Sunday, September 15, 2013

Carolyn: Sea Green - Coming to America


The Karenni
and USA flags
When I thought of the color green, I kept thinking about a little girl named Sea Green who is a member of a Christian refugee family that my husband and I are mentoring. Sea Green is a vibrant 5-year old who reminds me of a sunbeam, spreading love to everyone she meets.

Sea Green’s mother and father were in a refugee camp in Thailand 19 years.  Her parents married in the camp and she was born there.  Their families came to the camp from Karenni, a poor and isolated state in Burma.  Karenni was independent from 700 BCE until it was invaded by the Burmese military in 1948. The Burmese military burned their villages, tortured them, planted their fields with landmines and abducted their children for military service. Sea Green and her parents left one set of grandparents in the camp to come to America 10 months ago.

My quilt is in honor of this family’s transition from a refugee camp in Thailand to America.  I used hand-painted and batik fabric to construct the quilt.  The ocean at the bottom represents their journey from Thailand to a land of freedom.  Flags from both nations – Karenni and the U.S.A. were photo transferred and placed on the trapunto quilted mountaintop.  A fabric printed picture of Sea Green’s face stretches over the mountain and water in a sunbeam effect representing her parents' hope for the future.  The background is free-motion quilted with tiny circles representing their circuitous struggle to reach freedom.


13 comments:

  1. How wonderful that this delightful girl is named Sea Green. This is a special story and such a meaningful quilt. She looks bubbling with joy and the sunbeam imagery is so appropriate. Will you keep this or perhaps give to Sea Green? She obviously means a lot to you.

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    1. Hi Nedra - I'm giving it to Sea Green!

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  2. I love your story and quilt. I worked with some of the lost boys and girls from Sudan. It's amazing what they go thru from losing their homes and villages, refuge camp and then traveling to America.

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  3. This quilt is inspiring and touches my heart. Not only is the overall quilt inspirational, but the construction techniques you used are ones I'm going to put into my mental filing cabinet! It was brilliant of you, for example, to use trapunto for the mountains! Wow, so far, all these Green quilts are amazing and as usual, the group is surpassing itself!

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  4. Your story is so touching and so full of hope. Thank you for sharing a story that I knew nothing about. The quilt is wonderful.

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  5. What an inspiring personal story you have so beautifully shared with us. You can see the love and the hope in this piece. Wonderful

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  6. What a great story about such brave people. So like those immigrants from long ago.
    The young girl has a beautiful name and your portrayal is fun!

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  7. How amazing that you know a little girl with such a pretty name whom you have honored so beautifully by creating such a heartfelt quilt. A very touching and sobering story.

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  8. Thanks for your story and the pleasure of your quilt and mentoring!!!

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  9. Wow! Such a powerful message in your quilt. Hope for a brighter future is so important. Beautiful quilt! Thanks for sharing this story.

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  10. What a great story to tell in a great quilt. I hope Sea Green enjoys her quilt. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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  11. How fortuitous that events have led to the culmination of a heartfelt gift quilt for the very special young lady who inspired it. Lovely, hopeful story filled with loving emotion. How difficult it must have been for grandparents to be left behind so the future of Sea Green could be brighter - just like her sunshine smile. What a sweet unexpected portrayal of our green theme.

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  12. Carolyn, beautiful quilt to portray a touching story! I love the sky quilting, knowing how difficult those little circles are to quilt. Sea Green is sure to love this!

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