Monday, April 16, 2012

The Ballad of Barbara Allen

They buried her in the old churchyard    
They buried him in the choir

And from his grave grew a red red rose
From her grave a green briar.

They grew and grew to the steeple top
Till they could grow no higher
And there they twined in a true love's knot
Red rose around green briar.

     I love my sister Bethannne's paintings, and she texted this one to me today with a link to the folk song, Barbara Allen. It is a sad song , but it was interesting to read about its history and listen to some of the different versions on the internet.
       I have always wanted to try reproducing some of her images in fabric, so I thought I would give it a go with this painting.  I used her crow on the branch,  some of the leaves and the daisy on the left side of the painting.  I used Wonder Under and pressed it to some different colors of linen that came from my stash, and carefully cut out the crow, the white daisy petals, the daisy center and the green leaves.
     Using my #23 foot, the clear applique foot, I used a small zigzag to go around each little linen cut out.  I was going to just use a straight stitch and leave the edges raw, but since I had used linen I thought it would ravel too easily.  I loved the look of the black on the natural linen backing, with the small touches of color.
     My last step is to make some piping and sew up a little pillow.  A nice little surprise for Bethanne.

Look for Bethanne on Facebook, or go to her website, to see some of her interesting paintings.  She has a beautiful show now at Blue Spiral in Asheville, and her work can also be seen at  Leipers Creek Gallery in Franklin, Tennessee or Monty Stabler Gallery in Birmingham.


  1. A nice little surprise? I think she will cry like a baby. It's a beautiful beautiful gift. Let us know what she says. What a talented family!

  2. I have always been then stepchild as far as talent goes with these sisters. I can't paint, but i can copy with the best! Thanks, deb

  3. a stepchild of talent---not! The pillow is a beautiful painting with fabric and imagination. You paint with your sewing talent. What a wonderful gift to have and to give! from jj

  4. Well, Miss Anonymous, you are very kind, but I would give anything to have the visions that my sisters apparently have! But you are sweet, nonetheless!