Saturday, November 22, 2008

Erika's World Continues To Grow

Here are the many different threads and embellishments (ribbons, butterflies) I'm using on this art quilt. This corner (upper right side) shows the musical family. You can see Erika playing the piano, something she has done since childhood. Here she is playing at her nursing home last summer. The fabric with the words and music notes I got the other day at the thrift store. The song is a Quaker song called Simple Gifts. I will post the words at the end of these photos. Bottom left is Erika and her grandson. He is a very talented actor, singer, dancer, who is currently in his senior year at the University of Minnesota studying drama. Far right is Erika and her son, my DH, who is also a talented singer and guitar player. So you can bet when we are together a lot of music flows in this family. (Remember to click on photos to see more details, enlargements).
This photo was taken when we visited last summer. I love how they are looking at each other.
This panel is young Erika with her son and daughter as children; then with son, daughter and grandson, grown; and Erika before she married.
Our nephew hanging from the tree was taken from a photo of him hanging from a child's jungle gym at the park last summer. He's a huge guy, sweet and lots of fun. He and I play a card game I taught him called "Spite and Malice" and we are VERY competitive!
We've been playing it since he was a little guy.
Here's the rough draft still needing some things sewn on, more top quilting
and cutting down to size before binding and hanging sleeve will be sewn on.
At the bottom I've added the German ribbon I found thrifting a while back.
You can just make out the hearts and little couples there. Erika was born in Berlin, Germany.
She met her husband at the very end of WWII there. You read about this when I made my
1940's quilt which featured her and her husband and my Uncle and Aunt from the same era as war brides and grooms, soldiers, etc.
I Googled the song on the printed fabric” ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘Tis the gift to be free.
“It’s from a song called Simple Gifts written by
Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848. It was first published in The Gift to be Simple: Shaker Rituals and Songs. Simple Gifts was a work song sung by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (more commonly called the Shakers, an offshoot of the Quakers). The words are these:
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘Tis the gift to be free, 'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, It will be in the valley of love and delight. Refrain: When true simplicity is gained, To bow and to bend we Shan’t be ashamed. To turn, turn will be our delight, “Til by turning, turning we come round right. ‘Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return, ‘Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn, And when we expect of others what we try to live each day, Then we’ll all live together and we’ll all learn to say, Refrain: ‘Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be, ‘Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of “me”, And when we hear what others really think and really feel, Then we’ll all live together with a love that is real. Refrain:


  1. Just wanted to pop in and say hi. I love it that you want to "show off" your beautiful work - isn't it wonderful to share with others! Thank you for your blog. xo

  2. Oh this is truely lovely. I can see the love you have poured into it. I like that the music notes are surrounding the cardinal too as they have wonderful bird songs.
    You have little stories put together in one quilt to form a bigger story of your MIL's life. Perfect.

  3. The musical note cloth is great. That is one of my favorite songs too. The quilt is really magnificent and coming together beautifully. I know all who see it will be speechless with awe at the pictures and stories it tells.

  4. Oh my goodness. This is GORGEOUS! Quite lovely and unbelievably meaningful.


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