Sunday, January 17, 2010



The 12" x 12" square art quilt Whispers on the Wind (above) was made for Rust Tex's exhibition. If juried into the show, it will travel to England for their quilt festival. (Not that I'm hinting, Lois!)

The background began as a digital collage of photographs and vintage artwork printed on rust-dyed fabric. I added a wash of green for the forest floor, white for a shaft of light, and blue for the sky using Earth Safe Finishes Colorant + Fabric Magic + lots of water.


Free-motion stitching in a variegated black/brown thread was worked on the main tree, while monofilament was stitched free-form to represent sunlight through the forest canopy and wind through the tree branches.


Glass and stone beads were stitched on the surface by hand and the edges were finished with satin stitches.

The composition recalls a trip to the woods in early spring with my mother and grandmother to see the wild flowers. I was disappointed when my grandmother gently informed me the flowers had to stay in the forest; they would be unhappy in the garden at home. To entertain myself, I pretended the wind through the tree branches was the voice of many fairies whispering to me.

It's remarkable to me that this image, the colors, sounds, smells, and emotions are so vivid to me after 50 years or so—and a pleasant way to remember a day with two women so influential in my life!

11 comments:

Carol said...

Beautiful piece. Hope it finds its way to England :)

Thanks for sharing your inspiration story.

Heidi Rand said...

Just wonderful! I love your narration and the closeups show how much work you put into this.

Karen Newman Fridy said...

Looove it!! I have a feeling it will be traveling. :)

Lois Jarvis said...

I love it Beth. Too bad I am not one of the judges!!!

Rosie said...

It's a stunning piece os art and I wish you luck in the jury process.
I have a question - the text... is it arabic, or similar? It's very beautiful... =)

Dale Anne Potter said...

Its GORGEOUS!!! I'm sure it will be traveling.

maggi said...

A gorgeous piece Beth. I do hope it comes to England so that I can see it in real life.

Carole said...

This is so beautiful Beth.. I am sure the judges will choose it.
Wishing you the best!

Beth Wheeler said...

The text is an ancient language (Tamil, a state in southern India) carved into stone. I found a photo of it on a Google search. Thanks to Photoshop I was able to remove the stone background and keep just the text for printing on this piece.

Carol Wiebe said...

I agree with all the rave reviews on this piece. I also can't believe I am the 3rd CAROL to comment. That has NEVER happened before. I think it's a sign that your piece is going to get into the show (LOL).

Corryna Janssen said...

This is such a beautiful piece of art. I love it!