Glorifying God in Fabric

Last week I posted about my friend Sonja and her delightful new lecture. The response was great and when she emailed me concerning all of the guilds who have contacted her, she included information about her latest “big” work, made for Christ Church Whitefish Bay. It is so fascinating that I felt I must do a Sonja: part 2 post.

This is the description of her work in her own words:

This representation of the Good Shepherd was modeled on images of icon paintings.

It rests within the confines of icon art where objects are generally grouped in ones, threes, and sevens with a relatively flat perspective.  Notice there is only one person holding one lamb.  There are three sheep and three trees on the right side, the bush-like tree on the left holds seven clusters of foliage and the sky holds three clouds.  In addition to symbolic numbers, colors for the Good Shepherd are often restricted to red with gold trim for the garment and blue for the shawl.  The Button Trees on the right are simply a flight of fancy when creativity took leave of my senses. The hanging was created under the direction of the Holy Spirit based on many long talks, cajoling, and spirited debates.

This piece of art was made with sun resistant outdoor furniture fabrics.  Some fabrics were covered with nylon netting to add variety of color. Extensive free-hand quilting was used to add detail and texture.  The bee in the lower-left flower symbolizes the Good Shepherd’s powers of rejuvenation, nourishment, and perseverance and honors the bees in my hives.

It took me 10 months to design and create which included 200 hours of work.  The materials were $1000 dollars because I used Sunbrella fabric at a cost of about $50.00 per yard.”

I was so taken with her skill for creating 3 dimensional portions, while working with a fabric that is not typical for quilts.

Well done Sonja!


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