About the Quilt
For years I had an image of John Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence roaming around in my head and thought it would make a great quilt. However, I knew that it would be difficult to reproduce and it didn’t disappoint. Voices of Freedom took me 3 ½ years to complete with approximately 4,000 hours required to complete all aspects of the quilt. Approximately 95,000 yards of thread and 11 million stitches were required to transform the figures into thread.
The quilt is 94” x 65”. One of the larger figures John Adams – in brown in the center of the quilt - is 28” tall and John Hancock is 30 in height by 27” wide. Due to their size, each figure was thread-painted in pieces. For example, the sleeves, coat fronts, collars, vests, pant legs, etc. were separately thread painted and then assembled using a transparency overlay to assure perfect placement. Working with a length of 94” required that each figure be exactly the correct size or otherwise all of the figures would not fit. Buttons for all coats were hand-made using polymer clay, leather for the shoes, ascots, and neckbands make from a stiffened batiste, and each face was hand-painted using Tsukineko inks. The background was painted in Photoshop and commercially printed. All figures' clothing was made with a variety of weights of polyester and silk threads.
The quilt back tells a story of the signing of the Declaration of Independents. Centered in the back of the quilt is a copy of the Declaration of Independence along with the 56 signatures. The back also includes pictures of the 47 men on the front of the quilt, a schematic, a short history of John Trumbull’s painting, and names of the delegates that signed the Declaration but were not on the painting.
The quilt was quilted by Terri Taylor. The quilting design was constructed such as not to compete with the thread figures and approximately 40 different colors of 100 weight silk transformed the background, changing colors of thread as the background changed colors. There must have been a zillion tie-offs to hide the thread tails. A little surprise detail was quilted just for fun.