The Fabric of My Life 1 – Memories Unfolding

Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Featured Flag, Fibre Art & Quilts Portfolio, Portfolio | 0 comments

The Fabric of My Life 1 Quilt Art

Work in Progress Photo of The Fabric of My Life 1- Memories Unfolding 51.5×49″ Memory Quilt Art © 2010 Diane Duncan



The Fabric of My Life 1 – Memories Unfolding


Quilt / Fibre Art


This quilt was originally exhibited as a ‘work in progress’ and I think it’s almost completed!  At the first show is won a 3rd place ribbon for large wall quilt and a later iteration placed 2nd at another show.  I still have a few things to add so it’s evolving!  This picture was taken in 2008 for the first show.

The fabric of My Life was truly a labour of love!  Each piece of fabric, both front and back, harbours a memory for me.  It even contains a small piece of fabric from the quilt that my grandmother made for my wedding in 1967 and some of her ‘house dress’ fabrics!  My first high school home economics class projects and 4-H projects are represented along with maternity and other clothes constructed through the years.

The ribbon banner was from a formal dress worn in the 1970’s and the label pins (under chiffon for exhibition security) include those earned by my husband and I in Sunday school, 4-H, Junior Farmers, and later from conference and activities in which we participated. It even includes pins representing the states we have visited during our travels.  I keep finding additional pins as I sort through family memorabilia – another project underway – so it’s still a work in progress!

Here is the content of a label on the back of the quilt:

My personal challenge:

to preserve memories associated with the fabric and findings.

When preparing to move into smaller accommodation, my Mother presented me with a bag of fabric scraps that, when examined, I realized dated back to my first sewing projects.  I decided this ‘find’ was too good to not use so combined these fabric pieces with left-overs from my own stash, and a few that date back to dresses – and my wedding quilt – from my Grandmother!  Both the front and back of  this quilt contain only fabrics that have personal significance to me.  When I was preparing to ‘down-size’ I discovered a sizable collection of lapel pins, some dating back to my husband’s and my childhood, encompassing many of the organizations to which we have belonged and some from places we have visited.  Today we travel extensively in a motor home and I have continued to build this ‘scrapbook’ as we explore the North American continent.

Notes About the Symbolism in this Quilt

The crazy patch portion represents the ‘crazy’ busy years of my life – Sunday School, 4-H, Junior Farmers, high school, university, and later, time spent raising a family and participating in farm organizations, volunteer activities, travel and a return to the workplace.

The tunnel of circles represents the transition years, when we prepared for retirement, took short-term trips and started to let go of the past by sorting and distributing the accumulated trivia of a lifetime.  The colors reflect the highs and lows of emotions experienced during this period of my life.  The ‘golden’ end of the tunnel reflects my hopes for a simpler, more peaceful lifestyle in retirement, now overlaid with the busy reality of retirement on the road, splitting our year between visits to the home areas of a son in Calgary and a son in Phoenix, with occasional visits to eastern Canada to visit other family members.

The quiet lower area initially represented the hoped for peaceful retirement with occasions of busyness, but is quickly filling with the reality of our new lifestyle.


The ‘evolving’ quilt has been exhibited:

2007 International Plowing Match Quilt Exhibition and Competition,  Quit Art (3rd) International Plowing Match, Elgin, ON.

2008   World Quilt and Textiles on Tour XII (jury), ‘ ‘The Fabric of my Life 1’ exhibited at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XV, Harrisburg, PA, September 4-7; the World Quilt Show – New England in Manchester, HN, September 18-21; the Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, (San Francisco Bay Area), CA October 16-19; and the Greater Chicago Quilt Festival, Schaumburg, IL, November 13-16, 2008.

2010 Creative Stitches Show, exhibition and competition, a  2nd place award for a large multimedia Quiltart, Calgary, AB.

Circa 2010.


In the artist’s collection.


The Back of The Fabric of My Life 1

The Back of The Fabric of My Life 1 © 2010 Diane Duncan

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