A cowgirl dreams in the afternoon sun
“Red Door Dream” 36″ X 59″ Exhbited at World Quilt New England, August 2016

"Kitten Peeking" art quilt

photo of kitten These are not paintings, though like paintings they are works of art meant to be hung on the wall. Wouldn’t an art quilt be an incredibly special gift or addition to your own collection of artwork?

One thing I love about art quilts is the tactile quality—unlike a painting, they are touchable. The textures of the fabrics and threads, the stitching all draw the viewer not only to look but to feel the beauty.


I can use photos and drawings for inspiration 

Your stories, your memories matter and are told in a completely unique and beautiful piece of art. Memories and reflections are an important aspect of my creations.   Any number of photos can be combined into a story quilt wall hanging. For example, a figure from one photo can be placed in a setting from another photo. A beautiful sunset from a vacation photo can be combined with another scene.  Events and memories from different times can be combined into one picture.

Please email me: Amy@AmyCavanessDesigns.com for information about how you can commission a beautiful art quilt!

Following are some examples of my picture quilt and landscape quilt wall hangings.

“Reflecting On A Ride”  37″ X 34″

Art quilt Horse at Matthiessen state Park

Created for a juried show whose theme was “My Corner Of The World”; exhi




Beloved Pet Portraits, “Sherman & Titus”


from the person who commissioned these quilts: “I just wanted to thank you again for the beautiful quilts of Sherman and Titus.  Lynn’s  face said it all as she open the present.  Both pictures are in her office and she could not get over the match (to the photos).  

The gift was received as I wanted it to be.  Her smile, she kept showing everyone who walked by her office her present.  As I told you Sherman was her rock during some hard times, she loved the fact that you captured his gentleness, many times when I stopped in her office she was looking at or touching his face.”  

Monument Valley, Utah art quilt pillows

Art quilts can be pillows, too! A geologist commissioned art quilts as pillows picturing his favorite place, Monument Valley, Utah.


Monument Valley, Utah art quilts

art quilt pillow

art quilt pillow

art quilt pillow

art quilt pillow

 Dad and Jack (2012)


1936 photo of Dad with his dog, Jack

This photo of my dad as a nine year old boy is one of my favorites. I kept it on a bookshelf for years just because I thought it was so charming. Dad told me that, as a farm boy, he was dressed up in this portrait taken by his uncle—he put on a tie, his good coveralls, and his hat! 

I thought a lot about how to do this—the photo is black and white, which wasn’t, to me (a lover of color) very inspiring. Then again, I wanted to preserve a sense of age about the picture. I’ve always loved sepia-toned photos and decided to create the picture in shades of golden brown. Then I chose a beautiful hand-dyed fabric for the outer border and a blue background.


Needless to say, my father was quite delighted and surprised to receive this gift at his party!

I love creating these art quilts.




From creating the pattern

Detail of art quilt portrait
to choosing every little piece of fabric that would represent the contours of picture. 


And the thread-painting adds so much to the final product!



As a final touch I added pocket on the back of the quilt to hold the original photo and I created a special label commemorating the event.


Wouldn’t an art quilt be a fabulous idea as a memorial made from the clothing of a loved one? A portrait… a landscape of a home or a favorite spot….. I am accepting commissions.

What a wonderful heirloom! I know my family will treasure this piece for generations.

Ernie & Amy Riding (2012)

My husband and I have two horses that we love, and love trail riding. We ride frequently at a couple of parks that are within 30 minutes of our home. Both have beautiful wooded trails and we watch the deer and birds and the changing of the seasons. This quilt is to honor our love of trail riding and our beautiful horses.

And here is my original photo. It was taken by a woman who was gathering dragon flies for a conservation organization.

 We love this photo. I have not tried to create an exact reproduction of the photo, instead, I have used it as inspiration for my quilted fabric wall hanging. For example, my horse was mouthing his bit when the photo was shot. I created his face with a closed mouth. Also, Ernie wasn’t wearing a hat that day, but I like my cowboys with a hat! So, again, it’s my work of art, so I put a big straw hat on Ernie’s head.


Detail of quilted wall hanging foreground

Here are some details of the quilt.

After applying all the pieces of fabric, I do a great deal of thread painting, quilting, and texurizing.

 Here are details of some of the texture I added to the back-ground and fore-ground. It represents the dead leaves and spots of sunlight filtering through.


Ghosts in the Holler (2012)

Like ghosts, the faces of family members are not visible at first glance.  Upon closer inspection, the faces in the wood become evident. I love the effect!

 Look closely and you can see my husband’s parents’ faces peering through the doorway.

Ghostly figures in the doorway

Here’s a piece of the fabric I created for this quilt:


 Three Sisters Quilt (2007)

This was a commission by three sisters as a gift for their mother. Included are figures of all her grandchildren, each engaged in an activity they love. The setting is their mother’s backyard as it appeared years ago, (the ladies described it to me) with lilacs and cherry trees. The ladies are seated at the table pitting cherries, an activity they shared fond memories of. Their father had passed years ago, but their memories of him are honored with him in his favorite chair looking out at the river.


Greg’s 50th Birthday (2007)

My cousin Greg lives in Phoenix, AZ and I wanted to make something special for his 50th birthday. I created this landscape of Camel Back Mountain for him, based on this photo.

Following is my interpretation in fabric of this photo.

Fabrics and thread work evolved into the rocks, mountains, ground and plants.  I used watercolors on fabric for the colorful sunrise.


Horses at Sunset

A customer commissioned a landscape quilt that combined 3 photos:


This is the landscape quilt I made for her and she wrote me that she was thrilled!

 Amy & Ernie Wedding (2001)

A wedding is one of the most important events in a person’s life and one certainly worthy of honoring with a Sew Many Memories quilt!  The story of my wedding in 2000 to my sweetheart Ernie is captured in this wall hanging. This is not a static picture—it is a story quilt. Each person is shown in a way that reflects their participation in the ceremony. This is a composite based on our photos from the wedding.

Our wedding took place on a beautiful June day under the oaks in a park. Having met at a country/western dance, our wedding theme was country with lots of denim and wildflowers.  Our processional took us across an arched bridge over a river to the oak grove. Our sons, six between us, participated and stood as witnesses as the angelic-looking minister married us. One of my sons is shown reading a poem he wrote for the event, another read a poem from a book.  My youngest was very fidgety–every photo shows him with busy hands and feet–so that’s how he is depicted here! The older boys stood quietly, my 14 year old awkwardly keeping his hands jammed in his pockets.

Being a seamstress, of course I made my wedding attire. A western style lace blouse topped a concho-accented denim dance skirt. So in my story quilt, I used textile scraps from my sewing. My blouse is made from the lace I made my actual blouse with, my skirt is from the same denim I used for my wedding skirt. Even the ribbon on my little hat is from the ribbon I used on my cowboy hat.

We all love this quilted wall hanging in the entry way of our home. It is a daily reminder of the love of our family and all that we hold dear.

Uncle Ray’s Place (2003)

This is the pavilion at Ernie’s Uncle Ray’s property in southern Illinois. Uncle Ray spends a great deal of time on the landscaping each summer in anticipation of the annual family reunion.

I made this quilt as a “thank-you” for him from Ernie and me.

Please email me at Amy@AmyCavanessDesigns.com for more information about commissioning an art quilt.