Tuesday, August 1, 2017

James' Gift

Like most people I have always loved stained glass and the mesmerizing shadows it can cast.  And a few years back I even took a class and made my own piece which, sadly, doesn't cast much of a shadow.  Shortly after I retired I began making stained glass mosaics, even sold a few, and this one hangs in our house on the coast.

But more relevant to this post, stained glass is no stranger to our home in Virginia.  We have a portion of a door, reportedly from a Scottish dance hall:

along with several Frank Lloyd Wright inspired pieces, such as this one:

But my most treasured pieces were made by my friend, James Johnson.  We worked together in the title industry for a few years before he relocated to Phoenix.  During his tenure in Virginia, he became a trusted friend with a brilliant insight into the human race and a charming wit second to none.  These days we stay in touch via Facebook, fortunately!

James was around when my husband and I built our log home and one of his pieces is now a permanent fixture and was the inspiration for this post.   Let me introduce "James' Gift":

I say permanent because we actually mounted it into our bedroom door:

All the doors in our house are vintage and none match - a variety of panel styles, and this particular one lends itself to James' work beautifully.

My fabric interpretation of this, I fear, fails to convey the true beauty of the real thing, but I love it nonetheless!

The top portion is clearly the original piece, but the portion section is meant to convey how the dark red actually shows up in shadow.  The fabric used in the bottom, from Alison Glass, is truly JUST how it looks in reflection on the wall.

Shown next to the dove-tailed corners of the logs-- I think it looks perfect!

One other piece James made for us is this sweet flower which hangs in my bathroom window, happily:

Aren't I lucky to have such a talented friend?  These pieces are part of my life and always make me think of him!

For the backing of our Four-in-Art effort, I used a Michael Miller metallic piece which proved to be a challenge to quilt (and I immediately donated the remaining 8 fat quarters to our guild donation table!).

As always, the label is the part I most enjoy (although this go round it took a half dozen attempts to print, leaving me in a battle of wits with the printer).  And because of the metallic in the fabric, getting this thing to rest straight was impossible!

Although I was initially stumped with this sub-theme of "stained glass shadows", it proved to be a pleasant endeavor.  My thanks to James for his gift many years ago, which continues to bring enjoyment, and to Elizabeth for the challenge!


  1. I enjoyed this tour of your stained glass and cut glass art pieces, culminating with the very cool little quilt interpreting the stained glass in your bedroom door. I love that you gave us a hint of how the light falls through the glass onto the floor--excellent work!

  2. I agree with Elizabeth! I also love that your quilt captures your stained glass panel so beautiful but also stands as a lovely abstract image on its own.

  3. This is a lovely quilt inspired the beautiful stained glass panel your friend made. I very much like the way it echoes the panel but goes beyond it to become a work of art in itself. I also like your other stained glass. Your mosaic ship is wonderful :)

  4. What a lovely recognition of a special gift!