Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Erika's World Coming To Life

Some details being added to this new art quilt project, which I am calling for now "Erika's World". Erika is my MIL and she loves nature, feeding birds and squirrels, which I'm sure she misses now living in the nursing home. This project is for her daughter, who asked for something to hang in her den (which used to be her mom's bedroom). The tight stitches around the cardinal, a favorite of Erika's makes the bird really pop out of this frame. The thread used is blue to indicate sky. The colors are much brighter in real life!
It's hard to see but all the leaves are outlined in green or rust threads which also make them stand out more.
Swirls over wavy lines make the tree stand out more too.
A rough draft of an added photo on batik fabric and metallic netting...still more to do on this piece, but it's a hint of what's to come. Yesterday Karen said Erika asked for a photo of her late (long ago divorced) husband, as she 'could not remember what he looked like'. Her dementia is getting worse.
Her world must be shrinking...she used to write me nearly every week, and me her, but
she doesn't write anymore...When I think about it I send her photos of the grand kids and us, or make her something...she likes that...She used to write details of her days on a calendar and read history, and send us news clippings from the New York Times. She loved Garrison Keillor. Now she has a white board on her wall and her daughter writes reminders of when she'll be there next and the days date. She had been watering the flowers in front of the nursing home using a bucket of water she'd get herself from inside. But since falling and breaking her hip she no longer has the freedom to roam.
I wonder what she does now?


  1. lovely quilt you are doing. It is really coming alive with little critters here and there and the photos.
    Sad about your MIL
    Not to remember and be not allowed to roam about. Good you are going to see her. Will you be able to take her places this time?

  2. so interesting that you are making this for Erika's old room. I so much feel she should have it in her room at the nursing home until her death and then pass it on to daughter. Just my unasked for opinion.

    It is truely beautiful.

    thanks for the snapshot picture of Erika and the changes that have come into her days. Heart rending. sad and yet one is glad she has relatives who love her and visit. So many in nursing homes do not. You bring her much joy I am sure. Blessings, suki

  3. Suki, your suggestion is terrific. If there is a wall large enough to hold the art quilt in Erika's room I will suggest to Karen that it be Erika's first and her's there after. Thank you for pointing me in this direction. It makes such good sense. And I know Erika would love it.

  4. Cris, I am not sure how mobile Erika is right now for out of "home" travel. We'll see.

  5. Lynn, this piece is so beautiful, the colors will catch her eye and she will enjoy it, I'm sure.

    I've worked in nursing homes and they can be sad places...but also can be places of peace and some strange sort of happiness. Maybe we forget things late in life for a reason? I have no answers, but always felt that old folks who had forgotten who they were, or where they were - we some sort of angels and tried to treat them as such....(unless they were throwing things at me - which they frequently did! )

  6. oo, i love this piece! it's gorgeous!


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!