Mama Played "Clair de Lune" by Bonnie D. Askowitz

Mama Played “Clair de Lune”

Bonnie D. Askowitz

Miami, Florida, USA

Artist Statement

One of the things all my siblings remember about my mother was that after dinner she would pull her violin out of the case and play.  Almost every evening she played, “Clair de Lune” by French composer, Claude Debussy, published in 1905. Mama could also play the piano and the ukelele and she was always singing. Her favorite instrument, however, was the violin, which she learned to play as a child.

I have painted my mother against a Miami background where she and I grew up.  “Clair de Lune” is French for “moonlight”  and I have depicted “Moonlight over Miami” in my quilt.  Mama died in 1988, but the sound of her violin playing “Clair de Lune” remains forever in my memory.


I painted the image of my mother using Jacquard fabric paints and black Sharpie.  The background of the moon, water and trees were raw edge appliqued.  Free motion quilting and the addition of a few beads to represent stars finished the quilt.


Mostly commercial cotton with some netting, cotton thread and some white beads are the materials in this quilt.

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