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Artist: Sue Benner, Dallas, Texas
Name: Minor Fugue V
Fugue,n. – a polyphonic composition based upon one, two, or more themes
that are enunciated by several voices or parts in turn, and subjected to
Theme and variation came
to mind as I assembled these shapes, and the idea of the fugue form took
shape. This is a smaller work in this series, thus the title, “MINOR
The music of J. S. Bach
has been a force throughout my life. I love organ, harpsichord, piano,
symphony, and choral music. (I also like musicals, but that is another
story.) Growing up in a Lutheran school and church meant that Bach’s
music was a constant presence -- beautiful, ordered, and sturdy.
MINOR FUGUE V is a
fanciful work, composed of dyed and painted silks in garden hues. I
combined these wildly colored silks with “found” fabrics of the 1960’s.
The flower power cut-outs are the remains from other quilt series.
(Definition from the
Random House Dictionary of the English Language)
Christine Bradford, Washington, DC
Mayapple in Bloom
I have a high
regard for art quilters; they have an opportunity to inspire and
introduce exciting, new techniques. When I received a call from Judy
House to participate in the Healing Quilts in Medicine Project, I was
delighted. While researching the May Apple, there was always the
prospect of learning new uses for the plant. I hope the viewer sees not
only the beauty of the May Apple, but also sees its use as a cancer
Breeland, Fairfax, VA
Art quilts have really
been a revelation to me. In the 15 years I've been quilting, I
have always insisted that quilts are for beds, not walls. Then I
stumbled into one of Judy's art quilt classes and I haven't been the
same since. Judy encouraged me to try new things and to begin
projects even though I have no idea how they'll turn out. When she
asked me to participate in this project, I couldn't say no. This
flower was made in colors I rarely use, using a method I'd never tried
before. Thank you, Judy.
Brown, Durham, NC
Name: Cloth of Gold
I’ve long been intrigued
by patterns in nature, especially those on certain sea shells such as
the patterns on the cone snail. These patterns develop as the result of
chemical interactions at the growing edge of the shell. This is one
example of the incredible beauty to be found in nature and science. And
in the case of the cone snail, there is yet another level of
fascination. These snails live in warm waters and excrete a “conotoxin”
which paralyzes their fish victims; this has now been developed into a
medication used for pain relief.
Cone snail shells have a variety of patterns. One of the more commonly
found shells is called “conus textile”, and sometimes “cloth of gold”.
C. Busby, Clifton, VA
looked up and saw his eyes, he smiled. His eyes smiled. Mr. Machek, my
art professor at Albion College, said, “It’s okay. Everyone can be an
artist if he or she wants to─just
reach into your heart and give yourself the freedom to create.” Since
that day, I’ve continued to create with confidence and enthusiasm!
is dedicated to my mother, Nancy Barbara Grace Cole Weltchek, and to her
godchild, Nancy Amerio, who died from leukemia so many years ago.
Leukemia patients may now be helped with the medicine from Indigofera
tinctoria depicted in my quilt.
Elizabeth Byrom, Chapel Hill, NC
Name: Sweet Tater Posies for Judy
This quilt is for my
beautiful friend Judy, who taught me the important things I need to know
about quilting and friendship.
Colman, Burke, VA
Under the Canopy was
conceived from a memory of picking wild flowers in May as a child. I
was always fascinated at the idea that the leaves of the mayapple could
be a wondrous umbrella. The piece evolved to be about the partnership
between plants and people in chemotherapy. The chemicals of plants, the
support of loved ones, and daily hope create a new path to explore.
Cooper, Burke, VA
slugs are among the most beautiful underwater creatures. Unfortunately,
the sea slug, Elysia rufescens, which is being used in cancer research,
doesn’t win any glamour awards. Elysia looks like a ground slug in
desert camouflage with twin ruffles down its back.
daughter and I had fun inventing other names for this quilt:
Cinderella and Her Slugly Stepsisters
is in the Eye of the Beholder
you can come up with more titles.
Artist: Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto, Fairfax, VA
Name: And Dance by the Light of the Moon
But how are we to dance,
we whose lives are forever changed by the shadow of cancer? Dance we
“Life is made of moments,
small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. Show
up. Listen. Try to laugh. Look at the view.” --Anna Quindlen
“Home interprets heaven.
Home is heaven for beginners.” --Charles Parkhurst
God bless Judy House who
is Home, teaching an army of angels to sew and make heaven even more
beautiful with their art quilts.
Ebersole, Reston, VA
Periwinkle Garden Dreams
honored that Judy House asked me to participate in this wonderful
project. She has been an excellent teacher and guided my growth as a
quilt artist. Starting 21 years ago as a pupil of Leslie Pfeifer's, this
has been an exciting journey. Over the years I have made quilts for my
family and for Project Linus, the Girl Scouts (here and overseas),
school fundraisers and other charities. Quilting brings people together
and adds color and warmth to many lives.
quilt is meant to give a restful view to explore and" melt into" as
people are engaged in this crusade against cancer.
Lisa Ellis, Fairfax, VA
When I saw this image of
Mutterkraut at the first meeting of the Healing Quilters, I knew this
was the plant I would use. The image conjured up happy times of daisy
fields and children picking wild flowers to make bouquets for their
moms. I wanted to create something cheerful that would provide a brief
respite from the worry and boredom that comes from sitting in a sterile
hospital waiting for tests and results.
When I received the
invitation from Judy to participate, I was thrilled. What an honor to be
in this incredible group of quilters. I have been deeply touched by all
the artist’s creations. These quilters share a special bond --- a love
for Judy and her dream for the patients at Walter Reed.
Artist: Paula Golden, Woodbridge, VA
Quilt Name: Garlic: for Body and Soul
Allium sativum intrigues
me with its many layers… peel away the papery skin and one finds a
tender clove that arouses the senses. Its aromatic smell allows one to
anticipate the delicious flavor of a meal, the crunch of crispy garlic
tingles the tongue. Garlic is life within itself as a clove of garlic
is the bulb from which the next generation grows. It also offers the
ability to boost the human body's immune response, has antibacterial,
anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. Ingestion of garlic has been
shown to slightly improve blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. From
delicious meals with family and friends that give us joy in our lives to
its potential in fighting cancer, garlic is one of nature's gifts.
Sandi Goldman, Oakton, VA
the Madagascar Periwinkle plant used in two drugs vincablastine and
vincacristine to treat certain types of leukemia as the background
canvas of my quilt. The words are the focal point to inspire and
challenge the patients, families, friends and staff of Walter Reed
Hospital to do what ever is necessary to fight a horrible
privileged to study with Judy House, the founder of the healing quilts in
medicine project, for almost four years. Through this experience my work
has grown immensely and I was able to produce this piece which reflects
my passion for the project and quilting. I am thankful to have been part
of a project that produced so many amazing and inspiring art quilts for
the Walter Reed Hospital.
Gray, Manassas, VA
Purple Meadow Rue
composition gives homage to two aspects of Healing Quilts in Medicine:
the beauty of nature and science. In the foreground is the plant,
Thalictrum dasycarpum ─ Purple
Meadow Rue ─ from which is made Thalicarpine (Thaliblastine)
whose molecular composition is shown in the background. The beauty of
the plant gives us joy from its simple existence. But through science, a
beautiful plant can help us heal.
Lesly-Claire Greenberg, Fairfax, VA
When my long time friend
Judy House contacted me to ask if I would make a quilt for her Walter
Reed project I was touched. Here she was, once again, in a battle for
her life and was thinking of me. My only regret is that she never saw my
I chose heliotrope after
looking at various plants included on "the list" used to battle cancer.
I was taken by the star that resided in the center of the blossoms. I
drew the blossom with only the most important lines. Inspired by Ruth
McDowell's flowers I put it into a pentagon. I rendered it in a style of
drawing that I've done since the 60's, straight lines disjointed and
angular. I constructed this quilt in a combination of traditional and
It was a pleasant surprise
to learn that both my special friend Judy Spahn and quilt teacher
Ruth McDowell also chose heliotrope.
Artist: Judy House
Quilt Name: Taxol
A dear friend of mine who
lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer said, "Cancer equals WAITING". You
are either waiting for doctors appointments, tests, results of those
tests, treatments, and results of treatments. This is stressful time for
the patient, their family members and friends. I would therefore like to
provide them with something pleasant to look at and reflect on during
those often-difficult moments.
Deene Hurd, Washington, DC
passionate about fabric; the interaction of color, design, and the
tactile nature of fabric make it my favorite medium to work with. As an
avid quilt maker, I get immense enjoyment trapping pieces of fabric
within a structured grid characteristic of my geometric quilts. The
process of creating beautiful, successful quilts is through inspiration,
exploration and experimentation. Being invited to participate in this
project and working with Judy House in the Quilt Art Study Group has
given me an artistic vocabulary to tell my story.
piece is an original whole-cloth watercolor painting on cotton fabric.
Embellished with free motion quilting with variegated and monofilament
is fiber art. My medium is fabric. My tools are unlimited.
Hurd, Washington, DC
Name: Rosy Periwinkle
sewn since I was a child under my mother’s tutelage: garment sewer,
turned quilter, turned FIBER ARTIST. A quilting fanatic, not limited to
cotton fabrics and incorporating crafts. A non-traditionalist, most of
my work turns out as purses, bags and small wall hangings.
Canatharanthus roseus or rosy periwinkle. Construction: appliqué, zigzag
& straight stitches. Embellishments: beads and variegated threads
stitched in free motion. Each petal of the 3-dimensional flower is
backed with pink metallic cotton and shadowed with purple metallic
Honored to be selected
for this project. I am thankful to her and my fellow classmates.
Jordan, Vienna, VA
something comforting about quilts. Even those too small for the bed can
have a soothing appeal. It is my hope that the art quilts in this
exhibit offer some comfort or at least some brief distraction to the
viewers who find themselves waiting here. As a nurse who has worked in
oncology and a mother whose son was SUCCESSFULLY treated with
Vincristine, I was delighted to have the opportunity to interpret the
rosy periwinkle and hope it is seen as a sign of hope and joy in its
flower form and its chemo form.
Nancy Karst, Springfield, VA
Name: Healing Hands
Hands fascinate me. They
come in many shapes and sizes. Their structures are intricate,
delicate, and spiritual. With a small movement of a hand, we can give,
take, strike, or soothe. In my quilt I have chosen giving hands
offering special plants that give us medicines to fight disease:
rosea; Pacific yew; Heliotropium indicum; wild yams; and green tea. In
recent weeks the cancer-curative powers of green tea have been
questioned. I suggest that a pot of green tea shared with a dear friend
is good medicine indeed.
Mary Leakey, San Juan Bautista, CA
Name: Castor Bean
this quilt because my friend and quilt camp roommate, Judy House, asked
Lettau, Annandale, VA
Name: Sweet Potato
you to my dear friend Judy House for inviting me to participate in the
Healing Quilts in Medicine project. The sweet potato is in the morning
glory family, and grows in Hawaii. On visits, I have become impressed
with the quilting style from the islands. My hope is that the patients
at Walter Reed Medical Center who have been stationed in Hawaii during
their active careers may find special interest and memories in this
interpretation. My quilted piece shows the potato, the leaves and the
morning glory blossoms.
Carolyn Lynch, Annandale, VA
Quilt Name: I'm Chiquita Banana
I love to put a little
humor in my quilts. A good laugh helps to lighten up life’s serious
moments. In the 1950’s, one of the advertising world’s most famous
jingles was created. It begins with, “I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come
to say, bananas have to ripen in a certain way.” Several quilting
friends and I have enjoyed many a laugh about the candle salad made
famous in the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls, first
published in 1957. This provided the inspiration for my quilt.
Ruth McDowell, Winchester, MA
Name: Heliotropium Indicum
The inspiration for most
of my art quilts is a love of nature. In adapting nature to the
quilting medium, I try to distill the essence of the subject, leaving
out much more than I put in, to uncover the spirit. Each nature quilt
begins with an intense exploration of the natural subject matter before
the decisions are made about which aspects to select for the quilt
Judy House and I shared a
love for printed fabric. Her quilts always had a loose and playful air
and an elegant feeling for design. This combines our style – Ruth
McDowell piecing and Judy House raw edge appliqué.
Artist: Patricia McLaughlin, West Sussex,
Quilt Name: Judy's Wish
I discovered ‘Quilts’ in
1991 and amazingly found hitherto unknown skills. Starting a project
with plain white fabric, hand dye and paint to create a medium to mould
and stitch into pictorial appliqué has become my greatest joy.
The countryside and beauty
of this planet is my constant source of inspiration and therefore to be
part of the project “Healing Plants in Medicine” was a truly wonderful
Being myself a breast
cancer survivor, I, like so many others, have spent hours in austere
surroundings waiting for treatment. Completion of Judy House’s project
will provide peace and joy for many patients undergoing treatment.
I therefore humbly offer
my quilt named ‘Judy’s Wish’.
Artist: Carole Nicholas,
Quilt Name: Under Sea Gardens
I was inspired by a visit
to the underwater observatory nestled in Harrison's Cove, beneath
Pembroke Glacier in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. There, ten
meters below sea level, plants and animals grow in their natural
environment, but on large metal trays, next to the steep rock walls and
can be viewed undisturbed. Sunlight filters down through the water into
the Milford Deep to reveal graceful and exotic life forms. I included
actual mollusk shells, as well as photo images of coral, sponges and sea
slugs (specifically Elysia rufescens and Dolabella auricularia), all
subjects in cancer studies. How wonderful it would be if marine flora
and fauna were found to be beneficial in cancer treatment. Then it would
be possible to "cultivate" them in this manner.
Pace, Arlington, VA
Memory of Judy
design I created focuses on the hummingbird flower (Bouvardia ternifolia)
from which a drug is extracted to be used as a cure for cancer. An
individual entering Walter Reed Hospital's oncology department now has
more hope that a cure for cancer may be found. My quilt is a pathway of
hope and a message of caring and love.
Name: Seashells of Hope
Seashells used in research for a cure for cancer were photocopied onto
fabric and appliquéd to pieced background blocks. Do you see how the
color flows and how the circles relate to each other? Can you see the
seashells in the circles? Just as research results seem illusive and
difficult to foresee, so these fabric circles of shells may be subtle in
their attempt to share joy and hope.
Leslie Pfeifer, Fairfax, VA
Name: Chemo Hat Trick
When Judy House and I talked about this
project, we discussed the importance of humor when faced with a struggle
of any kind. Judy agreed that laughter is good medicine and her sense of
humor never left her. She loved chickens and often snuggled under a
chicken quilt of blocks made by some of her many friends. That is where
the idea for this silly quilt came from. When I showed her my quilt,
Judy "got it" immediately and smiled "out loud" and that is how I will
always remember my remarkable friend and artist.
Ropp, Arlington, VA
participated in this project because of my friend, Judy House. She was
the catalyst to get us all together for this cause. I was truly
inspired by Judy’s strength, determination, and spirit to continue on
her journey to help find a cure for cancer.
asked that our quilts be “happy.” I tend to create traditionally, so my
quilt is an actual appliqué adaptation of the Camptotheca acuminata
(happy tree) plant. I appliquéd it to a bright fabric with another two
fabrics for borders. My expertise is in the quilting stitch so I have
added quite a bit of hand quilting.
been a happy and sad experience. It has been wonderful to be included
with this group of talented quilters and artists, but sad for the
occasion itself. Though Judy lost her battle, I hope I can capture just
a small amount of her spirit. Judy will continue to live on in this
project and she will be thought of often. I hope these quilts hanging
at Walter Reed Oncology Infusion Center and Ward will help with the
waiting process for all the patients.
Schardt, Reston, VA
Name: Castor Bean
Quilts in Medicine has given me the opportunity to share my love of
quilting and my interest in things botanical. The castor bean with its
giant leaves and unique flower stalk presented an interesting challenge
both in color and technique. How to construct the flower?
Crochet them with pink fuzzy yarn. Touches of ink enhance the green of
the leaves. I hope this work gives the viewers a few moments of respite
at a trying time in their lives.
Quilt Name: Heliotropium Indicum
Friendship is forever,
regardless of distance. This quilt project was a wonderful opportunity
to honor a friend and her fight against cancer. And others may benefit
as well, for every stitch is made with love. Making the "Healing Quilt"
was therapy for me, since I could not be near my friend during her
battle with this disease.
Judy House's courage inspired me to use new free motion machine appliqué
techniques, leaving my comfort zone of hand-pieced geometric designs.
Each of our lives influences others; fortunate are those, like Judy, who
have done so in such a positive and courageous manner.
honored when Judy House called to ask if I would be interested in
participating in the Healing Quilts in Medicine project. I leapt at the
chance to work with this group of artists in such an important and
many levels, cancer is all about waiting. In the past few years, I’ve
spent too much time in hospitals, medical offices, infusion centers, and
all the other places where cancer patients and their loved ones go. As
part of this project, I hope to make the path a little easier for those
Artist: Elizabeth Palmer-Spilker,
(Fully Relying On God)
I firmly believe that
everything we need for life on this planet has been provided to us by
our Creator and that we should take care of what we’ve been given.
Poison-dart frogs are one of many examples of organisms provided to us
to study and learn from, and to benefit humanity. They are amazing and
beautiful creatures. I was honored to participate in this project as I
lost both my parents to cancer. Many thanks go to Devon Graham,
President and Scientific Director of Project Amazonas (www.projectamazonas.com)
for sharing his inspiring pictures of poison-dart frogs.
Del Thomas Placentia, CA
this plant to be the image on my quilt because indigo blue is one of
Judy House’s favorite colors. Woad is a dye plant used for thousands of
years in Northern Europe. Although the flowers are yellow, when the
plant is used as a natural dye the dye color is a blue very much like
indigo. Woad can be found along roadsides and in fallow fields through
the Western USA, although it is not a native and is listed as a noxious
weed in many states. It would be ironic if a plant that is considered
an agricultural pest should prove to be a treatment for cancer.
piecing, Machine quilting.
cotton fabrics, cotton thread and batting.
Silver Spring, MD
Name: Castor Bean
Judy House asked me to participate in the "Healing Quilts in
Medicine" project, I was elated to be able to contribute to this
wonderful endeavor. As well, it was also an opportunity for me to honor
the memory of 10 members of my family that have either died from cancer
or are cancer survivors. I hope that when patients and visitors of the
Oncology Infusion Center and Ward view my quilted "Castor Bean" hanging,
it will soften the hospital environment and ease the monotonous and
sometimes boring time while waiting for treatment.
Mary Colleen Flaherty
Quilt Name: A
learned to sew at my mother’s knee. I love to sew! I have tried other
forms of artistic expression but keep returning to sewing. The use of
embellishments and free expression using many techniques have enabled me
to expand the range of my art pieces.
mini-quilt is a broad vision of life here on earth and how very
beautiful every detail of our life with nature is. The earth feeds and
nourishes all of us not only in food and beauty, but also sustains us
with the surprises all the plants bring to us for food, color, smells
and the medicines that are hidden inside.
stitch ─ a prayer
color ─ a hug
bead ─ a thought of love
thread ─ a day of beauty