Holocaust Quilt

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The quilt is inspired by the book  “… I never saw another butterfly …” which is a compilation of children’s drawings and poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944.  Of the 15,000 children who passed through this camp during those two years, less than 100 survived.

My friend Gillian told me about this book. Gillian is committed to teaching young people about the holocast, both her Hebrew School students and by developing a curriculum that can be used by others. She is a gifted writer and teacher. She is also my dear friend. So this quilt was for her.

I started with several blue fabrics, randomly pieced together for the wall at the bottom, then heavily thread painted to represent the stonework. The black scarf represents the blackness of the concentration camp, which is sewn on. I made each butterfly individually, and I talked about the technique in previous posts. The flowers are made of felt — and are talked about in previous posts. I wanted to give them a folk-art type look of being child-like, to give the piece a sense of child-like art.

I used deep blue commercial fabric imprinted with the Star of David, which I free motioned quilted with stars.

This piece held great significance for me — both because I was making it for a friend, and because of the historical tragedy it represented. It is the first quilt I’ve created with deep meaning.  It was an odd feeling to be quilting with a lump in my throat, or holding back tears. This was my first experience with the emotion that can go into our artwork. I am very proud of this quilt. I was honored to create it for my friend Gillian, because I know that she it is a piece of her more important work.

“Many More Butterflies”  is approximately 26″ x 30″ in size.

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