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All Ears



DESCRIPTION:  Marie Webster (1859 – 1956) was an amazing quilter, designer, and entrepreneur from Marion, Indiana.  Unlike many of her peers, Marie was an independent businesswoman.  Her designs were published in Ladies Home Journal, beginning in 1909.  In addition to writing about quilts and selling her quilt patterns, she sometimes appeared in historical costumes to speak about quilts and promote renewed interest in them.  In contrast, today’s women have many more career options.  


Seeing her quilt designs, and learning about her business persona, inspired me to make this contemporary portrait of her.   I imagined her to be always thinking about flowers common to Indiana gardens and how they would lend themselves to quilt motifs.  In the portrait, her head is filled with ideas for many of her beautiful appliqué quilts.  These ideas include, from left to right:  Grapes and Vines, Poinsettias, May Tulips, Dogwood, Pink Rose, Poppies, Pansies, Morning Glories, and Sunflowers.  Her dress resembles a Victorian costume, complete with feather boa.

The portrait is hand-appliqued, a nod to Marie’s traditional techniques, but the quilting has been done using modern, free-motion machine methods.

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