Category Archives: machine applique

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

Sweet Memories

“Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart. ”
Washington Irving

My sister passed away a little over a year ago.  She loved to do cross stitching and her favorite designers were from Blackbird Designs.  This is a sample of her work completed the summer before she died.crossstitchDuring one of the many medical procedures she endured during my visit, I escaped for a mental health break to a quilt shop and found the book “In the Meadow” by Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird designs for quilts!  I bought it and took it home and we pored over the photos and designs.  The book has wonderful photography in it.  This is one of the “Sweet Memories”  I have of our last little time together.  I purchased a group of Civil War prints to interpret the pattern.

When I returned home, I started the quilt.  Our local quilt guild has an annual quilt challenge and show in December.  As it happened, the challenge for last year was to use a fat quarter of a fabric that by itself was not very attractive.

challengefabricIt just happened however, that it blended very nicely with the fabrics that I had selected for my “Friends of a Feather” !   I worked on it for most of the year.  When it was displayed at the December quilt challenge, I won the prize for the traditional category.

sweet memoriesThe finished size of the quilt is 78×78 inches.  The designs are machine appliqued on to the squares using a small buttonhole stitch.  The quilt is hand quilted using a 1″ cross hatching to emphasis the applique pattern.

detailI walk by the quilt and fond memories of my sister come to me!


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

Waiting, and waiting some more

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Thank goodness that there are quilts and quilting to think about. The vigil would be for less tolerable without color, design, and fabric to think about while listening for changes in respiration.

Life is kind of like a group of sampler blocks, with unique experiences and friendships of all different sizes and shapes.

This quilt was made about 15 years ago and center around French provincial colors.

The appliqué blocks are machine appliquéd with a satin stitch with Sulky threads to give them some sparkle and definition.


The quilt is hand quilted from the backside of the quilt. It measures approximately 50×60 in.


Leave a comment

Filed under hand quilting, machine applique, traditional block

Quilting for others

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Maya Angelou

I meet with a wonderful group of women around the topic of quilting.  We all love to do it and all have a larger vision of the world than just quilting.  Therefore, as a group we are deeply involved in quilting for causes, as well as quilting for the love, satisfaction and need of it.  We have several groups that we are involved with including Family Promise, YWCA.  Currently we are working with several other guilds in the state to provide quilts to peace officers for children in stressful situations.  We meet weekly at a local church and we donate a quilt to the church for their use.  Sometimes they have someone special in the church they want to recognize and sometimes they have a raffle to raise money.  This year, this is the quilt that we are donating.  I made the top, a friend of mine in the guild, machine quilted it and returned it to me for binding.  It is ready for the next phase of its life.



It is about 65×80.  Machine pieced, machine appliqued and machine quilted.

charity2The applique pieces are satin stitched with Sulky rayon thread.

charity3The free motion quilting was done by a friend in the guild.


Filed under machine applique, machine quilting, quilting


Nasturtiums are one of summers little gifts. . . little pockets of color tucked in among the vegetables to keep the aphids away and to bring a surprise of color to the eye.




This was given to a friend as a gift.

Size: 20×30

Machine appliqued, hand quited, finished 2004

Leave a comment

Filed under applique, hand quilting, machine applique, quilting, wall quilt


Life is much different from the days when there were lilies in my mother’s garden, and all my secrets fit into a paper cup.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither lily2It is really hot here in the Great Basin.  Three consecutive days of 105 degrees.  This is really unusual for June.  All the more excuse to head to the basement and sew!  The day lilies are out in full bloom all over the valley.

lily1This is a piece that I completed in 2005 and is my interpretation of day lilies.lily3The piece us machine appliqued and hand quilted.

Leave a comment

Filed under applique, art quilt, hand quilting, machine applique, photography, quilting, wall quilt

Summer in the Great Basin

“The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil’s fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.”
Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl


The Yucca have come into bloom in the high desert.  They defy the usual image of a dry, brown summer that one often thinks of in the desert.  The blooms are beautiful, white and lily-like.

yucca1The spiky  leaves become a beautiful and fresh green.

Here is my interpretation of the yucca.

yuccaSize: 30×30

machine appliqued, hand quilted

Completed 2002

Leave a comment

Filed under applique, art quilt, batiks, hand quilting, machine applique, original designs, photography, quilting, wall quilt

Thank heaven for babies

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
Kurt Vonnegut

Thank heaven for babies!  It gives us the excuse to use fabrics and patterns that we might not otherwise use.  I’ve made lots of boy quilts, but this is a girly quilt.  What fun!  The zebra and color scheme was used on the birth announcement

zebra1Size: 58×58

machine pieced, machine quilted, machine appliqued

The quilt is backed with soft, fuzzy hot pink chenille.

zebra2It will be big enough to be a snuggly TV quilt for a long time!

Finished 2013


Filed under baby quilts, machine applique

Crouching tiger, hidden dragon

“But I’ll always love you, and I’ll always miss you and I’ll never forget that It’s okay to put dragons in the jungle and tears on a tiger”
Sharon M. Draper, Tears of a Tiger

tigerdragonThis is a commissioned piece  for a friend.  The request was for a piece with their astrological signs and the yin and yang.

Machine applique, hand quilted,

Shiva paint stiks used to stencil the stripes on the tiger, chinese symbols and details on the dragon.

Size – 47″x35″

Finished 2013

Leave a comment

Filed under applique, art quilt, batiks, hand quilting, inspired by other design, machine applique, quilting, quilting design, shiva paint stiks, stencil, surface design, wall quilt

Quilting during a long winter

There’s no better way to spend a long, cold winter than by hiding away in my quilt space.  Whether I’m daydreaming, creating designs or using a tried and true pattern, burying myself in color and pattern make the days fly away.  One of my big projects over the past few months is a pattern from Michele Hill’s book “More William Morris Applique”  published by C & T publishing in 2012. I’ve always been fascinated by the art created during the Arts and Crafts Movement and especially like some of the fabric designed by William Morris.

whole quilt

I used a fused raw edge technique and finished the edges with a double buttonhole stitch. I used a rayon thread to enhance the designs and set off the colors. I mixed batiks and more traditional cotton fabrics. I enhanced the edge with a bright yellow piping. I used a wool batt, which is a dream to hand quilt. It does however have a higher loft, but with the crosshatching quilting I think that it set off the designs.

Here are some close up details. . .
detail3side detail




Size: 64×64
machine applique, hand quilting


Filed under applique, Arts and Crafts, batiks, hand quilting, machine applique, quilting, quilts from purchased patterns, William Morris