Tu-Na Quilts: Art with Fabric: Sunflowers-if Van Gogh Were a Quilter


Welcome to my stop on the Art with Fabric Blog Hop. Thank you Alida of Tweety Loves Quilting for hosting this event. Be sure to stop by the other artists displaying their creations today. The list is below.

I grew up on a farm. When I read that the theme for this Art with Fabric Blog Hop was Mother Earth, visions of fields came to mind. My parents have now retired and moved off the farm but my brother and his boys now work the land. They raise wheat, corn, soybeans, canola, cattle, kids (the human kind), and sunflowers.

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“Daddy, where are you?” This is my great niece and I think the hat in the field adorns the head of my nephew.

The beautiful sunflower fields have now turned brown but my nephew’s wife rescued me and sent me pics she took of last year’s crop.

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I’m thinking that van Gogh didn’t use field sunflowers or he’d never have fit so many in the vase.

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This crop of sunflowers and kids are growing nicely and quickly! I wonder what or who my great nephew is pointing to?

When images of sunflowers came to mind, I immediately thought of van Gogh and his Sunflowers.


This piece can be found at the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

In fact, I have several sunflower pictures already decorating my walls. They are more precious than van Gogh’s (although one of his five Sunflower paintings sold for over 39 million dollars). Mine, however, are priceless.

When my kids were in school, they had the same third grade teacher who showed them how to paint like the masters: van Gogh, da Vinci, Grant Wood, O’Keefe. Yes, I had some of their prints framed and they still decorate my living room walls.

I wondered if I could interpret the sunflowers in fabric form for my Art with Fabric entry.

I present: Sunflowers—if van Gogh were a quilter


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This mini is 13.75″ x 16.5″.

I chose not to use the monochromatic color scheme that van Gogh used. I didn’t even look at the ones that my kids had done. I just chose the colors I wanted to use.

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If it looks like these petals and leaves are loose and standing up, they are! I went for the 3-D effect.

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I quilted a crosshatch creating a diamond. This helped soften the dizziness of the navy blue, checkered tablecloth.

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Ric rac makes a perfect stem. I even folded it down and left the fold hanging for more effect. I am on a mission to use and promote the use of ric rac.

I framed this quilt with a wide 1″ binding. (Yes, it is possible to use a wide binding and even make mitered corners!) After all, if you’ve visited any museums and seen the master’s, you’d know they are framed with heavy wooden frames usually containing gold leaf. You can see hints of gold in my binding fabric which is a landscapes from Northcott.

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Van Gogh was brilliant! I suspect he was a bit perplexed about how to paint those stems entering the top of the vase. To solve that dilemma, he just painted several flowers over that area and didn’t have to worry about the perspective.  So I did the same except I sewed one on.

The backing came in the mail as a wonderful surprise just in time for me to use. I won 10 fat quarters of Batiks from The Objects of Design last month and this one was included. It was perfect for the back. Thanks Sally!

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I included folded corners in the top to make hanging this mini easy.

And now it’s ready to be hung with the masters.

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Visit these Fabric Artists today to view their creations. Most should be posted by 7 am EST.

For the full week’s schedule, see my post here.

I am so glad you stopped by today. I am most frequently asked about my name, Tu-Na. You can read how that name was bestowed upon me here. I started quilting when I was 16 and  wrote my second post here about that quilt. I guess you’ll have to read it to find out why it resulted in my receiving jewelry and a marriage proposal and to find out what happened to it.

I hope you enjoyed my Art with Fabric project and post on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I write about the things I enjoy doing: quilting, traveling, and eating (well cooking and baking but that didn’t sound good in a title of a blog). If you enjoyed your stop here and would like to receive notice when I publish a post here on my blog, you are welcome to subscribe to follow me. You’ll find three ways to do so: email, WordPress, and Bloglovin. They are listed in the sidebar to your right on a computer or down below on your mobile device.

Coming Soon:

Tu-Na Quilts: A Visit to the Quilted Ceiling Quilt Shop in Valley City, ND

Tu-Na Quilts: It’s All Out of the Bag (pertaining to the Quilt MN Shop Hop Loot)

What I Learned Today:

  1. It feels good to be back in the sewing room. After taking several weeks off for the second time this summer and fall, I am now back to creating and catching up with bees, quilt-a-longs, and blogging. Look out fabric and thread, needles and scissors are flying around the room!
  2. Retirement is hard work.
  3. To be more like van Gogh. When a problem occurs, such as when seams won’t match, just sew a flower over it.

Question: What do you create with fabric? Let me know in the comments. Years ago, I sewed pretty dresses and hats for my daughter and zuba pants for my boys. Now I make mostly functional bed quilts so I was reaching outside my comfort zone with this wall hanging.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Pieceful Sunday at Janda Bend Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She


28 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Art with Fabric: Sunflowers-if Van Gogh Were a Quilter

  1. Cocoa Quilts

    Karen I love the look of a full sunflower field. Your framed pictured are priceless. What a great teacher to have shared that with her kids.


  2. Kathleen McCormick

    Such a fun quilt, with a family of paintings to hang it with! My son had one of those teachers in 1st grade and it was inspiration. I still have his Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe pieces. You know I am still waiting to see the stash. Off to England, for mother in laws memorial service. Have a few entries to do for my blog, but my IPad is not the most cooperative when it comes to blogger…..


  3. inquiringquilter

    I love the Art Blog Hop and was so sorry I couldn’t participate this time. What a wonderful quilt you’ve made! If you’ve read my blog you’ll know how fond of Van Gogh I am. How wonderful that your children are too. Thanks for linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss.


  4. lapaylor

    we both chose van Gogh but approached it differently. That’s cool. It seems you were inspired more by content, or composition and shape, freedom of placement than color. I wish I’d had an art teacher like that one. Doing one of my other artists, I watched a youtube on how to paint like Edward Hopper and it was fascinating. That way you learn so much more about style. I want to return to painting actually, which was brought home today by going through my stuff for a move. I found my watercolor paintings, and love them! I didn’t realize how much when I was too close to them but time proved a good perspective. We sort of paint with fabric. Good job Karen.


  5. Edi

    Good thing Van Gogh wasn’t a quilter !!! I LOVE your interpretation. This is a gorgeous piece. I LOVE the 3D blooms. I can’t say enough good things about this piece. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


  6. Alida

    Fantastic piece!! The 3D effect is so interesting and so Van Gogh! Seeing all the interpretations of the same painting by different people and in different media is just great! Your piece is the perfect addition to the collection!! Thanks for sharing your talent in this blog hop!!


  7. Rochelle Summers

    Wonderful Van Gogh interpretation. I see that by not making things too complicated it’s easy to enjoy the process AND finish the project. Glad you are back in the sewing room….a great place to be!!


  8. Demaris Soso

    Karen, you are definitely a genius to come up with this masterpiece idea. What a neat way
    to follow out your vision of a Van Gogh painting. Truly remarkable. Love the sunflower pictures to, especially the one with the hidden Daddy.


  9. Dione Gardner-Stephen

    Hi Karen, your version of Van Gogh’s sunflowers and your blog pictures make me feel happy. Thank you for the smile on my face today. 🙂 I grew up next to a sunflower farm, and still remember waking up in the mornings to the gas guns to keep the birds out of the crop at dawn. I very nearly chose sunflowers as my subject for the blog hop too! How funny would that have been, three interpretations of Van Gogh on the same hop? Anyway, I didn’t, but I’m glad you did. Your little quilt is a fantastic addition to the family Van Gogh inspired art gallery. xx


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  11. Andrea H

    When I first glanced at your picture on the Finished or Not Friday linky party, I immediately thought of Van Gogh. You’ve brought his paintings to life with your finish. As usual, you do a fantastic job! Andrea


  12. cdahlgren2013

    I absolutely love your Sunflower Art Quilt! I happen to live in North Dakota too! Too bad you couldn’t have put your quilt in our guild quilt show. You’d have some stiff competition, and you would be amazed at the wonderful quilts we’re showing. If you’re anywhere near Grand Forks Friday and Saturday, come check us out at the Aleris! Jadahlgr at Yahoo dot Com


  13. thedarlingdogwood

    I love that you have sunflower art from you AND your kids! Such a cool quilt project, and I love the idea of framing kid’s art and putting it on the wall. My son is still in scribble stage, but I love it for the future.


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