August 29, 2012

My Refrigerator Quilt

I used to belong to FACET, a critique group of art quilters.  Besides meeting monthly for critique sessions, we also created a couple of traveling shows.  The one I'm going to talk about in this post was created in 2000 and called "Narrative Portraits".  We always tried to come up with a theme that would be flexible enough to inspire all our members and include all the varied techniques represented in our work.

My portrait concept came to me one night while chopping veggies for dinner.  My kids were 10 and 6 at the time.  We got, and still get, our veggies with a subscription to an organic farm.  I do a lot of chopping.  

The lightbulb:  My refrigerator door is a snapshot of my life and what is important to me.  I stick lots of inspirational quotes and artwork on my fridge, as well as our weekly schedule that I print up on the computer every Friday for the next week.  And I love reading what other people have on their fridges.

Making this quilt was a technical stretch for me, my first venture into photo transfers.  I edited out some of the multitude of bits and pieces posted on the fridge, and enlarged the items that I used, so that they would be a bit more legible. The vents at the bottom are pieced, since I couldn't find a stripe just right for my needs.  The handles are stuffed.  

The quilt is 36" x 67", the size of my real-life fridge.

Here's what I wrote about it on my website:
"I came up with this idea when challenged to make a piece for a show entitled "Narrative Portraits". Refrigerator "stuff" provides a glimpse of where our lives are and what's important to us, and generally includes a good dose of humor, too. I love standing in my friends' kitchens reading their refrigerators. I use mine to post thoughts and images that remind me of my path, help me through my days. This quilt was a big step for me, my first adventure in what I like to call high-tech quilting. It's the first time I've ever done anything to the fabric besides cut and stitch it. It's also the funniest quilt I've ever made."

In the scatter of magnetic letters, you will see "AW" representing myself, "L", "K" and "K" representing my husband and two kids, "X" and "O" because I love them, and "Quilt", a word of obvious importance.

The title, tongue firmly in cheek, is "Portrait of the Artist as a ... Refrigerator".

The quilt did travel around for a while, and now resides here with me.  (Am I jealous of all the places my quilts have been to and I have not?  Yes.  And it's so much easier for them to travel, they just sit in a box and let other people handle the logistics.  That's what really make me jealous.)

I'm writing this post now, because I just heard again from someone who liked the quilt well enough to put it on his own site (after politely asking permission - not only is it polite, but I really appreciate knowing that someone likes my work well enough to post it).  His site is based on exactly the same concept - the our refrigerator doors show us who we really are.  And isn't that really what blogs are all about anyways?  Electronic refrigerator doors!  Thanks, James Huggins!


  1. Wow! This is really fantastic! Earlier today while thinking about a photo memory quilt I could make for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, I looked at my fridge and thought how cool would it be to make a quilt that looks like a fridge with pictures on it! So I just decided to google it, and cent across This. Awesome job!

    1. Thanks, Gina! Great minds think alike, right?! If you make a refrigerator quilt one day, I'd love to see photos.

    2. Agreed! 😁. I don’t know when I’ll have time to try making one in the next year, but if and when I do, I will definitely share some photos with you. (I will have to check out your Facebook page and website too).