May 2011, 39" wide by 25" high, © 2011, Maria Elkins, All Rights Reserved.

“Windblown” received the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry at the 2011 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

Windblown by Maria Elkins

Windblown by Maria Elkins

I’ve made many quilts of my two lovely daughters, and I’m sure I’ll use them as models many more times. For this quilt, however, I wanted to feature one of their dear friends who has beautiful red hair. I’ve known this sweet young woman since she was in first grade, and she truly is lovely both inside and out. I pray she stands firm, even when the strong winds blow strong against her.

Windblown Star quilt block

Windblown Star quilt block

As the image progressed, I knew I wanted to include the image of a traditional quilt block, similar to what I’ve done on previous quilts. I like referencing the fact that it is the love of traditional quilts that drew me into quiltmaking to begin with. One of my favorite books is Barbara Brackman’s classic Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns. In it, I found a block called “Windblown Star” which I’ve included in the quilting motifs in the sky. I also wanted the sky filled with wind-like feathers which might suggest wind gusts. To draw it all together, I quilted some similar feathery motifs in her hair.

This wholecloth quilt is hand painted with Tsukineko all-purpose inks mixed with Jacquard colorless extender. If you’d like to read about the entire process, follow the “Windblown” category.


Windblown — 9 Comments

  1. It’s been a riveting journey watching this quilt come to life. It may be one of my all-time favorites!

  2. As a mother of a red head, I LOVE your approach at making God’s gift of red hair life-like and harmonious in your quilting approach. This is a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing.