Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art






Orchid quilt complete with photographic image applied to cloth, background thread painted, and satin border added.


  • This quilt and others like it are part of a project that is the outgrowth of a long-standing fascinating hobby of mine involving horticulture, namely, cultivting my own orchids. The preoccupation has been effectively coupled with my developing photographic skills. The combination enables me to preserve wonderfully detailed images of the orchid's delicately variegated and intriguingly complex flowers. They make such great subjects for my work.
  • An image was chosen from an abundance of possibilities and printed on a block of fabric. Contrary to prior image transfer techniques that I used on other quilt works, specifically photo silk-screening, I printed the photograph for this piece directly on the cloth.
  • Quilting is then done using both thread painting in swirling patterns and free-motion quilting (made possible by dropping the feed dogs on the sewing machine to allow the cloth to be moved independently by hand) on the background areas, leaving the main image of the flower, buds and stem pristine.
  • Cream-colored satin cloth borders are added as well as wider outer black cloth borders. Cotton batting is sandwiched between the intricately decorated front panel and the black pack panel to complete the work.
  • Dates:  2014 for Orchid Quilts I, II and III. 2015 for Orchid Quilt IV.
  • Sizes: Orchid Quilt I:  20.75" x 15.25".
    • Orchid Quilt II:  21.5" x 17.0".
    • Orchid Quilt III: 11.5" x 11.5".
    • Orchid Quilt IV: 33.5" x 27.5".
  • Prices: Orchid Quilt I:    $850.00 framed.
    • Orchid Quilt II:   $850.00 framed. 
    • Orchid Quilt III:  $750.00 framed. 
    • Orchid Quilt IV:  $1,500.00 framed.







   Assemblage of orchid photographs from artist's personal orchid plant collection.


  • This is a small sampling of photographic images obtained from orchids I grew in my collection. This assemblage illustrates some of the variations and details of this intriguing and showy plant species.


  Photographic image used for the Orchid Quilt.  


  • For this quilt, I chose one sharply detailed photograph, shown here, for printing directly on cloth fabric.


Thread painting applied to form patterned stitching.


  • A series of images are presented to illustrate the technique of thread painting using parallel lines of colored threads to produce the swirling pattern in the background areas, plus free-motion quilting (with feed dogs dropped so the cloth can be moved freely by hand) to yield more diverse decorative fields to fill in between the patterned work. The contrasting impact of the two techniques on the background area is shown particularly well in the enlarged lower right corner image above.
  • The flower petals as well as the buds and their stems are left unembellished, except for outlining. I felt to do otherwise would essentially be akin to gilding the lily.


Satin border applied to completed quilt.
Finished quilt with wide black border added.


  • A narrow cream-colored satin border and a wide black cloth surrounding outer border (not yet in place in this image) are added.
  • The quilting process sandwiches soft cotton batting between the printed orchid image panel and the back panel of black cloth by means of the aforementioned stitching techniques.
  • Date: 2014.
  • Size: 20.75" X 15.25.
  • Available for purchase. Price: $850.00 framed.



Second orchid quilt.


  • A second orchid quilt is made from a high-resolution photograph of another orchid I grew. The image is transferred to a white fabric panel by print photography.
  • It is enhanced by thread painting, consisting of imparting swirled patterns of multicolored thread stitching. Fabric painting enhances detail and color intensity.
  • A wide black border of fabric is added.
  • Cotton batting is sandwiched between the image panel and a comparably sized rectangle of black fabric.
  • Date: 2014.
  • Size: 21.5" x 17.0".
  • Available for purchase. Price: $850.00 framed.




Another orchid quilt.


  • The third orchid quilt is also based on an orchid that I grew and photographed.
  • The images is modified and manipulated by computer, as illustrated here.
  • It is photographically printed to a square of cotton fabric.
  • Additional embellishments include thread painting with multicolored threads and fabric painting to add details and to enhance the coloration.
  • A narrow black border is added and decorated in green.
  • Cotton batting is sandwiched between the image panel and a large black fabric panel.
  • Date: 2014.
  • Size: 11.5" x 11.5".
  • Sold.




Fourth in the series of orchid quilts.


  • This work represents another quilt designed from an image of an orchid I grew and photographed.
  • The picture is first manipulated on a computer, digitally simplified, and duplicated in mirror image to achieve the design shown here. Other design elements are added as well.
  • The resulting design is photographically printed on a rectangle of white cotton fabric and then modified using thread painting with multicolored threads, appliqued and air-brushed.
  • White fabric borders are added.
  • Cotton batting is sandwiched between the image panel and a large white cloth back panel.

 Close-up view to show detailed stitching patterns.        Close-up view showing more detailed stitching patterns.

Details of thread painting illustrated in close-up view.


  • Close-up views to show the detailwork in the thread painting, consisting of using colored threads to stitch intricate patterns into the work. 



 Completed work with thin black cloth border, black cloth backing and sandwiched batting between the front and back panels.


  • Completed work with thin black cloth border folded from the black back panel and sandwiched batting between front and back panels.
  • Date: 2015.
  • Size:  33.5" x 27.5".
  • Available for purchase. Price $1,500.

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