Ghosts In the Holler Landscape Quilted Wallhanging

I thought I’d share more of the story of this, my favorite wall hanging.

This cabin was built by my husband’s family in far southern Illinois and was occupied for many generations. It was a large, close family who shared holidays and large reunions every year. This is a photo of the family taken in 1953 when the home was still occupied by my husband’s great-grandfather.

When I first saw the home 12 years ago, it was falling to ruins, covered with vines and occupied by snakes. I took several photos (which I cannot find now) and started a wall-hanging based on one of them. The view is from the side of the cabin, with the lean-to kitchen at the back. I created the basics of the building and landscape, then set the project aside.

During the last year I had a new vision for the project. “Ghosts in the Holler” was born. The history of the family in that home, the hard, primitive lives, the joyous gatherings have survived in the stories told by later generations. I believe that people’s spirit or energy can stay in a place or thing and sometimes we can sense it. Looking at this old home I could imagine the spirits or ghosts that might still dwell there.

I used a number of techniques and mediums to portray the ghosts in this place.  I printed parts of the family photo on a variety of fabrics to use in my wall hanging.

Do you see the faces in the cabin?    

I took this close-up of his parents and inserted them in the doorway of the lean-to in the rear of the cabin. The faces have been painted with inks to blend in with the rest of the greenery that is overtaking the home.

I love how the whole piece turned out. It’s unusual, it’s a bit mystical, and stretched me creatively.

5 thoughts on “Ghosts In the Holler Landscape Quilted Wallhanging

  1. This is coooool. I did not see the faces when I first looked at it, but after seeing the steps here in your post, I immediately found them. LOVE this idea . . . Really haunting, and quite cool, my friend. Keep stretching . . . . I love to learn about the creative processes of works and this was a great one.

  2. Thanks, Leanne. I posted this for exactly the reason you stated–I didn’t think people saw the ghosts at first….which is EXACTLY what I wanted, but I DO want them to be visible when you look closer. And aren’t so many important things/messages in our lives like that?

  3. ……something about the LAYERS of curiosity, concern, research, history, artistry etc. : all join forces to make this a very powerful piece……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *