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Tears for Jean

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I lost my only sister several years ago.  The hole is your heart just doesn’t go away.  She went through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation over 5 years.  Some of those times I went to sit with her during those treatments.  Being a quilter, I had to have something for my fingers to do during those periods of time.  I cut out a lot of blocks and sat and did hand piecing waiting for that drip to be complete.  Over the years of her treatment, that is the only time I worked on them.  Since she has passed away, the project has been buried deep in the quilting room.  I’ve brought it out a few time and just couldn’t bring myself to finish what I had started.  Last month, I finally pulled it out and put it together.

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I couldn’t bring myself to put any more of the blocks together.  Then it struck me that making the pieces fall away from the central design was the process that I watched with my sister.  I watched the pieces of her fall away gradually during the years of her treatment. To me this piece represents the process that I watched play out in front of me.

It is hand pieced and hand quilted.  42″x approximately 5?”

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

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Dreaming of Quilts

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
Vincent Van Gogh

I love this quote!  I just have to replace painting with quilting!

The design on the central portion of this quilt is a variant on a military helmet found in Italy and dated to approximately 325 BC.  The side designs were just a take off of the central design.  I found the teal fabric on a trip one summer in Grand Island Nebraska.  It has been looking at me for awhile.  I couldn’t bear to cut it up into little pieces so decided to used it in bigger swatches.

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The quilt is 48by58inches.  It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.  It was completed in 2016.

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Water Wheels

“The waterwheel accepts water and turns and gives it away, weeping.”― Jalaluddin Rumi

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I like to collect fabric while traveling.  The salmon colored fabric was picked up in Grand Island, Nebraska several years ago.  It has sat on the shelf looking at me for several years.  I finally found a way to use it that preserved the sun dying of the leaf patterns.  The wheel fabric down the center was picked up on the say through Sedona, Arizona last year.  The center of the border was picked up on a visit to Virginia Beach, Va.  And yes, I do  support the local quilt shops also and we have some great ones here in Salt Lake City,

 

This piece was hand appliqued and hand quilted.  52″x60″.  Completed 2016

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Brown and Teal

Mimbres, which means “willows” in Spanish, is the name given to a cottonwood- and willow-lined river in southwestern New Mexico. The very spectacular pottery found in and around the Mimbres Valley also came to be called Mimbres, and the name was soon applied to the people who made the pottery.  Michelle Hegmon & Margaret Nelson

 

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The block pattern for this quilt is “Star of Destiny” published in 1906 in Practical Needlework for Clara Stone.  The applique in the upper left is a stylistic representation of large animals adapted from Mimbres pottery design.  The lower right design is a circ. 1920, from pottery in the middle Mimbres river area and represents whirlwinds.

The quilt is 56″by 56″.  Fabric is commercial batiks.  It is hand quilted and hand appliqued.  Finished in 2016

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The Children of Lir

Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and ruler of sea called Lir. He had a beautiful wife, called Eva, who gave him four children – eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When children were young, their mother Eva died. Lir and children were very sad, and King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married Eva’s sister Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.

Aoife loved children and Lir at first, but soon she became very jealous of time that King spent with Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took children to swim in a lake while sun was hot in sky. When they got there and children took to water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans.  http://irelandofthewelcomes.com/the-children-of-lir/

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This quilt represent the story of the “Children of Lir”.  The fabric in the center of the quilt is hand dyed.  The orange and yellow fabric in the border represents the burning jealousy of the step mother.

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The knotwork represent the children that were turned into swans.

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The illusion of the step mother is painted on the fabric with Paint Stik.

The quilt is machine and hand quilted and is approximately 56in x56 in.

 

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Dreaming of Spring Again

dreaming 2The sky is gray, the atmosphere is very gloomy and it is so cold outside.  But I got some great news today.  My quilt that has been on loan to the “500 Traditional Quilts” tour is going to make it’s final appearance in the International Quilt Festival in Chicago from April 4 through April 7, 2016.  It was really exciting to get this news.

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More Celtic Dreams

Am fear nach cuir a shnaidhm, caillidh e chiad ghrèim.
The man who puts not a knot on his thread loses the first stitch.

I love the intricacies of celtic design.  Aidan Meehan has published a series of books on Celtic design that are an excellent help when it comes to drafting the designs.  He is also very informative about the origins of the designs.  In this quilt I used a lot of his drafting techniques and design elements.

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Knot work is, of course a large part of celtic designs.  Zoomorphic design is also a key element.

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The design in the four corners of the quilt is after a Commaccio Flagon Mount, Italy, about 325 BC.  In the outline, you can see the mask, with the drop shaped eyes and bulbous nose.   In the corners are dragon shapes and in the triangles, griffin shapes.

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This is a close of of the knot work.

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This is a closeup of the central spiral.

The quilt is approximately 58×58 inches.  It is hand appliqued, and hand quilted.  It is finished with a corded edging.

Finished 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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