Category Archives: hand applique

Ma soeur française

“Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it.”Salvador Dali

When I was in high school (many moons ago!) our family hosted a French student for the school year.  I didn’t know much about the world beyond Iowa at that time and this was an incredible opportunity for my family to widen our horizons.  Jocy had lived many places in France, but her heart always remained in the regions of Beaujolais where her family had deep roots.  As we became young women, and our families grew, and we were both deeply involved in family and careers, we lost touch.  Many attempts were made to reconnect, without much success, until I opened up Facebook about a year and a half ago and had a “friend request” from my long lost friend.  What an incredible surprise!  Correspondence ensued and I just returned from spending 10 days in France with Jocy experiencing the part of France that she loves most.  Fall is an absolutely beautiful time to visit Lyon and the Beaujolais wine region of France.  Of course,  I’m a quilter and I spent days and days pondering what I could take to France that wouldn’t take up all of my luggage.  I found a wonderful fabric print of a world map and overlaid the map with a traditional celtic design.  Along the edges, I added four designs in seminole strip piecing to represent America.  The piece is hand appliqued and hand quilted. It measure approximately 28 x 46 inches.

2-1-1These show the seminole pieced border in more detail.

One of the most beautiful places that we visited was the medieval village of Pérouges.  Pérouges is a commune in the Ain department in eastern France. It is a medieval walled town that is perched on a small hill that overlooks the plain of the Ain River.  The town was was inhabited by craftsmen; mainly farmers and linen weavers. It was probably founded by a Gallic colony.  In 1167, the Seigneur d’Anthon famously shut the commune’s walls against the troops of the Archbishop of Lyon, and as early as 1236 the inhabitants earned communal freedom. In 1601 the town officially became French. Until the end of the 18th century, the textile industry in Pérouges boomed. (wikipedia)

The visit to France and the renewal of an old friendship was beautiful!



Filed under Celtic, hand applique, hand quilting, quilting, quilts, Seminole pieceing

Dreaming of Spring Again

dreaming 2The sky is gray, the atmosphere is very gloomy and it is so cold outside.  But I got some great news today.  My quilt that has been on loan to the “500 Traditional Quilts” tour is going to make it’s final appearance in the International Quilt Festival in Chicago from April 4 through April 7, 2016.  It was really exciting to get this news.


Filed under applique, hand applique, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Tea with Mother

Whether our relationship is strained or easy, hostile or amiable, we need our mother if only in memory …to conjugate our history, validate our femaleness and guide our way.
~ Victoria Secunda

coverThe last few years of my mother’s life were difficult – not what you want to remember as a daughter.  I turned into the bad guy – making the hard decisions that she couldn’t make like moving out of her home, moving into a care facility, having a knee replacement and telling her that her youngest daughter had died.  I didn’t enjoy being the “bad guy”.  I was actually out shopping at a quilt shop the morning that she died.  I had purchased this applique pattern “Morning Glory: A celebration in Applique” by Lori Smith.  I’ve just completed it about 8 months after her death and just a couple of weeks before her committal service.  bl2The applique square were not set in the same way as the pattern suggested.  I used a William Morris border print to create the square within the square.  Each square has a batik that complements the design.bl1The squares are outlined with black and a light lavendar sashing.

bl3The squares are hand appliqued.

bl4The sashing is quilted with a light lavendar thread.

bl5The size of a quilting is varied in the inside border and the outside border

bl6quiltingThe quilt is approximately 62×62.  It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.

May your relationship and memories of your mother be sweet!


Filed under applique, hand applique, hand quilting, quilting, quilts, William Morris

My Twist on a Garden

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

While I have been churning out quilt tops for charity, I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on my “Flower Garden” a design/pattern by Kim McLean.  flowergarden

I had difficulty finding a place to photograph the whole thing – this almost worked!  It is 96×96 and fits nicely on my queen size bed.  This was a real challenge for me because it was using a very different palette than I’m used to using and very bright colors.  The fabrics are Kaffe Fassett’s with some hand dyed batiks and some purchased batiks.


I actually had my doubts about it as I was making it.  I took it to a retreat with a group of friends and they gave me encouragement to keep on.

flower2What really pulled it all together in the end was the 1″square borders around each block.

flower4It is all hand quilted and for each square I chose a slightly different pattern to use.

flower6I was not crazy about the border that was designed with the pattern, so I modified it abit.

borderdetailI liked the effect of some open space on the border.  In that open space, I used the flower, leaf and vine designs and hand quilted those motifs into the border.

cornerdetailI know this is much longer than my usual post, but I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed bringing it to completion!

Happy Spring!





Filed under applique, batiks, garden, hand applique, hand quilting

A New Challenge

Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I recently purchased a new book, “Painted Applique: A New Approach” by Linda M Poole, published by AQS.  I had also purchased some Derwent Inktense pencils after seeing what some people are doing with surface design on fabric.  Linda has a great section with clear directions on how to use the pencils.  These designs are from her book and the squares are from her book also.

painted appliqueThis is a small piece, approximately 20 x 42″.  The background fabric is commercially manufactured batik.  The birds and dragonfly are painted on plain fabric and appliqued to the squares.  I really appreciated Linda’s clear directions and her patterns are fun too!  I will definitely add these tools to my arsenal!

Finished Mar 2014, hand and machine appliqued, hand quilted


Filed under applique, hand applique, hand quilting, Inktense pencils, machine applique, quilting, surface design

Fire and Ice / Right Brain Left Brain

“A woman’s life is nine parts mess to one part magic.  You’ll learn that soon enough….and the parts that look like magic turn out to be the messiest of all.” – George R. R. Martin, A Clash of KingsFire and Ice

This is the outcome of “Right Brain Left Brain” seen previously here.


Today brings looking back on the past year.  Lots of changes, messiness and magic”  This quilt incorporates them all.  Don’t ask what my plan for it is, it’s just the magic of creation.


20131228-230902.jpgHand quilted, machine pieced, hand appliqued







Filed under applique, art quilt, batiks, hand applique, hand quilting, original designs, quilting, quilts

Holiday with/without family

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

I had moments of reflection, sadness and great joy this Thanksgiving.  I miss family members that have gone beyond us and sadness that they couldn’t share in our celebration and also great joy in being with family and seeing friends from another lifetime!  Mostly, I’m smiling because it all happened.

continuous patternThis is the latest addition to my quilt pile!  Actually, I surprised my husband a couple of weeks ago and actually gave away 2 finished quilts and 3 quilt tops.  His first question on completing a quilt always is, “What are you going to do with it?”  I don’t make them with doing something with them as the potential outcome. . . It’s just the process and where it leads me!

The center of this quilt is hand appliqued and the pattern is taken from the book “Applique in Reverse” by Teri Henderson Tope.  I have to admit to using the patterns and ignoring the technique!  The border blocks are a continuous pattern “Pointed Tile” from the Aunt Martha series: Quilts Modern-Colonial published about 1954.

ct1Size is 60×60 in

Wool batting

hand quilted, machine pieced, hand appliqued

Size: 60×70


Filed under applique, batiks, hand applique, hand quilting, quilting, quilts, quilts from purchased patterns