Nellie"s Needles

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tropical Garden Finished

Jeong's Tiki Garden - 44"x 28"

Up through the day that I left Michigan, I worked to get this tropical garden quilt finished so it could be shipped on our way out of town. It's created as a gift in appreciation to special friends who live in Hawaii. The guys had met way back in 1957 when my husband had lived there for a year while his father was a visiting professor. We have visited and been royally entertained by the Jeong's on quite a few trips to Hawaii over the years since.

The tiki has special meaning. Lee's mother had made a shirt with fabric that had been hand block printed with it for him back when Lee and Kawiki met. Quite a few years later Lee had out grown it, so it became a part of my wardrobe for a number of summers. Now 55 years later, the shirt fabric is too fragile to wear. So I cut out the tiki and layered it with tulle netting to become a feature in this tropical garden.

This quilted tropical garden features my favorite Hawaiian flowers … Plumeria, Hibiscus, Orchids, Bird of Paradise, and Ginger along with the amazing Ti plants and foliage. The border of Impatience along the bottom edge were included especially for David. That plant being the answer he gave me when I asked him his favorite flower.
It's amazing how a swipe of pastels and a touch of paint brings the flowers and leaves to life.

Tucked in among all that tropical splendor are images of our all time favorite Rock 'n Roll singer, Elvis who also loved Hawaii.

I'm fond of this picture taken of it hanging on my clothes line with the trees and foliage of Michigan in the background.
I hang my work on the line to spray coatings of acrylic protectorate on the surface. This gets done at intervals during their construction. I like to use Krylon. It protects against dirt and fading of colors.

Getting lost in this project has also been my refuge during this period of time dealing with breast cancer. There's more surgery in my future to get rid of stray cancer cells.


Karen Christensen said...

As special as this quilt is the story makes it so much more! I love that you used the old shirt tiki here, special! And Elvis too ;) Your friends are going to LOVE this!!

McIrish Annie said...

This is a another beauty.

Beverly said...

I'm so glad to see what you are up to, I have been wondering how you are doing. This quilt is gorgeous, I love the tiki! Your friends will treasure it-

I'm also sending good thoughts and prayers your way-

Maggie R said...

Love the quilt Nellie, and "Elvis" :)

Vicki W said...

What a wonderful gift! It's so full of beautiful detail and it's great that it was such a good diversion for you. I am sorry you have to have more surgery but I hope the durgery is soon so you can get it all behind you.

Maureen C said...

As usual you have created a truly beautiful piece and I'm sure your friends will treasure it, and the love that went into its creation.
I am so pleased for you that you chose this method to keep yourself centred and positive as youe treatment goes forward.
My prayers are with you

Heather said...

Best of luck with your battle Nellie. The quilt is another stunning masterpiece and I love the inclusion of the tiki. What a lovely gift to receive.

June Calender said...

A special gift which is beautiful and fun -- the tiki is surely for longevity, and the Elvis too. How wonderful to be a talented quilter because you can work at something mentally and physically soothing, end up with a deeply meaningful gift for your friends and probably keep help your immune system at the same time. Very good wishes for the outcome of your needed surgery.

paula said...

i just love that this looks unlike any 'quilt' i've ever seen. bright and filled with a mixed media sense.
and of course you know you are in my thoughts health wise! xoxo

Quiltdivajulie said...

Prayers continue as you heal and recover going forward . . . have you written about the spray before? I don't think I remember this part.

Love the hidden Elvi!

darcey said...

Hi Nellie
Best wishes as you continue your treatment. I have wanted to tell you for some time now, that you have inspired me to do my own 'lake series' type quilt. I love the ocean and it doesn't matter what the day looks like, it's all stunningly beautiful to me.
It took me a long time to work up the courage to try it and even longer to be brave enough to tell you that I completed it. Would you like to see it? Let me know and I'll send you a photo.
All the best.

flavia said...

bellissmo! ma non ho capito se le piante e i fiori sono veri o finti o di plastica o di stoffa????
a presto!!!ciao

Lynnda Tenpenny said...

Love the story; Love the Tiki God! And Elvis tucked in there is perfect.

Lynnda Tenpenny said...

Love the story; Love the Tiki God! And Elvis tucked in there is perfect.

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Nellie. Such a gorgeous quilt for friends. The tiki and Elvis are perfect, a bit of tongue-in-cheek. Hope all goes well with your continued treatments.
best, nadia

Cristina said...

Hello, Nellie! I find your work being absolutely amazing! You will find a small sign of appreciation, a prize, on my blog, at

Donna~~ said...

This is just gorgeous--amazing detail!