Hand Appliqué Takes a Long Time

dollyminusmyman I haven’t stopped blogging about my quilts. Hand appliqué takes a long time. I also had to do the nose three or four times. I think I’m finally good on the nose. I have one more row of words, and then a border. I might appliqué vines and flowers into the border. I’m not sure. Got see how I feel about that when I get there.

Jolene Has Me Worried

jolene2My first portrait quilt. If you can’t tell, it’s Dolly Parton. I bought a book on how to sew portrait quilts. I borrowed a projector from a friend, and started to make my pattern. I was going to make it with all the shadows like the instruction talked about. I got all the pieces cut out, and decided I like Dolly without all the shadows. I’ve been stuck on the nose, but think I’m getting close to resolving it. She is hand appliquéd. Right now, the letters are pinned. I will start appliquéing them this evening. When it is finished, it will fit over a queen size bed. I have a basic idea of how I want the rest to continue, but as usual, I’ll be figuring it out as I go. We’ll see.


leslieandherquiltfront Leslieandherquilt This morning I brought the “Love” quilt over to it’s new home. I feel like it is a living thing that is joining a new family. As I look at these pictures, I feel a little teary, happy teary. My family went with me this morning. Jonathan, Leslie’s husband, is an excellent cook. He made us brunch. The exchange of the quilt felt ceremonial. I’m so thank for this opportunity. Leslie and her family are friends, but also my first customers. They have helped me gain confidence in making and selling. We made a partial monetary exchange and art trade. Leslie is also a visual artist. A piece of her will also live at our house.

Here is a link to Leslie’s website, http://lesleypattersonmarx.com/home.html


finishhouse finishedlove 5.IntheGarden(Detail) 7.HouseDetail8.HouseDetail

I finished this one today. A quilt becomes a part of you when you working on it. The front side is a narrative about Leslie. She is in a magic garden with her cat. It’s a garden where love grows. Her house is on the back of the quilt. She lives there with her family. Her husband Jonathan is looking at butterflies outside the window. Their son is also looking out at the world. Above them, Leslie stands in her studio window. She is finding inspiration for the art she makes in the attic.

How to Put the Quilt Together


I haven’t posted on the blog lately. I’ve been busy with holiday stuff, and neither of the two projects I’m working on, are ready for sharing. I’m sharing this image because I’ve had a few friends interested in seeing how the quilt comes together. The timing has been off to show them in person. Before I finish this quilt up, I thought I would share an in process image, and share how I put a quilt together. There are other ways. This is how I like to do it.

I have a large table that allows me to spread out a twin size quilt on it. I have also used the floor. I first lay the back face down on the floor or table. I have weights that I use to hold down the edges. For the weights, I use cans, sash weights from an old window, and a long heavy ruler. Then, I spread out the batting. I use 100% natural cotton batting. I get it as flat as I can over the back of the quilt. I move the weights up on top of the batting. The top of the quilt, face up, goes over that, and again I move the weights up. You want the back and the batting to be larger than the top. Then, I start pinning. Using safety pins, I pin about every two inches, pinning all three layers together. Once, I ran out of safety pins, and didn’t want to go to the store. I had some long straight pins. They don’t work. When you quilt with straight pins, they poke you.

After it is all pinned, you are ready to quilt. I start in the middle and work my way out. As I sew I remove the safety pins. In the picture, you can see the back, the batting, the pins, and where I have finished quilting. After I finish quilting, I trim of the extra backing and batting. There are also different ways to do the binding. The below link is to a video I used when learning how bind a quilt. I’m so excited to see this one finished. Work has started up for me, but I hope to have it finished soon.


I’ve been busy with the holidays. I’m working on something, but not ready to post it. A friend just showed me a video I want to share on my blog. It has inspired me. It’s also made me want to get busy with making some business cards. In this “Craft In America” video, Joe Cunningham talks about Gee’s Bend quilts and how they inspire him.


Secret Santa Gift


A few months ago I joined the Music City Modern Quilt Guild. For the month of December they are throwing a holiday party. They organized a Secret Santa. To participate meant I would have to put my in progress quilt project on hold. I’m glad I signed up. It’s good for me to get involved, and it pushed me to work a little differently than I would normally work.

Members had a choice of items to pick from. You could also request fabric preferences. The person I was matched up with did not specify which of the listed items she would prefer, but had pretty specific fabric choices. I moved from Tennessee from Washington. The grey weather of Washington is one reason I never moved back. It’s also one of the reason I prefer bright colors, and avoid grey. Many of the fabrics my Secret Santa partner preferred were not sold at the quilt shop I went to. I was able to find some batiks and grey. She said she preferred grey over black.

I wanted to make something fun, or sophisticated. I found a pattern for a gigantic tote. I was positive this was my direction. Before committing myself, I started to Pinterest totes. I found some sophisticated bags that were woven, or knitted, or sewn canvas. I changed my path and decided to make my own design based on some of the images I collected.

I’m happy with how it turned out. I’m glad I was put into a situation to use colors I wouldn’t normally put together. This is the first tote bag I have made since I was in middle school.

I had to miss the party. I hope my Santa pal is happy with her gift. I have this slight fear about its durability, but I always do after I give something away.

I am not a purse kind of gal, but on occasion I have to carry one. I have one purse. It’s the purse I use when I need one. Last time I used apart of it broke. I was thinking I might get a new one after Christmas, but now I’m thinking I might be able to make something.

Finished the House


My husband, the painter, and I are very honest when it comes to critiquing each other’s work. We don’t hold back. We find humor in that honesty. While I held it up, he took the photo. He said, “I hate to say it, but it looks pretty good.” I’m pretty happy.

I will probably have to put a boarder on it to match the size of the other side. I haven’t measured it yet. So close!