Moving to the Abstract…Quilts

Grids, abstracted images, hidden narratives…all part of the 2D work I make, AND…it’s just dawning on me…part of why I like quilting.  Quilts can be quite abstract, they ARE grids, and they certainly contain hidden narratives…on several levels if you are using “repurposed” fabric.

I’ve written here about the quilt I made for baby Hendrica that has gone missing in the postal system somewhere.  Today I was sending some images to Cynthia in an e-conversation about abstraction etc.  Since I have all the photos so nicely loaded in narrative form, I thought I might share the story further afield.

Quite a few years ago I bought a “double wedding ring” quilt top at Goodwill for about $1.89…it was hand pieced but not sewn together very well and had many “issues” (stains, certain “blown” fabric pieces, etc.).  It was folded on the shelf for years until 2010 when I decided to make a summer project of it down at Project Space…I set up my machine, tacked the quilt top on the wall, and started in…

wedding ring top

the idea was to cut this top up and reassemble it in an abstract way (and of course eliminating the frays and stains, etc.)

paula detail in the making

Paula original and done

the wedding ring got small and smaller and the new quilt got bigger and bigger until I finished it up and hand quilted it…giving it eventually to baby Violet…


In the summer of 2012 at Project Space I had three projects going and one was to take the fragments of the wedding ring…add some new pink and red…further abstract the patterning…it went like this:

project space 1

project space 2

and when quilted looked like this…

Hendrica 1

This quilt was full of good karma and sunshine so when baby Hendrica was coming very very early I embroidered her name on it and sent it off to NYC


but alas, it got lost by the post office…they found the empty box in Seattle on the floor.  It’s narrative goes on someplace, but I guess I won’t know the end of the story…I think I have about 7 small wedding ring pieces left in the sewing room so guess I know what the summer project might be this year????  Moving ever more deeply into abstraction…?


  1. I’m still just sick about that missing quilt. I hope it will turn up somewhere and the story will have a happy (and known by you) ending. Bonnie, let’s get together sometime. Would love to catch up and talk about summer project plans.

  2. Sad that the quilt is missing but I bet it’s singing it’s heart out where ever it is!
    Your stitches are soulful. They make all those fragments come to life. Thank you for inspiring me.

  3. it’s terribly important that you reveal your process as you do here, bonnie. clearly, what you are doing is an art. not a woman’s art or craft, but an original creation using fragments of the past to bring forth something new/abstracted. your by-hand stitches are killer. (izquierdo’s beading) thanks for taking the time to bring back this sad story. the new detail…”they found the empty box on the floor in seattle”… makes the loss all the more poignant. where is detective chief inspector jane tennison when one needs her? (san)

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