Friday, September 20, 2013

Featured Artist: Nancy S. Brown

Internationally known quilter Nancy S. Brown from Oakland, California was the featured artist at the Fall 2013 Diablo Valley Quilt Show.  In her Artist's Statement, Nancy writes, "I make animal quilts because I have always loved animals. I feel that they are wonderful and important parts of our world and should be celebrated and preserved."  Her outstanding animal and portrait quilts were a highlight of the show!

Giraffes, 68 x 50, by Nancy S. Brown

Nancy says,  " [This quilt was] inspired by a trip to the Portland Zoo, where one could walk up a hill and come face to face with the giraffes. I used several giraffe photos that I had taken in various zoos over the years as the inspiration for the individual giraffes in this quilt." 

Sunday in the Park with Mittens, 58 x 47,  by Nancy S. Brown.

"Mittens is the cat in the tree watching over the scene at the local dog park", says Nancy. "Most of the dogs belong or belonged to friends and family over the years. A few were "adopted" from shelter sites on the internet to show that there are great dogs out there waiting for their forever homes."

Close-up, Sunday in the Park with Mittens by Nancy S. Brown

Nancy's expert use of light and shadow gives these very life-like dogs a tremendous personality and presence. They really seem to pop right off the quilt.  Her caring and concern shows in their beautiful faces. The colorful background of the sky and trees helps to focus the viewer's attention on the many varied neutral tones of the dogs' faces and bodies.

Close up, Sunday in the Park with Mittens by Nancy S. Brown

And here is Mittens up in the tree at right, calmly and regally surveying the playful scene below, including the dog with the tennis ball in its mouth.

Elvis and the Penguins, 53 x 53, by Nancy S. Brown

Nancy writes,  "It is a little known fact that before Elvis became famous, he toured with a band of penguins. Due to nightly squabbles over the dinner menu  (Elvis did not want sardines on his fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches), the band broke up and Elvis became -- Elvis. The penguins went home to South America. It is also a little known fact that Elvis did not die- he is down in South American with his old friends." 
(Editors' note:  It is also a well-known fact that Nancy has a great sense of humor and spins a wonderful yarn.)

Close-up, Elvis and the Penguins by Nancy S. Brown

Here we see one of the penguins carefully standing watch over Elvis, against a background of log cabin blocks. This quilt is one of Nancy's many original designs, which are hand-appliqued, hand-quilted, and machine pieced. We really enjoy Nancy's wonderful quilts, because her very expressive artwork lets us look through the faces and eyes of all living creatures and into their hearts and souls. For more information on her quilts and classes, please visit Nancy's website:  Nancy Brown Quilts.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration and are shown with the generous permission of Nancy S. Brown.


  1. If I made fabric art, my first pick would be that dog park. The closest I have come is tessellating cats but I could celebrate many more pets.

  2. I got a great laugh from mittens ... just like a cat. Loved the Elvis story too. Thanks for sharing, I thoroughly enjoyed.

  3. What beautiful work! I would love to make quilts like these. I wish she would write a book!

  4. Thank-you for your kind words about my quilts. I enjoyed meeting you at the show!

  5. Thank you, Nancy ! It's our privilege to feature your outstanding quilt artistry!

    Best wishes from Marina and Daryl

  6. I find your work truly amazing. I have just started quilting and love animals.


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