Now I See

Quilt Index Record: 67-EC-185

Overall Quilt Description

Arizona Quilt Documentation Project
Quilts and Health
Mesa, Arizona
Art Quilt
Now I See

Overall Quilt Description - condition, inscriptions and fabric source


Specific Description


Quilt Construction - binding, batting, quilting

Allen, Janice L.

Ownership and Contact Information - Quilt maker Family Information

Child Crisis Center
Arizona (AZ)
Allen, Janice L.

Image Upload

Detail 1
Detail 2
Detail 4

Data Verification

Lynn Miller

Information source fields

Arizona Quilt Documentation Project
Arizona Quilt Documentation Project
Arizona Quilt Documentation Project
Arizona Quilt Documentation Project
Arizona Quilt Documentation Project
Contributing Institutions
MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, Michigan State University Museum, Quilt Alliance
Quilt Index
Resource Type

Contest, Exhibits, Essays, journals

September 6, 1992: “Sunday Night with Sandra Mann,” a television program covering sexual trauma and abuse. My quilt, “Facing Grief,” was used as a backdrop at the end of the show to display the times and dates of the Healing Images Art Fest. September 24, 1992, through September 29, 1992: “Healing Images Art Fest,” an art exhibit sponsored by Pikes Peak Mental Health Center, at a local mall. The exhibition was comprised entirely of works by artists who have been victims of sexual trauma. September 25, 1992: Channel 11, KKTV News Reporter, Richard Randell, interviewed me in front of my quilt “Facing Grief,” for the 5 pm and 10pm news. 1992 Healing Images Art Fest, “Facing Grief” October 29, 1992: “Facing Grief” hung at the 1992 Pikes Peak Mental Health Annual Dinner and Meeting, at Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort. The evening was titled “Shine the Light on You,” and I was among the artists receiving special recognition at the banquet. November 8, 1992 through December 6, 1992: “Facing Grief” hung at “The Colorado Quilts and Woodworking Show,” in the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. There were eighty entrants and room for only forty pieces to hang in the museum. The quilts were chosen by three judges from the area. 1994: Healing Images Art Fest, “Facing Grief” and “Secrets” 1996: Healing Images Art Fest, “Secrets,” “Facing Grief” and “Now I See” September 2, 1996: Newspaper article, The Gazette Telegraph, City, Region, State News, Section B. An article was written on Sexual Abuse and Trauma, highlighting the Healing Images Art Fest. There is a photograph of me with “Facing Grief.” Air Force Academy, Art Show for Sexual Abuse. The entire triptych series was exhibited. Calhoun County Fair in Calhoun, Colorado. I received a 1st place ribbon for my only entry, “Facing Grief.”
“NOW I SEE” 1996 “Now I See” is the third and final quilt in the Triptych series. It represents what life is like at the end of the journey of grief. This quilt was so much fun to create and complete. I loved everything about it. It is hand-appliqued and hand-quilted. It has cottons, tissue lamé, velveteen, poly organza, wired ribbon, silk, rayon and poly blend fabric, with pressed sequins and then regular sequins with seed beads. The face was drawn using permanent extra-fine markers. As with the other quilts, I took a standard sheet of paper and sketched my basic design. Then I drew my basic design to scale. Selecting all the fabric was a blast. The theme was one of calmness and tranquility. I noticed that once I got all of that baggage (the storm) out of my body, it freed me to fill my insides with beauty, knowledge and life. “Colors” are what dominated my mind. At one point, I considered doing trapundo on the green meadow, silk ribbon grasses, and wild flowers, lady bugs, ants, and snap dragons on the water. I wanted to just infuse the quilt with life. As time went on, and I had finished my counseling and was practicing healthy boundaries, I was intent on continuing this glorious journey of life. I wanted only to fill my life moments with everything I had missed. In high school, when my friends were getting together and having fun, I was home on my hands and knees, scrubbing hardwood floors every weekend. Then there was the paste wax that followed, with a rag buffing it to a shine. My mother didn’t want many children, and she had six, so I became my younger siblings’ mother by default. I was my parents’ slave. The girl quilt shows some of that in her face. The leaves on the tree were backed with black cotton and hand-stitched with a running stitch. They were just tacked at the very top of each piece to give depth and a loose flowing feeling. The sequins at the base of the waterfall are to represent the foam that floats on top of the water at the base. The fabric I used for the waterfall was very pliable, and I placed it where I wanted it and pinned it in place to tack down later. The tree trunk was just a strip of fabric that I shaped and twisted front to back as I worked, leaving the edges raw for effect. The sun is poly organza, and the edges are left raw there as well, to provide the effect of the heat waves from the sun. On this quilt the applique is almost done and the quilting is partially done. I tried for a year to finish it to completion, and then realized it was finished. My journey with them is completed. I moved on to life. See you out there! These quilts now hang in the Board Room at the Child Crisis Center in Mesa, Arizona. My hope is that they will be a mobilizing source of healing for all of those who look upon them, for all types of grieving. Janice L. Allen, Artist
QUILT STORIES I am a survivor of childhood sexual and physical trauma and neglect. I grew up in a family with a raging and physically abusive mother, and a father who was a pedophile and lecturer. Any nurturing I received was from my father, and that was a twisted and toxic attention. I received no love from my mother; but rejection and neglect. As a child, my eyes saw the repetitive cycle of my mother beating on my father, and him crying, getting drunk, and molesting. This was my reality. It took me many years to reach a point when I could verbalize these truths, and honestly deliver them back to my parents, and understand them to be theirs to hold, and not mine. The quilts I will share about hold part of my journey to wellness, as the process of creating them helped me through the perils and discoveries of my path to myself; the self I am apart from, and in spite of, the scars of my childhood. In 1991, I received a flyer in the mail, at my home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, inviting those with histories of sexual trauma to participate in an art show. The idea had been introduced by a therapist who had been working with women with histories of sexual abuse and/or rape, as a means to validate their experiences and their journeys. The art show was intended for their benefit, as well as to educate the public regarding sexual trauma. The first show was in 1992, and continued ever two years for about a decade thereafter. Initially, I considered the flyer and threw it on my desk, thinking what a strange idea it was to endeavor to bring a show of this nature out into the public. However, I didn’t through the flyer away! It waited for me on my desk, and I acknowledged it each day for about two weeks, until I eventually picked it up and, with fear and trepidation, made the call. I did not think of myself as an artist, and I told the person on the phone that I was not an artist, and couldn’t paint, sculpt or write, but I could sew. The answer was “yes,” and fabric could be my medium. Besides the birth of my children, I could recall never having been so excited, happy, and frightened in my life! My spirit must have known I was, in fact, preparing for birth. I had been in therapy already, working through childhood trauma, so the foundation was laid. The process of making the quilts allowed me to delve much deeper in my grief work, and I found myself experiencing a catharsis: a great cleansing and healing. I learned to respect the process and, and moreover to listen and to trust it. (Perhaps that is the most difficult for those whose innate trust was impeded due to abuse and neglect.) I finished a Triptych (a fine art; a set of three that work together to tell a story, and yet may stand alone as individuals.) That first show was my unveiling, and began another leg of my healing journey. I will always be grateful for the difficult and deep waters of that creative process, and the fun and excitement I experienced in completing them. These quilts are considered “Art Therapy Quilts,” for the process they offer the creator; however, like a poem or a painting, they may hold different stories for the beholder, and are therefore works of art in and of themselves. I will try and take you on my journey and the birth of these quilts. I give all the credit to God. He directed my journey and gifted me with the love of sewing, and the spirit and strength to heal and to share.

Why and where was the quilt made; source of info

United States

Detail Images


Additional Records

No additional records