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Column #94

Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes

Ocean Waves
Ocean Waves

Spools Spools

Streak of Lightning Streak of Lightning

Rebecca Barker Rebecca Barker

Rebecca Barker grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio with artistic parents who spent weekends going to craft shows selling handmade Christmas ornaments, which Rebecca helped paint.

Rebecca’s mother collected antique quilts, and her mother and grandmother both quilted. So even though she herself did not begin quilting until she was in her 30s, she had always been around quilts and grew up loving them.

That lifetime of exposure to quilts, along with being raised in the country in a creative environment, found expression in the artwork that has become Rebecca Barker’s signature.

Her “Quiltscapes” paintings, in which the inspiration for a quilt pattern name is rendered in the painting along with the pattern itself, are sought after by quilters and collectors. The popular images can also be found on all sorts of merchandise, from note cards and mouse pads to jigsaw puzzles.

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an artist,” she said. “I started painting in my teens and I got a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ohio University. I began taking my paintings of landscapes to craft shows and I also did a few paintings of quilts, but at that time I hadn’t thought of combining the two.

“At one craft show, a woman from Pennsylvania approached me and asked me to bring some of my paintings to a quilt show that she was putting on. I did, and I was overwhelmed with the response. I realized that quilt paintings were what I needed to be doing!”

Barker continues telling of more encounters.

“At one show, a couple was looking at my work and I overheard the man say to his wife, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if she would paint a Log Cabin quilt next to a log cabin?’” Rebecca continued. “That’s when a light bulb went off in my head and I said to myself, ‘Hey, I could do that!’”

And that’s the origin of Rebecca’s trademark of combining a quilt pattern with an image reminiscent of the pattern name. For example, in one painting, a scene of waves crashing against a beach features the Ocean Waves pattern in the sand.

In another, the Streak of Lightning pattern provides the foreground for a stormy sky. In still another, a herd of bison graze on a grassy plain that morphs into the Prairie Flowers pattern.

Using acrylics to paint on masonite boards, Rebecca’s images are realistic and brightly colored. “I always use traditional quilt patterns,” said the artist. “I need for the pattern name to inspire me.”

In turn, she inspires the rest of us with what she creates.


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Archived blogs:

Column 144: Texas Community Marks Juneteenth Sesquicentennial with History Quilts
Column 143: Maya Embroidered Patchwork
Column 142: Huipil Patchwork Quilts
Column 141: Tom Korn’s Military Medal Quilts
Column 140: The Return of Double Knits!
Column 139: Passage Quilts
Column 138: Home of the Brave Quilts
Column 137: The Story of Fabric Yo-Yos
Column 136: Christmas in July
Column 135: Trifles
Column 134: Deaf Initiatives—Communicating Through Quilts
Column 133: My Betty Boop Quilt
Column 132: Maura Grace Ambrose
Column 131: All You Need Is Love
Column 130: Chicken Linens
Column 129: The Quilted Chuppah
Column 128: Patchwork Around the World: Yoruba Dance Costumes
Column 127: The Bowers Co-Op Quilts
Column 126: Fon Appliqué and Haitian Voodoo Flags
Column 125: The Quilt Garden at The North Carolina Arboretum
Column 124: Harriet Powers and Handful’s Mauma
Column 123: Quilters de Mexico
Column 122: An Appliquéd Surprise
Column 121: Matisse’s Fabric Stash
Column 120: Soogan—The Cowboy’s Quilt
Column 119: The Ron Swanson Quilt
Column 118: HClarkdale, Georgia—A Thread of History
Column 117: How WWI Changed the Color of Quilts in the United States
Column 116: Wagga—The Bushman’s Quilt
Column 115: All in the Family
Column 114: The Alabama State Quilt
Column 113: Balloon Quilts of Albuquerque
Column 112: The Family That Quilts Together, Stays Together
Column 111: Two Rivers, Three Sisters
Column 110: Quilters Helping Quilters
Column 109: Community Cookbooks and Fundraiser Quilts—Parallel Histories
Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery

See other archived columns here

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