You Can See Good Knight's Rest At The Quilting Bee

The Quilting Bee is pleased to present the fiber artwork "Good Knight’s Rest" by Ellen Howard. This work combines Howard's love of sewing and art into a unique soft sculpture. Made entirely of cotton muslin, it features a knight’s tomb effigy as a full-size figure, presented atop quilted shields that resemble relief carvings. The idea first emerged in 1978 and was recorded in a sketchbook. The title preceded the actual completed artwork by 44 years and prompted some details in the quilted decoration.

After her retirement from teaching art at Cleveland Central Catholic High School in 2014, there was time to focus on the figure. After a few trips to Cleveland Museum of Art’s armor court, she determined that her own stature could be used to create proportions like those in some shorter medieval armor. Experimentation with machine quilting on her 45-year-old sewing machine resulted in a pattern to suggest chain mail.  The entire work reflects an original concept worked out with assorted interfacing and batting supports along with an eye towards three-dimensional design. An experienced seamstress, Ellen has produced mostly two-dimensional art before the knight emerged.  

The soft sculpture "Good Night’s Rest" won the People’s Choice award at The NEW NOW 2022 juried show presented by the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve at Tri-C Gallery East in the fall of 2022. You can see "Good Knight's Rest" in The Quilting Bee's window, 15709 Detroit Avenue, from Friday, August 4 through Monday, August 7. Stop in to meet the artist, Ellen Howard, on Saturday, August 5 from 12 pm to 3 pm. 

Suzanne Bednarchik

Owner, The Quilting Bee and Lakewood resident.

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Volume 19, Issue 15, Posted 2:44 PM, 08.02.2023