma, daughter being playful bottom left, early photos of Erika and her husband,
Erika and her young children, later photos of Erika and her grown children and grandchild, young Erika, old Erika...the music she loves still, i.e. "Erika's World".
It was a joy to make and I look forward giving it to them this Christmas holiday when we go to visit. I'll report back her reactions and perhaps add some photos of Erika with the quilt.
At the bottom right are photos of ducks that represent a duck family that came back each year to the yard to be fed by Erika. She gave them a pond to swim in too. ;-)
There is a strip of German ribbon across the bottom of this that represents Erika's German heritage. She was born in Berlin. And she came to the US as the war bride of my DH's father.
You can see more of them in an earlier quilt below: 1940's quilt "War, Love and Liberation".
This is the label I made on cloth and hand sewed to the back of the quilt:

And a close up of sunflower with beads added for embellishment sake~

December 2008 by Lynn
Special thanks to Cris, Artist in Oregon, who sent me photos of live birds and squirrels and ducks from her yard that closely matched those in Erika's yard to use in this quilt.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Star is Born

Update: "A Star is Born" is hanging in a show at the Vacaville Art Gallery until Jan. 24, 2009. I put her in a black shadow box and with the light shining on her and reflecting of the Angelia fibers she stands out and shines beautifully!

I belong to an art quilt group called Around The World In Twenty Quilts, which can be accessed via my sidebar "other blogs". We have a quarterly challenge to make a small approximately 8" X 11" size or A4 as the Netherlands/Australian and UK folks call it. One member picks a challenge theme and we have a few months to produce it. The first challenge was Trees seen below this post, and this one is Stellar. Be sure to go to the ATWI20Q site to see all of quilts. You will be glad you did.

I enjoyed making this small quiltlet using Angelina fibers which I hand felted using a four needle hand punch I bought last summer. This was my first time felting using it and the fibers. The black background fabric is fleece. I free motion top stitched and hand embroidered french knots. I sewed on tiny red beads and some larger circular flat beads that I picked up at the bead store for the adjoining stars. The binding is a black satin ribbon. It is within the challenge size of A4.

I based my quilt on this information and photo found on line: Emission nebula NGC 604 lies in a spiral arm of galaxy M33, 2.7 million light-years away in the constellation Triangulum. This is a site where stars are being born. Though such nebulae are common in galaxies, this one is particularly large, nearly 1,500 light-years across. At the heart of NGC 604 are over 200 hot stars, much more massive than our Sun (15 to 60 solar masses). They heat the gaseous walls of the nebula making the gas fluoresce. Their light also highlights the nebula's three-dimensional shape, like a lantern in a cavern. The image was taken on January 17, 1995 with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.
CREDIT: Hubble Space Telescope, photo PR96-27B
COPYRIGHT: This photo is not copyright.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Remember "Night Owl"? She's to be Shown!

My tree quilt done for the Around The World in 20 Quilts first challenge, which I named "Night Owl", will be shown at the Vacaville Art's League Art Gallery starting tomorrow. The show called "Nature's Bounty" runs for a month and a half.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This is one of the most wonderful parts of quilting I have is giving a gift that has great meaning to it's reciprocate. In this case it is the art quilt wall hanging I made in tribute to our dear friend, Jim, who died this summer. I made it for his daughter, Abby, shown here receiving the quilt. She wrote these words of appreciation to me:

"Dearest Lynn,

Thank you SOOOOO much for my beautiful wall hanging that you made me! I love it so much. I can't tell you how much that means to me. That is one of the sweetest gifts I have ever been given and one that I will cherish always. I am so deeply touched that you put that together for me."
The quilt is made up of photos of our history with Jim, his history, and the use of his old Hawaiian shirts that he loved to wear. They are set off by the black broadcloth cotton background and top sewn free motion style.

More of this quilt can be seen in the post below this one.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Tribute To Jim for His Daughter Abby

This 42" X 35" art quilt is made from black broadcloth Cotton for the back ground fabric and backing. The colorful fabrics are all taken from old Hawaiian shirts that belonged to our friend Jim before he died this summer. When we were at his memorial service in July I vowed to make a memory quilt for his daughter to remember her father by. The eight photographs span from 1970 to 2008. Two photos include my DH who was a close friend from when they were in their 20's. They are playing music together in the top left photo. Jim was an incredibly talented musician. Jim was also an avid fly fisherman thus the fishing theme. I pieced a lot of scraps from the shirts together to create the binding. After adhering the eight 5" X 7" photos, which are printed on cloth to the back ground fabric leaving the edges frayed, I free motion top stitched around the framed photos and added embellishments (fish, flowers) with a variegated turquoise Sulky thread.
I wanted to convey water with this sewing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Grand Daughter's Art Quilted by Grandma Lynn

My grand daughter, aged "3 & 3 quarters" she said, drew a stack of pictures for me. I selected two to turn into art quilts (so far). The castle and the two girls who are "me and mommy" she told me.

Click on photos to see them enlarged:
Here is my design board with lots of GD's art surrounding the two pictures made into art quilt wall hangings. Or they could be put together in a big cloth book as well.
Hanging sleeves will be added to the backs and stories on cloth if I can get GD to tell them to me first.

First I copied her pictures on my printer and then sewed over GDs lines onto off-white muslin fabric. I then layered around this in other fabric: The castle has a sky in an eyelet blue with lots of silver sequins sewn into it that sparkle in the light like stars in the sky. The water or moat, surrounding the castle, is a water-like green/blue batik. Fabric I picked up in MN on a recent trip and used in my Night Owl quilt was perfect wood-like colors for the planks leading to the castle door and for a border around it. Then a border in red followed by the backing fabric in a tiny floral design comes forward forming the outer border or frame. It is then top stitched free motion style by machine.

The two girls picture was done similarly, and framed in yellow with gold glittery threads swirling around and around in that background color as well as in the blond girls hair adding sparkle. A turquoise fairy printed fabric follows that includes a grandma at her sewing machine quilting, then a border in red that has hearts top sewn onto it, followed by the backing fabric again brought forward to frame it. I used Paint Stiks to color both pictures, letting this paint dry for five days before ironing it into place.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Night Owl is now FOR SALE in my ETSY STORE

I belong to a quilters group made up of 20 women from around the world aptly called: Around the World in 20 Quilts. Our first challenge was to make a quilt sized 12" by 20" in landscape form with the theme TREES. This is my rendition and I call it "Night Owl".

I enjoyed learning about and using the "confetti" technique for many of the leaves on my trees giving them a three dimensional effect. I used fabrics I gleaned on our recent car trek across many states in June/July of this year visiting many, many fabric shops.

I also used a photo of a local owl and had fun top stitching him following the colors in my photo. So he was printed first on cloth, cut out and sewn onto the quilt. My DH is put off by the fact that "our owl" is a burrowing owl and does not hang out in trees. Somehow this one got up there however, and there he sits! Artistic license if you will.

The batik background fabric looked like night to me with it's swirling blues and I top stitched it with small swirl motions. I used dark fabric for the binding to continue the feel of night.

The whole thing was inspired by a painting my friend, Cris the artist in Oregon made for me.

This was a fun project done with others. To see their quilts go to the Around The World in 20 Quilts blog which can be found on my sidebar.

Double Click on photo to enlarge and see more detail:

Cris' painting from which I got my inspiration:

My quilt "Night Owl" where I turn day into night:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

1940 America's Greatest Generation: War, Love And Liberation

This is a quilt I made for an upcoming show at the art gallery in July.
I followed the theme of The 1940's America's Greatest Generation by incorporating my family's and my husband's family's life experiences of those times.

My FIL who I never met, served in the US Army. He was one of the many brave soldiers who landed on D Day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. He also was instrumental in the liquidation of concentration camps, freeing its surviving victims; and interrogating Nazi war criminals. He met my MIL there in 1945 and she worked as his interpreter. My husband was born there. She became a war bride, as did my aunt, my mother's youngest sister. My uncle who served in the Pacific and in Guam met and married my aunt during the war also in 1945.

My immediate family was at home, parents doing neighborhood watch, and sending money to Israel for it's statehood. Grandparents pictured with me on my first birthday, and my aunt with my brother. Family staying close and supportive.

All the materials for this piece were gleaned at either garage sales or thrift stores: Fabrics and threads and embellishments alike. Nothing used cost more than $1.50 and most was in the neighborhood of 25 cents.

I did all the embroidery in the car on our summer vacation in early June.

Double click on photos to see them enlarged.

The letter under the heading "Fears of War" in the upper left hand corner was written by my husband's great grandmother to her grandson, his father, in 1940. You can read her fear in her words in this letter.

In the upper right corner: The picture of the blue tin box, a Tzdaka (Hebrew) box was for collecting charity during this time to send to Israel. Tekun Olam means to heal the world.
Thanks to my friend, Jon/Hopper in Newfoundland, my blog friend, for allowing me to use his photograph. My mother had the exact same box in our hall closet.

This second photo is my family taken while on a vacation in 1944. I was around 3 years old at the time.

This part of the piece features my husbands parents who met and married in Berlin, Germany, my MIL's homeland.

This photo depicts the closing of the war camps where six million Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. were murdered. The gold stars of which there are six represent those six million lives. I didn't realize till I had added the binding that there were six stars across the top of the quilt as well. I distressed the stars that Jews were forced to wear as identification, to make them look old and worn.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tribute To Jim

Our friend Jim died a week ago today. We will see his family late next month on a trip in their area. I wanted to bring something that depicted our past history together. And was some how a tribute to Jim. This hurriedly made quilted memory quilt is the result.
The top panel shows Jim and my husband, buddies since they met in the early 70's, playing music together, and Jim with his then baby daughter. The middle panel shows Jim in his element outdoors in nature, something he knew a lot about; and the last panel he and his then wife on a cruise, dressed in a suit, something I never saw in person; Jim more comfortable as fisherman in jeans and a t-shirt; Fish for his profession as fly maker for fly fishermen of which he was one; and again he and my husband on a more recent visit (four years ago) now both "old guys" but still really good buddies.

double click on photo to see larger

I discovered the free motion satin stitch on my machine and used it around each photograph and around the outline sewing inside the edge of layered top, batting, backing fabrics, then cutting it around the edge careful not to cut the threads. Where I did I was able to sew over them after the cutting was done. I used this stitch for the peace signs too. Then free motion top sewed flowers, words, trees, fish, waves for the quilting.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Memory quilt made for my aunt turning 89 this week.

What a joy it was to gift my dear aunt with this quilt filled with photos of family events, all the people in her life from birth till now. Her parents, her self as baby and child, young woman/bride, family holidays, children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The joy it gave her to receive was such a gift to me, the giver.

This kind of quilt is more than a blanket or wall hanging or even a work of art. It is life itself captured on cloth for the person to hug and hold and love. My dear cousins were already asking to be on a list to receive it next. ;-) I have no doubt this piece will stay in our family for generations to come.

I made this with some fabric from my stash: some white eyelet with a tiny floral and heart design; some rose/orange cotton for backing to the eyelet and to the back of the quilt, as well. I added photos of flowers on cloth from her garden and mine around the border, leaves cut from deep green batik became the family tree scattered between photos of family members. I made it in a pillowcase format so no extra binding was necessary. I was in a hurry as I had the idea to do it two weeks before her birthday!
And got it done just in time.

On the back I sewed a story of her life on cloth and a second page with numbered rows associated with the rows of photos and every ones names in the photos in each row. These I bound in green and hand sewed to the back, along with a photo of myself, bound similarly.

I top sewed free motion the names of everyone in our family as they entered the family starting with her parents (my grand parents), herself as baby, siblings, husband, children, etc.under the photos in each row.

At the very bottom I top sewed free motion a Happy Birthday greeting to my aunt.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Riding The Rails of The Orient Express

Today (April 21st) this piece won an honorable mention award in the Vacaville art gallery's juried art show.

No longer for sale. My daughter admired this one and said it would look good hanging in her home. So that is where it went this weekend. (Sept. 20, 2008)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Top Stitched, Appliqued Clematis Altered For Newlyweds to Be

This quilt now hangs proudly in the home of my son Dan and his new wife Jackie in Oregon.
They were married on August 16, 2008.

This Clematis quilt is from a pattern design by Melinda Bula using her book Cutting-Garden Quilts Fabulous Fusible Flowers. I first saw Melinda's work in a quilt show and bought her book.
I went home and began the long ardourous process of constructing this quilt. I love that the back is as beautiful as the front, as she suggested using the same colored threads in the bobbins as in the top stitches. On the black background you get another picture!

My next challenge will be using my own photos of flowers to create my own design in this fashion.This wall hanging hung at the Vacaville Art Gallery from March 21-April 18th. On May 1, it went to The Quilted Heart Quilt shop to hang (out) there a while. The place I learned to quilt last July!

Life's Crazy Pieces is now a WINNER!

I am proud to announce that a picture this quilt was voted in along with 12 other pieces of artists works to be in the 2009 Art Calendar in New Zealand. What an honor! October 5, 2009
On April 21, this quilted wall hanging was selected to be in the Vacaville art gallery's juried art show. And now, May 20, it's been entered into the 65Plus-the art and lives of older artists calendar contest in New Zealand. The winners will be exhibited on the virtual Tart website during October 2008. ( )

This is what traditionalist might call a crazy patchwork quilt. I wanted to do something with patchwork, so did so on a small scale wall hanging. (18" X 23") It's top stitched using a free motion foot, metallic and rayon threads, and beaded a bit for extra pizazz. It is bound and has a hanging sleeve on reverse side. Colors are brighter than shown here. Double clicking on photos shows greater detail.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Abstract Art Quilt Wall Hanging in Black and White

On April 21, 2008, this quilted wall hanging was selected to be in the Vacaville Art Gallery's juried art show.

May 20: comment overheard by art director while two women were looking at this quilt: "The person who made this one must have been quilting for years!" ;-)

[Nope, less than 6 months when I made this one]

The frayed "flowers" in this abstract design are taken from the Rose quilt in the heading of this blog.
The use of black and white changes the look to a more sophisticated quilt. Each 9 inch square is top stitched free motion style in an echo pattern around the outer layer of the "flower". Most of the fabrics used here are batiks the rest being cotton. It comes together in a stand out wall hanging.

This quilt is hanging in the Vacaville Art Gallery from March 21st until April 18th, 2008.
It also hung in the Quilted Heart Quilt Shop from March 1-March 15, 2008.

Double clicking on photo allows you to see more detail.

Baby or Child's Small play blanket

This is a good example of a children's wall hanging or doll blanket incorporating family memories. There are photos of grandparents with grandchildren and grandchildren by themselves and siblings together in this playful child's quilt. Embellishments include metallic threads and ribbons of varying colors and textures.
This frayed edge piece was made with a baby or child in mind. The textures and layers give a baby something to grab onto. The squares are trimmed in yarn for another texture and look.
Animals cut from a cotton t-shirt walk around the outside border rectangles, some with a glitter of gold or silver raised sparkle and an added sparkly rhinestone. An inner border of colorful ladybugs attracts more interest.

Happy Customer Received this Quilted Art Wall Hanging

The woman who ordered this quilt made grew up in South Africa, now resides in London, England. She wanted something that incorporated her art, her family history, and the fact that she was turning sixty years of age. I met her through blogging, and her blog name is Forever Young.

I created this collage using family photos, pieces of her art, symbols that I knew would resonate for her. Embellishments included beads from South Africa, and other beads to brighten and add sparkle. Photos and art pieces were printed on cloth and sewn into the whole collage. There are a few pieces that I stuffed for a three dimentional look and feel. The design in the border is top sewn to make it stand out more, and the whole inside is also sewn using free motion stitching. Some of the outside border design is cut out also giving it another dimentional feel to it.

Needless to say her response to receiving this quilt, her purchase, was again one of high emotion. The praise and thanks I received were a gift for me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ella Quilt Made Great Memory Wedding Heirloom

Memory quilts tell the history of a person or family in ways that bring heartfelt joy to the receiver of such a work of art. I made this piece for a wedding gift for a young cousin.
The central character is her great grandmother, Ella, who is centered in the large photo. She is surrounded by her loved ones from early marriage, first child, first grandchild, great grandchildren, and last days of life. This piece is embellished with her own costume jewelry, pictures and beads, and appliques that depict her love of sewing, and gardening. When my cousin received this piece in the mail she called me in tears. They were tears of joy and she was overwhelmed by the feelings this quilt brought to her. I added to the back of the piece a printed cloth with the story of Ella told by the quilt so it could be passed down to generations to come and be preserved as a true family heirloom. Double clicking on photo allows you to see more detail.