From Baby Clothes to Beautiful Memory

Many years ago a beautiful friend asked me to make a piece for her. At the time, I was exploring the idea of our clothing ripping open to expose our inner thoughts. When these thoughts are embroidered, it forces me to work in detail and forces the viewer to look a little closer, like revealing a secret.

These friends love the beach so the setting was easy. Lucky for me she loves birds as much as I do. I envisioned my friend thinking about her 2 boys. For her hubbie...I wanted to play with all the elements he loves (tennis, beer, the Dodgers)

I had her gather a small stack of baby and toddler clothing that was stained, ripped and not a good candidate for a hand me down.

I asked her for a preferred color palate

and any specific elements to include (thankfully she happened to love birds as much as me)

The background is a crib sheet, the clothing is sweatshirts and jeans worn by the toddlers. The sand is a remnant from another friends decorating project. The rest is just painted fabric scraps.

Below is the process from photograph, to rough sketch, to the details.

I am incredibly grateful to have had the chance to make this for them!


p.s. Want your own memory piece? Drop me a line at

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Karen Payton Art      Ventura County, California