The Bluest Eye

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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10 thoughts on “The Bluest Eye

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

    Thank you for sharing


  2. 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.

  3. 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!


  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!