By Donna Di Natale
The quilting world, and the Kansas City Star Quilts family, lost a dear friend on Friday with the passing of Karen Mowery, author of A Bountiful Life: An Adaptation of the Bird of Paradise Quilt Top in the American Folk Art Museum. Karen’s yearlong struggle with cancer ended peacefully at her Atlanta home, with her loving son, Timothy, and her cat, Rembrandt, close by to comfort her.
All who knew Karen will miss her dearly and will miss reading her blog, sewprimitive.blogspot.com. Her friends at Little Quilts in Marietta, Ga., who helped appliqué the blocks for A Bountiful Life, will especially miss her.
A talented painter of primitive portraits of children, Karen translated her skill into hand-appliquéd masterpieces.
Her careful rendition of the Bird of Paradise quilt was true to the original, except for one block. Thought to be intended as a bridal quilt, the original quilt top was made with a wreath of flowers in the block where a groom would normally have been placed. Using a paper pattern found with the top, Karen created a handsome groom for her quilt and dressed him to woo the young woman in the next block, thus adding her own joyful anecdote to the legend of the quilt.
A Bountiful Life, published by Kansas City Star Quilts, will be an endearing part of Karen’s legacy and a tribute to her love of folk art and quilting.