An evocative, quilt depiction of an embattled American flag by an El Dorado Hills artist has been added to the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky. The title is “And Our Flag Was Still There!”
“When my son decided to join the Marines after college, I made this quilt to deal with my emotions,” said Melinda Bula. “The image depicts our flag, tattered but still flying above the battlefield, and I lovingly dedicate it to all military families.”
“The flag quilt is having a powerful impact on visitors,” said Frank Bennett, chief executive officer of NQM, the world’s largest museum dedicated exclusively to quilt and fabric art. “It’s pictured as tattered and floating over the battlefield, and I leave my office three or four times a day just to look at it.”
Bula, who has won numerous awards for her quilts and travels widely in the United States and internationally to lecture on quilt art, said, “It’s a painting without any paint, where every color change is another piece of fabric. After the raw-edge fusible applique was completed, I used thread painting to blend the colors.”
Bula began sewing as a young girl and said she always wanted to become an artist. After graduation from college with a degree in art she opened a fabric design business. Her wallpaper and fabric designs have graced the covers of Better Homes and Garden and other magazines. She is the author of two books, “Cutting Garden Quilts” and “Candy Cane Lane,” both from Martingale Company.
Her new flag quilt has generated more interest than any of her previous award-winning works and Museum CEO Bennett said it has “developed a following beyond typical quilting circles as well.”
Bula’s quilt will be seen by a good portion of the 40,000 art-lovers from all 50 states and 45 foreign countries who visit the NQM annually. Opened in 1991, NQM offers the public 27,000 square feet of the finest quilt and fiber art. Exhibits are changed approximately 10 times a year.