Category Archives: hand quilting

Peacock tails

Dream tonight of peacock tails, diamond fields and spouter whales.  Ills are many, blessings few, but dreams tonight will shelter you.

Herman Melville


The quilt is about 54″x54″.  The background is stonehenge ombre.  The peacock tails are a beautiful digital print.  The peacocks are highlighted on the quilt with metallic thread to make them pop.  The piece is hand appliqued and hand quilted.





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

Sea Turtles

The Turtle’s teachings are so beautiful. So very special. It teaches us that everything you are, everything you need and everything you bring to the world is inside you, not external, and you carry it with you, and are not limited to a place, space or time.      Eileen Anglin

IMG_0164 (1)

This piece is 54″ x54″.  It is hand appliqued with embroidered outlines to highlight the design.  It is hand quilted.


Close up of highlighting on waves.


Closeup of highlighting on turtles.  Fabric is commercially available batiks.  Completed early 2019.


Filed under applique, art quilt, hand applique, hand quilting, quilting, quilts

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

The Children of Lir

Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and ruler of sea called Lir. He had a beautiful wife, called Eva, who gave him four children – eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When children were young, their mother Eva died. Lir and children were very sad, and King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married Eva’s sister Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.

Aoife loved children and Lir at first, but soon she became very jealous of time that King spent with Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took children to swim in a lake while sun was hot in sky. When they got there and children took to water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans.


This quilt represent the story of the “Children of Lir”.  The fabric in the center of the quilt is hand dyed.  The orange and yellow fabric in the border represents the burning jealousy of the step mother.


The knotwork represent the children that were turned into swans.


The illusion of the step mother is painted on the fabric with Paint Stik.

The quilt is machine and hand quilted and is approximately 56in x56 in.



Filed under applique, celtic design, hand quilting, machine quilting, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Bird in Hand

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”  Henry Van Dyke

1 - 1 (1)

This is developed from a pattern by Laura Heine, who has a lovely collection of patterns that she has developed.  If you love animal patterns, be sure of check out her website at   This particular pattern is called “Bird in Hand”.  The background is a selection of indigo and tan batiks.  The birds are offset in bright Kaffe Fasset fabrics highlighted with contrasting and complimentary batiks.  The birds are hand appliqued onto the blocks.

1 - 2

The birds and flowers are then enhanced with fancy machine stitches.

1 - 3The quilt in 70×70

1 - 5The quilt does not have a traditional binding, but has a knife edge with facing to the back.

1 - 6The quilt was then hand quilted to finish.

Finished 2015.



Filed under applique, hand quilting, quilting


“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
― William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets

I’m feeling the changing of the seasons in my bones. The nights are cooler, the heat less intense, people are settling into routines again, leaves are starting to change on the side of the mountains.

I’m starting to think about new projects. This is one that is just completed.cornucopia1

Machine applique, hand quilted

cornucopia 3



50×70 inches
Completed – summer 2014
The square is “Lillian’s Favorite” by Clara Stone published in Practical Needlework, ca. 1906


Filed under applique, batiks, hand quilting, historical quilt block

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