THE SHELL COLLECTOR: a Pictographic Quilt


bethanne_nemesh_smallAQS Executive Book Editor Elaine Brelsford interviews Bethanne Nemesh, who describes her method of taking the mood of a photo and capturing the moment in her quilting. Her award-winning silk dupioni quilt, THE SHELL COLLECTOR, won Third Place in Wall Quilts Longarm/Midarm Machine Quilted at AQS QuiltWeek – Lancaster, Pennsylvania 2014.

The overall quilt design is a feathered square in a square, inspired by traditional Amish quilt designs in the Pennsylvania Dutch region where she lives. The center section of THE SHELL COLLECTOR is a densely-quilted picture, free-drawn by Bethanne, from a photo of her children on a beach; the outer sections of the quilt are realistically detailed shells, jellyfish, octopus and other sea creatures, along with more traditional quilting. She says “it’s very evocative of my family.”

This is the second THE SHELL COLLECTOR that Bethanne has made. She learned an important lesson after making the first one…find out what happened:

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I am excited to see the quilt as I have picture taken by my husband, that I have been waiting to do a quilt from the photo but, do no know how. so please contact me and do you sell a DVD to buy and i can do my quilt. Its a black and white photo of BIRDS AND WANT TO DO EXACTLY LIKE YOURS BUT IT WILL BE AFRICAN FABRIC. LOVE IT TO BITS. Dudu Gaborone BOTSWANA

Lisa Giesfeldt

Absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait to see your fall quilt. I do heavily quilted pieces as well, but haven’t been able to get my quilts to lay quite as flat with the background stitching. Any advice? If you ever do decide to publish a book, put me on the waiting list. Thanks for the inspiration.

This is one of the most beautiful quilts I have seen. I would love some advice on your method of quilting on the same color. You are really an artist. Hope you are planning a book.