Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Graven Images

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.


  1. Oh, I love this. Your quilting is exquisite. Do you do any markings to guide you or is it all free motion quilting without.

  2. On this quilt I traced the grave stone designs onto the fabric with pencil, quilted on the lines and then filled in everything else with freemotion quilting.

  3. You are so lucky to live in an area that possesses so many old, historical places as well as the beautiful terrain. The gravestones are stunning, if you can call them that and the quilt you made depicting them is gorgeous.

  4. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Judy, I love this quilt. It gives me a sense of peacefulness. Thank you for sharing the quilt and the technique.

  5. Wow, Judy, I had not seen this when you posted it before. It is gorgeous! So haunting, even without the 9/11 connection. Wish I could see this in person.


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