After my Mom passed in 1998, I found several beautiful crocheted items she had been working on. Among them were five 10 x 10 inch crocheted squares. For years I tried to figure out how to use these in a way to honor her memory. I was not a quilter at that time, but I did do a lot of sewing. So in late 2018 I decided I could use them on a quilt. It took me about six months to design the quilt after I figured out I could make them form a star by placing them together in a certain way. This quilt took me another year to make after I got the design. I made it with polyester crepe back satin (white) and polyester dupioni (2 blues). I added machine embroidery in the borders, and the center star is also machine embroidered. I painted the flowers and birds around the white part after I quilted them. Then I finished it off with a row of pearls along the binding, hot fix pearls throughout the quilt, and sewed on five pearls in the centers of the crocheted squares that came from one of her broken necklaces. Her name was Zephana Compton Bivens and she was a master craftsman in woodworking, handwork, and sewing.
This quilt is inspired by a wonderful painting by Joel Christopher Payne, a Disney artist, from whom I bought the rights for making one show quilt. I loved his painting, but it was darker and did not have much of the Spanish Moss. So it is not a copy of his painting, but an inspiration from it. I had made a collection of wood print commercial fabrics over the years and used every one of them in the making of this quilt. The cabin and the houseboat are made by cutting "planks" of wood and "building these two homes with stitched, raw-edge applique. The big trees are made by using a variety of wood-bark fabrics and are turned-edge machine stitched appliques. The limbs of the trees and the weeds and bushes in the water are free-motion couched on wool yarn of various colors. I then free-motion embroidered the Spanish moss using Aurifil's 12 weight wool thread. I had to make small straight marks to keep the direction of the moss hanging properly. The fireflies are made with a back drop of Neon Nights UV Fabric black light paint and topped with tiny hot fix tangerine and yellow crystals. The reflective water is made with raw edged applique that has been overpainted to blend into the water background, and top painted to highlight the ripply look. This was great fun to make and I expect to make more landscape quilts using some of the same techniques.
A fantasy quilt imagining a wizards' duel in another place at another time pictured against a turbulent orange sky with an explosive sun. Watching the duel from the sky are nearly invisible creatures..a phoenix, a little bird, a raven, and a pegasus. Across the top of the sky fly what quilters may think are flying geese, but in this place, these triangles represent pteradactyls. Double batted, cotton fabrics, Superior brand threads of multiple weights and Isacord embroidery thread. Gina Perkes and Lisa Calle rulers were used in the quilting process. The wizards and dragon were painted and then heavily stitched with metallic threads, and the dragon was backed with a layer of wool batting to achieve some trapunto shaping and then appliqued.
This quilt, representing King Arthur and the knights of the round table, was designed by my oldest son Ken Tatum, who gifted the design along with the digital files, the fabrics, and the threads to me for my birthday in March 2016. I had to figure out how to make his beautiful design. This quilt is the third in my ongoing series of ancient illuminated manuscript-inspired quilts. The text below the central picture is in old English. I had the throne room in the background, which he provided as a separate digital design file, printed by Spoonflower on cotton. Then I appliqued the people's bald heads (digitally painted and printed on cotton), clothes, swords, table and 3 dimensional wall hangings. I free motion embroidered their hair and the crowns. I digitized the chain mail shirts for the king and knights and machine embroidered them with variegated silver gray thread on black. The Celtic borders were the biggest challenge. I marked the green satin, free motion/ruler stitched the long borders, and digitized the corner designs in simple single line stitching and machine embroidered them in my embroidery module. Then I painted the border designs. After piecing the quilt top together and sandwiching the quilt with two layers of batting (thin polyester and wool), I free motion quilted this quilt on my new Bernina Q20 sitdown longarm. This provided the opportunity to give the border designs their Celtic dimension (over and under dimension). I also attached the banners after quilting and hand stitched them down to maintain their 3 D appearance. Check out my blogs on the making of this quilt and tutorials for making the chain mail and the Celtic borders.
This is my third attempt to make a quilt inspired by the gorgeous Spiral Galaxies pictured in NASA's website. Rather than try to represent a specific spiral galaxy, I chose several of their non-copyrighted photographs of different spirals to pattern my spiral galaxy after. This is a whole cloth quilt using Angelina Fibers representing the gas clouds, rusty brown free motion embroidery to show the rusty colored spiral of dust that accompanies these galaxies, and, of course, different sizes and colors of hot fix crystals for the stars that such star birthing galaxies produce. The entire quilt is covered with black nylon veiling, which gives the Angelina Fibers stability by the time they are quilted. The quilting is tightly spiraled and fairly organized in the center and as it spirals out, the spiral gets looser and less organized with bubbles and smaller spirals. This is my third deep space quilt using Angelina Fibers. I plan on continuing this series for another seven quilts at least.
My Hoffman Challenge 2016 quilt. This quilt represents a happy summer day in a slightly enchanted forest. It is entirely made with some form of applique. I applipieced/pieceliqued the sky, grassy ground, mountains, and path together. All the trees, flowers and butterflies are stitched raw edge applique, and the birds and animals are embroidered on nylon veil and then appliqued onto the quilt. The flower centers are beaded and the birds and animals have hot fix crystals for their eyes. Free motion quilted.
This is the second in my series of quilts related to women down through history who have seen their men go off to war or other dangerous jobs for extended periods. It is something of a remake of the first in this series "Waiting...". This time, the woman has her young tween or early teen daughter with her who hasn't seen her father for over a year and she is a little nervous. I had a very difficult time making the sky. I painted four pieces, using Setacolor fabric paints and finally chose one and added more paints. Then I pieced the storm-at-sea part and pieced it together where it turns into the pictorial sea, but I ended up overdying them together after piecing so they melded better. I nearly quit making this quilt several times along the way, but it is finally finished. I used over thirty different colors of threads..most of which are variegated. The sea foam is represented by Angelina Fibers.
MQX NE 2016 has called for quilts in their Alfred Shaheen Vintage Panel exhibit and I decided to make one just for relaxed fun. After it was finished, I decided to enter it into the juried part of the show because I liked the way it came out and they waived the entry fee, so why not. I found my beautiful linen panel online and designed the borders around it. I was fortunate to find exactly the right solid colors for the borders, and so I quilted, then painted the light green border. The dark green border is my first venture into ruler work for a show quilt, since all I did was make a row of touching circles using Lisa Calle's new circle rulers with my Bernina 830. They are hard to see, but I quilted in a frog, a pig, a parrot, and a flying bird in the white background of the central panel and then did a circular twirl fill with that. Fun to make...since I'm competing against some of the country's best quilters, I would be really surprised if it wins anything, but that's ok. It makes me happy. This quilt will be available for purchase on my shop after it finishes its show season (it will be shown in the fall MQX also).
A quilt honoring the Japanese women in Kanazawa, Japan, who not only taught me Ikebana but also how to manage a Japanese home more than forty years ago. Made from Peppered Cottons (a soft loosely woven cotton), commercial embroidery designs from OESD for the Sashiko embroidered blocks, digitally painted flowers printed on cotton and arranged in situ on the quilt top in the Japanese style vase constructed from hand dyed dupioni silk.
Waiting... - Traditional storm-at-sea block makes up the big wave. Clipper ship has added wool batting behind sails, sky is painted with watered down setacolor inks, woman's hair is thread work on veiling. Her face is digitally painted and printed on fabric, then appliqued.
Dad's House Plan - A memorial quilt honoring my dad, a civil engineer, whose dream to build a home for his family was overtaken by life and illness. House design plots quilted with four sizes of threads; House is appliqued, landscaping is both in-the-hoop embroidery I designed, decorative stitches, and free motion thread work highlighted with inks.