This blog is a place to archive project processes and techniques from Painted Threads with descriptions of how work was produced. I am including comments that contain questions and answers pertaining to the work from many of the original blog posts.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Graven Images

click to get a large detailed image
I was inspired to make “Graven Images” while visiting cemeteries in New England, following up on some ancestral research. I found the symbols and images carved into the various stones fascinating in design, symbolism and historical context.

Wanting to recreate the look of stone in cloth, I hand dyed fabric in shades of gray using various techniques to emulate stone. I enlarged my photos of the stones and traced the designs using tracing paper. I put my fabric over the line drawings on a light box and traced the designs with pencil. The images were free motion quilted onto fabric and batting sandwiches creating dimensional images as though carving them into the fabric with needle and thread. Colored pencil was added to the recessed areas to create more depth. After the panels were quilted I trimmed and arranged them filling in any holes with small strips of quilted carved stone details and pieced them together.

The most haunting aspect of making this quilt was that after working on it, on and off for two years quilting the various panels, I spent 3 straight days finishing it and piecing it together, I began putting the binding on it the morning of September 11, 2001. I found this synchronicity to be so unsettling; I didn't feel comfortable showing the quilt for a year.

This was the first quilt I entered into the IQF show in Houston in 2002, it won Judges Choice and 3rd place Art Quilt Large.


  1. I love cemeteries but I could never create something like this. You have a real talent.


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