* * * PUBLISHED * * * Artist feature in Stitchillo, a brand new book in a series called 'Encyclopedia of Inspiration' from UPPERCASE (click to link)
* * * EXHIBITION * * * Homeland: A Collection of Prairie Threadpaintings by Monika Kinner-Whalen. Kathy Theissen Gallery in Rosthern SK. July & August 2017 Reception 10 am to noon on Saturday, July 15, 2017 Station Arts
* * * MANITOBA * * *
Sept 2 & 3 Vendor - Proutopia
Sept 9 &10 Teaching - Sketch to Stitch / Runs with Scissors Studio
Sept 15 & 16 Vendor - Manitoba Fibre Festival, Red River Exhibition Park

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Monday, 27 August 2012


It took all of August to complete this, but I did it!  Steffi's memory quilt is finished.  It's queen sized with drape, one of the hugest things I have ever made.  It is heavy!  I spent many hot summer afternoons pressing and fusing interfacing to her late son's clothing until I had 143 perfectly trimmed 8.5" squares, all hand cut. 

There were shirts, sports clothing, dress clothes, and printed photos from various stages of his life. 

Finally the day came when I could piece it all together.  Steffi wanted big patchwork squares with his youngest years in the centre of the quilt.  Cool things appeared, like this shooting star by Aaron's grad photo.

I included his tie, his glove, and even pockets for his mom to put her poems into.  It was an awesome moment when I could phone Aaron's mom to tell her, and hear her squeal and giggle.  She was laughing so loud!  It was terrific  : )  I sent her this photo from the upstairs windows and then called her right away to see what she thought.  I have never heard her so full of joy. :)

in progress - quilt top only...  it's HUGE

I spent four hours basting it.  I cleared my dining room furniture, washed the floor, and pinned the layers on the floor until I ran out of pins.  I thread basted the rest with heavy hand quilting thread and a spoon (learned that from a Ricky Timms video).  You use the spoon to help scoop up the needle since you are unable to put your left hand under the quilt while you sew with your right.  Cool hey? 

I quilted in the ditch with invisifil thread until past midnight.  I was on a roll.  o m g  This was working!  I wasn't about to stop.  This past weekend, I put on all that binding.  It's perfect.

Aaron's all-angles plaid shirt binding with Kona dark grey solid backing fabric - looks great!

Nine years ago, Aaron died of injuries after nearly being beaten to death outside of a Calgary night club.  I never knew him.  I had only met his mother a couple of years back at a family funeral.  She is my mother mother's cousin, and Aaron is ?  my second cousin?.  Thank you Steffi for trusting me to do this.  It was a very good and meaningful experience for me to be this close to him and see his smiling face & gentle eyes on all those photos. 


Mary Ann said...

Wonderful. What a lovely thing you have done for his mum.

Ellie said...

Wow, what a wonderful job you did with this. I'm sure his mum absolutely loves it.
You did a wonderful thing for her and you should feel proud of yourself.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

You did a fabulous job on this one! And what a tough one to make, too. You should be very proud of this, and I am sure his mom will treasure it forever.

HollyM said...

Oh monika it is a wonderful quilt! And the mom is far enough away from the fresh grief that I'm sure it must really touch her.
It's so tragic. We've had a few deaths like that recently on the east coast too.

Chiara Z said...

It's beautiful, Monika. I can see your love and dedication to the project in every word and picture.

Vicki W said...

What a special quilt!

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

What an awesome memory quilt for Steffi to have of Aaron. You are incredible.
Stay inspired!

LynCC said...

Very cool job, Monika. It's a terrific memory quilt with superb personality. Not just big chunks of shirts in a lifeless grid. She's going to cherish this.

Jeane said...

Terrific job Monika. The quilt is so beautiful and a wonderful journey of his life for his mom to treasure.

Wendy said...

Well done, what a big finish. You have created something to be treasured forever.

greelyrita said...

Big fat WOW!! And it turned out so beautiful too! This must have been difficult because it's so different from your usual. When I stray from my normal stuff, I spend a lot of energy worrying whether this will turn out. I'd have lost weight doing that with this project. Congratulations!! And you've made a connection that will hopefully nourrish both of you.

Sheila said...

It is wonderful Monika and I am sure Steffi will be thrilled .

Margaret said...

A beautiful tribute, Monika.

Threadpainter said...

A job well done !

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