The Bluest Eye

5 May 2009
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Based on the book of the same name by Toni Morrison, about a little African-American girl growing up in horrible violence and poverty who wishes she had blue eyes like Shirley Temple. It is one of my favorite books, a must-read. Submitted for the 2008 Quilting Arts Calendar. It didn't make the final cut, but it was awarded a Judge's Choice award, and ran in the magazine that summer.

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Whidbey2 wrote
on 5 May 2009 9:36 PM

I love this.  Eyes have always fasinated me.  How big is this piece?  Is it painted and appliqued?  Really great.

Thank you for sharing


Jamie Fingal wrote
on 5 May 2009 10:46 PM

This is a stunning piece.  I, too would like to know how large it is.  I would love to see it in person.  Great colors and the machine quilting is amazing.

BarbaraH106 wrote
on 6 May 2009 2:04 AM

Great! This vivid eye gives me an impression of that novel (?) I want to read immediately.
Tony Morrison is one of my favourite author but I've never thougt of translating a theme or feeling of a book into fabric. I did it once of a poem into an hand-stiched embroidery. 
That  Eye gives me a new idea. Thank you for sharing!


on 6 May 2009 5:44 AM

Thanks, y'all! This piece is 12 x 12"... I made it for the 2008 Quilting Arts Calendar competition, which had the theme "A Novel Idea," and the entries were to be based on a favorite book. It is not painted; everything is fabric and thread. The smallest pieces in the iris are only about 1/8". I started by taking photos of my daughter's eye and the eye of one of her African-American classmates, then slicing the photos diagonally and repositioning them in PhotoShop to create a rough pattern with the look I wanted. Then I printed it out at the size I needed and traced it to create patterns for fusible web, and cut and fused the pieces into place. The eyelashes are done just with thread. The biggest challenge was finding the right fabrics for the skin colors, and the transition area between them.

Vivien Zepf wrote
on 6 May 2009 5:11 PM

I've always loved this piece.  Thanks for sharing it here and telling us how you created it.  I think eyes are so hard to create.

on 7 May 2009 5:05 AM

It is interesting how people react to this piece. I think it is because you can't help looking back, with that big eye looking at you! It kind of pulls you in. I'd love to do a bigger piece with lots of sets of eyes on it.

Barbm12 wrote
on 7 May 2009 3:48 PM

Stunning is the first word that comes to mind, then remarkable and reflective.


moominmamma wrote
on 10 May 2009 11:38 AM

fab really like this piece. Your very talented

Riverlovr wrote
on 25 Sep 2010 6:35 PM

I'm always amazed at Susan's work, and this one is no exception.   Instead, it's EXCEPTIONAL!  I'll continue to practice, and maybe someday I might be half as good a free-motion quilter as she is.  I'm quite envious of her talent!

on 25 Sep 2010 8:52 PM

Thanks so much for all the nice comments! This is still one of my favorite pieces.