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Work Samples

Delilah 12-1-19 - jpeg.jpg

Delilah's Summer Day - a fabric collage

Honoring Diversity_61x58_full.jpg

Honoring Diversity
Honoring Diversity is an art quilt combining fabrics, beads, threads, stitching and words in the borders.

Words, Words, Words

Words, Words, Words

Roots of Creation

Roots of Creation
Roots of Creation - a painting of images, words and story


About Karen Amelia

Carroll County

     My work sometimes begins with just a word. I may have written it or heard it or seen it or found it. It does not matter where it begins, just that it is a response to a part of  my world. Other times my work begins as I simply stitch pieces of cloth together without a plan or an idea, but just to create and to keep my hands moving. Later, when I listen and observe, the pieces begin to come together and call for a different kind of making – to wait, to listen for the next... more

And Gandhi said ...

Gandhi said "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." After hearing and reading this quote for months, I knew it was time to make something. I begin making small blocks of fabrics without a plan. After months, the blocks came together into a circle resembling the world. The corner areas became the place for phrases to help us honor the diversity of this world. This series of art quilts explores how we can begin the changes we wish to see.

Wild Fibers

The act of creating a fabric collage of a wild animal is somewhat daunting. Questions arise. Do I want a realistic image? Do I want to push limits and create a vibrant being in fiber?

  • Delilah's Summer Day

    Delilah's Summer Day
    Delilah's Summer Day was inspired by Mary Oliver's poem The Summer Day. The poem begins by asking 'who made the world? ... and this grasshopper?' I wanted Delilah to appear vibrant and wild, colorful and startling and to jump off the background. Hand dyed, painted and commercial fabrics were used in this quilt.
  • Delilah headshot

    Delilah's Summer Day
    Look at Delilah's wonderful eyes.
  • Delilah's wings

    Delilah's Summer Day
    With such gorgeous wings, she will fly!
  • Larger Than Life

    Larger than Life
    Larger Than Life began as an exercise to display 'tarnish', in this case the change in copper after exposure to the elements. But a statue alone was not enough. The image of a real feathered heron brings a different note to this art quilt.
  • Heron detail

    Larger than Life
    The 'live' heron stands in the grasses studying the statue.
  • Statue detail

    Larger than Life
    Notice how copper turns to verdigris.
  • Mr. B, the Purple Bison

    Mr. B, the Purple Bison
    Mr. B, the Purple Bison, grew from a challenge to create a bison in fiber from a photo by my son. I could not work only in browns - Mr. B called for blues and purples.
  • Mr. B close up

    Mr. B, the Purple Bison
    Mr. B - a face only a mother could love!

Inspired by the Natural World

My perfect environment would include trees, a marsh, ocean access, hills and sunshine. I bring these elements into my work for myself as well as for the viewer. These photos show just a few of my nature inspired art quilts.

  • Climbing the Mountain

    Climbing the Mountain
    This fiber rendition of Climbing the Mountain depicts the beauty and solitude that I yearn for amid the trees and the river. I painted the river, the sky and butterflies with thickened dyes to get the colors I wanted.
  • Climbing the Mountain detail

    Climbing the Mountain
    This close-up shows the details of the dye painting and stitching.
  • Rootedness

    These trees touch the sky and absorb the sunlight and air. The roots reach deep into the earth, just as our roots go deep.
  • Roots go deep

    Just as the branches of trees reach high into the sky, the roots of trees go deep for nourishment and stability.
  • At Waters Edge

    At Water's Edge
    Where ocean and sand meet is a magical place known as the littoral zone, a place unlike sand or ocean but affected by both. This littoral zone in fiber is full of color and a bit of magic.
  • At Waters Edge detail

    At Water's Edge
    A close-up of this intimate space where new things are born.
  • Colors of the Mesa

    Colors of the Mesa
    Southwest skies are bigger and the colors more vivid.
  • Colors of the Mesa

    Colors of the Mesa
    Notice the use of more vivid colors and stitching to emphasize the vastness of a Southwest sky.
  • Flow

    Every marsh is unique and different in each season.
  • Flow

    A marsh in the springtime is full - the water is flowing, plants are popping up and the sun makes everything brighter.

Art Quilts can ...

Art quilts are a step away from the beautiful and functional traditional quilts of the past. Art quilts are as individual as the maker yet make use of the elements of design. My creative world opened up when I became aware of the wide world of art quilting.

  • Kandinsky

    Kandinsky Meets Fibonacci
    ... bring rejects together. This quilt, Kandinsky Meets Fibonacci, began with two spirals that did not work. I added some ideas from Kandinsky's work, to show size changes, repetition of shapes and vectors.
  • Emily's Canoes

    Emily's Canoes
    ... be inspired by art from another medium. Emily's Canoes is my interpretation of a painting by Emily Carr done in fabric. It began with a recent class assignment to duplicate a master's painting. After getting permission to do so, I started to build the images with fabric and miles of thread. Details were emphasized by free motion quilting.
  • African style

    In the Manner of Africa
    ... can break rules. A study of African quilting styles and fabrics resulted in this quilt. The construction was accomplished without the normal matchy-matchy focus. Balance came accidentally using mudcloth from Africa with hand dyed and commerical fabrics. The rhythm of patterns has been disrupted for interest.
  • earth sea sky

    Earth, sea and sky
    ... create a new shape that relates to the subject. Earth, sea and sky blend together daily - division changes and overlaps all the time.

The Rivers of Prayer

These paintings were created after seeing an exhibit on Ethiopian Healing Scrolls. That format of tall and narrow seemed to fit my themes of creation, life and remembering.

  • A Heron's Journey

    Heron's Journey
    This great blue heron appeared in dreams showing him coming in for rest and sustenance, then standing tall and noble before lifting into the air in his regal fashion.
  • Genesis

    Genesis 1
    The opening words of the book of Genesis touch me deeply with the poetic description of the beginning of the world.
  • Genesis detail

    Creation story
    As the world swirls in creation, the story is written in white.
  • Creation

    Roots of Creation
    This painting depicts the roots of Creation with the words from Genesis embedded in the earth.
  • Roots of Creation detail

    Roots of Creation detail
    The words from Genesis surround the growing roots.
  • Remembrance and Resurrection

    Remembrance and Resurrection
    Remembrance and Resurrection is my memorial to the victims of the 9-11 disaster. I created a symbol to represent a soul and painted one for everyone who was lost. In between the river of blue, I lettered the names of the countries known at that time who lost people. Even now in 2019, this is both a powerful reminder of our losses and a path to healing as it is displayed on that date.

Connect with Karen Amelia

Karen Amelia's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.