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Memorable Museum-worthy Art Quilts on Display at The Holmstad in Batavia, IL Until 4/8/22

Emily Parson poses with her creation, SUNFLOWERS, hand-dyed cotton fabric and damask tablecloths, cotton batting, applique quilting, 68" x 83". (Scroll down for more artwork...)


700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia, IL

9 AM- 5 PM

Exhibit Closes April 8, 2022

Stitch by happy stitch, using fabrics she dyes herself to obtain just the right color palette, this St. Charles, IL textile artist creates blooming beauties referred to as quilts, but are actually fabric art deserving of spotlights, kudos and an appreciative audience.

Here’s how Emily Parson discovered this artistic expression…

“I was working in the fashion industry in New York City when I learned about a textile exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum,” Emily Parson recalls. “I decided to go, and it was the first time I saw quilts hanging on walls and treated as art. I was totally captivated by that.”.

As a child, Emily had watched her grandmother quilt using humble fabrics like brown calico. She grew up thinking of quilting as more of a domestic arts activity for the benefit of one’s own household.

And because Emily had been sewing since she was in junior high, she was not in the least intimidated by the process of setting about imitating what she saw at the museum. Eagerly she dove into the process and started pinning her work to the walls of her own apartment becoming all the more hooked by the process.

Thirty years later she’s still at it, winning awards for her work, and continually fine-tuning.

In fact, her own quilt art eventually made it into the very same museum that started it all for her. Her work was accepted into an exhibit titled, “Edge to Edge: Selections from Studio Art Quilt Associates” featured at New York City’s American Folk Art Museum.

“My favorite motifs are things found in nature like flowers, buds, seed pods, and butterflies,” she explains. “Because of their colors, flowers feel happy and are symbolic of positive emotions. For me, some specific flowers, like an iris, is a statement of courage and sunflowers remind me of happy times spent with my mother. I even find beauty in tulips that are past their prime.”

ARTIST STATEMENT: "Tulips are my favorite flower...I especially love to photograph the flowers as they open and age." Hand-dyed fabric, collaged, quilted, 48" x 38"

By dyeing her own fabrics where she crunches them up to fit into buckets, she’ll get a subtle tie-dye look that adds more dimension to her finished pieces. She also free-motions the quilting through three layers including batting and backing using a vintage home sewing machine. She works from photographs that she enlarges and turns into patterns. Although she does create some smaller pieces, she actually enjoys working large where the finished piece might measure 80-inches square.

Although Emily does not offer classes, she can be found giving lectures to area quilting guilds. She is a member of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. See more of her work at emilyquilts | Make quilts. Spread happiness!

A JOYFUL NOISE, hand-dyed commercial cotton fabric, cotton batting, collage, applique, quilting; 69" x 54"

TULIP: QUEEN OF NIGHT, hand-dyed cotton fabric and vintage damask tablecloths, cotton batting. Collage, applique, quilting, 80" x 80".


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