Blue Valentine

first iteration

first iteration

As promised, here is the visual record of ‘Blue Valentine’. I’m still calling it a valentine even though over the course of its making it became a family portrait — including a memorializing (of a sort) of Jack’s passing. First post was here.

Morning light

Morning light reveals quilting

I brought the small quilt on our recent camping trip, and when I wasn’t reading, “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen, I was stitching in and around hearts. Recall, the guys were gone for two days on a hiking adventure up Mt. Washington.

Amonoosuc Trail Head

Ammonoosuc Trail Head

reading companion

reading companion and the best book I’ve read yet this year (and I have read some really good books!!)


made heart blue; added red threads; birds did not make it; used one of the many woven strip rectangles I have lying around; appliqued pieced scraps or just scraps


added lots of quilting; once windows extended to the right, I saw a roof in the red; dog stitched/ripped out; couched baker’s twine around big heart; covered red ‘extension’ threads; where some fabric intersections were unruly, let myself apply whip stitch heavily

other half of roof, windows gaining definition

added blue X’s (kisses) on disintegrating dog shape; filled out roof and filled in windows


gave dog form again — for a while

added window to heart

added window to heart

'matching' roof on left, giving heart 'wings', MORE windows

created ‘matching’ roof on left (which gave large heart appearance of having wings); added MORE windows; red ‘base’ to structure is distorted blanket stitch atop chain stitch

more windows

added more windows; scraped away some of the ecru silk to reveal red ribbing — getting to idea of revealing scars or wounds, or merely showing underlying structure

changed from Valentine to Family Portrait

added two more small hearts so that there is one for each of us (including Jack) — changing piece from Valentine to Family Portrait. I like the downward dip of the lower edge. Bamboo skewer is a temporary hanger

This Morning Glory showed up the day Jack declined and has been blooming every morning since he died. It’s one of those reseeds that come and surprise and re-instill a sense of the glory and power of nature.  Because of the timing, I can’t help but consider it a tribute to our Jack.

beauty in the 'burbs

beauty in the ‘burbs – five-pronged star is sacred to the Goddess, by the way

15 thoughts on “Blue Valentine

  1. Mo Crow

    thank you for all the details of the progression, this is such a magic cloth and love your morning glory (it’s classified as a weed here!)

  2. Sandy

    A beautifully symbolic quilt! We have some white morning glories growing across the street in a field. Not sure where they originated. They are beautiful!

  3. deedeemallon

    thanks all… the blueness appealed to me as well, Cindy, and it is a flower of comfort and affirmation and magic!

  4. saskia

    just loved sharing the journey of the quilt; have read same book, what a trip that was! an excellent read.
    wow, to the morning glory, i try and grow them here every year, alas none of the seeds transpired into plants 2013, but I can admire and enjoy yours

  5. debgorr

    I wish morning glories grew better here. I tried one year but they never did much. Not enough heat. Now bindweed, ugh! They may look a lot alike but I’d be more than happy to not have it grow here.

    As I was looking at your Blue Valentine I was thinking you have a gift for gathering bits and pieces together…

  6. nadia

    Hi, Dee. Your Blue Valentine is lovely and definitely speaks with your voice. You’ve made Jack come alive in your stories and your artwork.
    best, nadia


Leave a Reply