Friday, August 8, 2014

Yellow is the Color of Friendship and Cousins Make the Best Friends!

After nearly three years, the First Round of the online art quilting group that I helped to organize is now over!  For our final Reveal, the theme for the 12"x12" quilts was Friendship.  Early on I choose a charming photo of our two youngest grandchildren to use in the quilt.  I was eager to try screen printing, too.  Trying new techniques and using new-to-me materials has always been one of my personal goals in being a part of this group.

A friend with a Thermofax machine graciously made the screen for me to use.  It took many tries for me to get an image that I liked.  Around the same time, the sunflower fields between Ft. Worth and Waco were at their most glorious.  Somehow I wanted to combine sunflowers with this image of the little boys.

I didn't get a photograph of the fields that suited me, but then one appeared in the local newspaper, the Waco Tribune-Herald.  I received permission to use this image, went down to their offices to pick it up and purchase it, and then I used Transfer Artist Paper to transfer the image onto fabric.  

Still--how to work these two images into a coherent quilt?  Somehow I happened onto a list online that connected colors with emotions.  Yellow was the color associated with friendship!  Hurrah!  Now I had a way to link the two.  I added a third element, a silk flower sunflower and tacked it onto the batik background, a luscious fabric of red-orange, yellow, and white.  I quilted the background by hand, using Perle cotton and an embroidery running stitch.  The quilting hardly shows, so busy is the background!

As I worked I thought about the older two grandchildren.  Would they feel hurt that I didn't include them?  The photo of the younger boys was taken in 2006 at a wonderful beach house on Lake Michigan.  We had gathered there as a family to celebrate bachelor son Rob's 40th birthday.  And so I included on the back of the quilt not only the photo that led to the screen print, but also photos of all four of the grandchildren (at ages 2, 3, 4, and 5), as well as their beloved Uncle Rob.

It is bitter-sweet for me to remember that the California grandchildren's mother, our beloved Kathy, was the one who first had the idea to celebrate her brother's birthday together.  She knew that without a wife, there would be no one to engineer any sort of celebration for this milestone birthday!  So this quilt is, in a way, a tribute to Kathy's thoughtfulness and love for her brother, who was born 21 months after her birth; Kathy departed this Earth in February, 2012.

Below are close-ups of the front and back of this, my last quilt in the first round of The Material Mavens!

Tribune-Herald staff photographer Rod Aydelotte took
the sunflower-field photo.

I superimposed these images onto a Jacquard ExtraOrganza printable
sheet that can be used with an ink jet printer.

The top two photos were taken on the big, wrap-around porch
at the house on Lake Michigan.  Uncle Rob sits with the
children on our last morning there, they still clad in
their PJ's!

The bottom image. taken the same summer, is of the children in Waco, at
the Mayborn Museum, a place we visit yearly when they come to visit.


  1. In my opinion, this is your best quilt yet. I love the pictures and the sunflowers (think Kansas). It is a fitting memorial and so wonderful to include us in memories of your family.

  2. This is so sweet! I also love the sunflowers. The transformation of the image is neat.