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 dyed 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 them 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 piecing it together and began putting the binding on it the morning of September 11, 2001. I found this to be so unsettling; I did not feel comfortable showing the quilt for a year.
50” x 79” 2001
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.