Picture Quilts for Three Daughters
Bereavement quilt made from father’s clothes for daughter Michelle
Michelle’s father was a musician who adored his three daughters. They all have wonderful memories of being with him at the beaches along the Columbia river, depicted above as seen from a mythic window. As in a dream state, Michelle is seen going forth with the support of her father’s love (symbolically seen as he reaches down to hold her hand throughout her life).
Bereavement quilt made from father’s clothes for daughter Katherine
Katherine’s quilt shows her father holding her hand when she was a toddler as they wade out into the shallows of the Columbia River. Their boat is moored close by. I copied the silhouette from a beautiful photograph that Katherine cherishes of the two of them.
Bereavement quilt made from father’s quilts for daughter Becca
Becca wanted a more abstract representation of water in her quilt along with a string of words that reminded her of her father and their closeness. My idea for this quilt was to view the sea as if one were looking out of a porthole. And I wanted to weave the words around the porthole, rather than to arrange them in the usual fastion along the border.
Story of a Life
The quilt below is an example of my own design, revealed to the client upon completion. This was my first bereavement quilt.
The pictures below depict the progress of a pictorial quilt I made for a mother whose vibrant 35-year-old daughter was brutally murdered. This king-size quilt was made to be hung on the wall or used on a bed.
The slideshow below takes you through the design process: first studying the clothes to get a sense of the lady who wore them, next designing the quilt using a flannel-covered wall. I usually let the clothes guide the process. The construction phase follows, and after that the top is quilted on my longarm machine, a border is added and the finished quilt produced.
This quilt depicts the daughter lying against a brown tree trunk beside another black tree trunk and looking out over the city of Anchorage and the mountains of Alaska beyond. Her house is shown on the right. A picture of her mother and her, as a toddler, astride a family horse is set against of fan of her colorful skirts. At the bottom is the familiar poem, a favorite of the mother’s, which begins: “Do not stand on my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep . . . .” The poem is embroidered on a yellow sleeveless dress, which was the dress her daughter was wearing the last time they met. Tires are made from buttons, lace and collars are used to make roads and walkways. Even the woodpecker’s markings come from an epaulet on a jacket.
Thirty-two illustrious red hearts against black backgrounds form the border symbolizes the daughter’s warmth, vitality, and love of animals and people. To enlarge the pictures, doubleclick on any picture.
To produce a pictorial quilt, it is necessary to learn about the loved one who wore the clothes. My client was generous with notes and pictures to guide me through the process.