During my initial conversation with clients, the first thing I ask is for them to share a little bit about their loved one who died. It sets the tone for our mutual sharing of ideas, and it also plants seeds of connection and inspiration for how I design their quilt. At the end of my first conversation with Roy’s wife Electra, my page of notes was filled. Not only had Roy been a beloved mental health counselor, he also taught other counselors, was the author of Person Centered Tech, was a guest on many podcasts, loved to sing, and much more.
Sometimes when someone has so many interests and talents, it can be challenging for me to narrow down my scope as I begin to think about a quilt design. But one of my notes kept popping off the page – Electra told me “Roy brought out the best in people” – and I began to wonder how I could portray that visually. Luckily, Electra helped me out again. She explained that Roy and she both loved the celebrity prayer candles whose labels show a celebrity’s face superimposed on a robed saint. She was wondering if I could somehow depict an abstract “quilt” version of a prayer candle that emanated light, and she sent me a quick sketch of her idea (see above). So helpful!
Electra dropped off a bag of Roy’s clothing at my studio, accompanied by her new puppy Xavier, and after interpreting her sketch into a working design schematic, I got right to work.
Electra requested that I place an appliquéd heart over the figurative form – the red plaid shirt was an obvious fabric choice.
Roy also loved cats, so Electra included this cat fabric with the other clothing.
It was important to Electra that there be a sense of radiating light coming off the central figure which I solved in two ways. First by the diagonal lines of pieced triangles, and second by using the lighter-toned fabrics as the background.
In addition to the heart shape, the red plaid also became a kind of halo around the head of the figure.
Here is the final quilt followed by details.
I want to thank Electra for sharing her vision and carefully thought-out ideas for this “illuminated” quilt in honor of Roy.