Monday, September 13, 2010

Remembering Ike - Quilter Style

Hurricane Ike 2008 was the third costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United

States, according to Wikipedia, behind Hurricane Andrew of 1992 and Hurricane Katrina of 2005. It was the most intense Atlantic storm of 2008 – when it made its final landfall near Galveston Texas on September 13, 2008 it was a strong Category 2 hurricane with a Category 5 equivalent storm surge. Ike was blamed for 195 deaths, 112 in the US with 23 still listed as missing. Damages from Ike in the U.S. were estimated at $29.6 billion, with an estimated $3 billion in Galveston alone. This hurricane also resulted in the largest evacuation of Texans in our state’s history and became the largest search-and-rescue

operation in U.S. history.

Today marks the 2 year Anniversary of Hurricane Ike. Many of you were a part of my blogger support team, lifting my family up in prayer during those eventful days of struggling to know if we should evacuate, then the aftermath of returning to see many of our neighbors in total devastation. You faithfully followed my blog through the healing and participated in the Quilts of Hope campaign. You may remember my special little gift from God two months after the storm reminding me that sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms the child...this story is part two of Reminder of God's Beauty in Creation posted November 13, 2008....

The little parrot that graced my window sill so many months ago left a lasting impression and I knew that one day I wanted to play tribute to God for sending that little visitor my way..I asked my youngest son to take one of my photos from that day and translate it into a painting for me in hopes that I could then translate his art into a quilt...he never totally finished the painting and the quilt was put on the back burner..

Until a week or so ago... It was time.

With Son #2's painting and my original photo I attempted to make a translation to fabric using my blue washout marker...

Several hours later I had a 20 x 20 mini tribute quilt...if any of you have ever done a wholecloth (which is a quilt where the fabric is all one piece and the design is made with thread) then you know this is the scary part - hoping that all the blue marker actually washes out like it is suppose to!

It did, and I blocked it to dry. Now comes the fun part!

I've been intrigued by Irena Bluhms coloring on wholeclothes for quite a time now and have been eager to give it a try. Instead of using colored pencils or even crayons I decided to play with Tsukneko Fabrico pens - pens I used in a workshop last summer with Jamie Wallen.

Have to admit, this is another scary part! All those long hours of marking, quilting, waiting for it to dry - what if I messed up with the coloring!

Well, what if I did? It's only fabric right? Grin.

I kept trying to get the colors right based on the painting and the original photo. I was very pleased and pleasantly surprised that the coloring was very relaxing. I put on the iPod and listened to an audible book and was lost for hours!

One negative of working with these pens is the limit of colors. I really wanted a more intense blue for his back feathers. I'm sure if I knew more about using this product that there's probably a way I can achieve the look I want by the way I layer the this is my homework for the next project, to learn as much about this technique as possible!

These corner feathers are one of Irena's designs : IBBS26 Floating Corner Swag. Many of her designs are digitized but I don't have a computer so mine were hand guided.

The other negative about these pens is that they run out! I went on a search today to purchase more purple pens and had to resign to ordering over the there went my goal of finishing this tribute quilt on the anniversary of Ike...

No matter, it's not the date that's important, it's the enjoyment of the process and the meaning of the quilt. My beautiful reminder that God indeed is in control, has always been in control, and always will be! He uses simple creations such as this parrot to remind me that He is Creator God and He uses things like Hurricanes as an opportunity for communities to be united during difficult times and learn to rely on Him.

PS when the quilt is finished I'll post the results - stay tuned!


Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

This quilt is marvellous! As are the animals and birds surviving the terrible forces of nature.

Kathy said...

On Sunday afternoon, I was at the in-laws and watched hummingbirds swarm the feeder. Hurricane Ike came to mind and I asked the family "wonder where the hummingbirds sought shelter and how they survived?" They were back just after the storm and keep coming back year after year. I am thankful God is in complete control! Love your parrot quilt work and can't wait to see it finished.

Denise said...

Wow, this is stunning already. I can't wait to see it when done!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, I've followed your words for years on the longarm list, you are awesome! There are two ladies who know lots about tsukineko inks. Trish Stuart (a texan also I think) and Patty Blair. They both have videos, easy to learn from as well.

Trish's website is

Patty's website is I had the pleasure of attending Patty's class at road2ca last year-so much learned and she is so entertaining.

Check them out-too much fun later, debi

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

The parrot quilt is looking so pretty! You might try ordering the Tsukineko ink bottles in the color that you want, along with some of the Fantastix applicators. The ink lasts forever and you can mix the colors. I got mine from Jukebox quilts online.

Karen E. Overton said...

Thanks Jeanne, I am familiar with Jukebox as I have a video from them...with the Houston International Quilt show right around the corner I'm going to save this for my shopping spree. I've decided that I need the inks as well as the pens...also think I will be redoing this piece as I'm not pleased with the shape of the head or angle of the this may be a permanent UFO (grin) my tuition so to speak. I think I'm lovin this technique!