Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Featured artists: Aileyn Renli Ecob and Jean Renli Jurgenson

At the recent Diablo Valley Quilters show, we were excited to see a special exhibit by sisters Aileyn Renli Ecob and Jean Renli Jurgenson.  They are award-winning artists whose work has been featured in national and international shows, galleries, and special exhibits of fiber art.  We were mesmerized by their work, and we hope that our photos convey a sense of their artistry with fabric and thread.

Aileyn Renli Ecob

Globe Thistle, 40 x 22”, by Aileyn Renli Ecob

The colors, luminosity and intricate details drew us to this piece.  Aileyn Ecob says, "My inspiration is usually from nature — either a photograph or an original drawing. The strong colors and bold designs of flowers, fruit, vegetables and trees give me the inspiration for much of my work."  In Globe Thistle, dozens of individual star-shaped flowerets were cut free hand and machine stitched to the background fabric.

Aileyn often uses thread painting to heighten the realism of her work, as shown in the closeup photo below. 

Music of the Spheres, 48 x 24”, by Aileyn Renli Ecob

This is the second in a series of works by Aileyn Ecob using the circle-in-a-square block. In Music of the Spheres,  three large overlapping circles emerge. The restful blue and teal hues and interesting textures are punctuated by magenta squares.  Aileyn's precise hand quilting emphasizes the curves in this piece.

Acorn and Oak Leaves, 25 x 20”, by Aileyn Renli Ecob

Aileyn says, "[This is] one of the first art quilts that I made. I experimented with paint on the background, acorn, and acorn cap. It’s hand quilted (and hand appliqued)."  In the background, trapunto leaves were achieved by dense stippling by hand around the leafy shapes.

On The Oregon Trail, 40 x 55”, by Aileyn Renli Ecob

This dramatic wall quilt was inspired by a photo Aileyn took in Oregon, at a park memorializing the pioneers of the Oregon Trail. With careful fabric selection and needle-turn applique, Aileyn has captured the brilliant color and symmetrical form of the sumac, which is highlighted by the dark backdrop of the forest.  The background is enhanced with hand quilting.

Jean Renli Jurgenson
Moving to the right of the exhibit hall, we come to the work of Jean Jurgenson. She says, "I find inspiration in the minutiae of the world around me — the juxtaposition of old and new, an unusual perspective, the color of sunlight after a rain. All these bits of life fill me and make me want to create."

Tangaroa, 47 x 36”, 2011 by Jean Renli Jurgenson

Tangaroa takes us into the scene as we look down the boom of the sailboat, and across the rail to the azure sea.  Jean says, "[This quilt was] inspired by a photo my daughter took from her father-in-law’s sailboat, the Tangaroa, off the coast of Oahu. I loved the perspective she captured of the boom and sail."

The sail is three-dimensional, and the ropes are made of string.  Jean says, "I carved the wooden block-and-tackle from balsa wood."

Imagining Chihuly... at Yerba Buena Gardens, 25 x 58", by Jean Renli Jurgenson

In this stunning piece, Jean used paint on fabric to depict the waterfall fountain at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.  She accented the scene with realistically imagined Chihuly glass globes, which are appliqued to the fountain.  They appear to be floating in the water,  just as they would if they were part of a Chihuly installation.

Best Man, 16 x 28”, by Jean Renli Jurgenson

A really interesting piece in black, white and gray, Best Man focuses on the crisp collar, white pleats, and black tie of the tuxedo. Jean Jurgenson explains,  "My son, Josh, was getting ready for his brother, Jake’s, wedding. I rendered the hands, face, and shirt details with Tsukineko inks on a gradation of gray fabric I painted with Setacolor paint."

Hong Kong Taxi, 60 x 42”, by Jean Jurgenson

Architectural precision must have been required to construct these buildings in fabric, and yet the method of construction is nearly invisible. Jean says,  "This piece was done from a photo taken by my daughter, Lee, from their 14th floor apartment on Hong Kong Island. My granddaughter, who was a toddler, would stand at the window and wait for a red taxi to drive by and call out “taxi!” - thus the title." 

Aileyn Renli Ecob and Jean Renli Jurgenson

Aileyn and Jean are members of Studio Art Quilt Associates.  For more of their work and current exhibits, please visit their website at Fiber on the Wall.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Thank you. These were very inspiring.

  2. Great fabric art. I especially liked the acorn one all done by hand. What a lot of work but it had so much more depth than those done by machine.

  3. Truly beautiful work! Hard to pick a favorite, but I especially like the Globe Thistle.

  4. I am deeply impressed by the work i just have seen.
    It has insipred me to go on working on my landscapes and keep trying!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.
    Petra van Seventer The Netherlands


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