I have enjoyed needlework for most of my life, especially cross stitch, but quilting has become a true passion of mine in the past few years. I think part of the reason is that I had the most fabulous teacher for my first quilt, the wonderful Alice Wilhot of Alice Wilhoit Designs. (A few of my cross stitch pieces are pictured below, too.)
This is my very first quilt, from a class that Alice taught. See all the kitty fabrics? It is now a favorite napping place for Emily, Elliot, Eloise and Elizabeth. (OCT 2004)
This is my second quilt. I did this one from a pattern on my own. It's called "Purrfect Christmas." Of course those are cats! (NOV 2004)
This is a Christmas-themed table topper. The picture doesn't do it justice, but it's the reason I decided to learn to quilt in the first place. They were almost out of kits for this in the store and it was only September! And, no, those are birds, not cats!
This is my Mary Engelbreit quilt, made entirely from her fabrics. I made this in another of Alice Wilhoit's wonderful classes. Don't tell her I STILL haven't finished it! I think there are one or two little bitty cats in it, too. (FEB 2005)
I call this my "Catfish" quilt. As soon as I saw the panel fabric in the store, I knew I had to have it! You can't tell a lot about it from the picture, but the fish are on the pier fishing for cats. One has a bucket of mice as bait. The "chef fish" has a sign board offering
Filet of Feline w/French Fries & Slaw
For once, the fish seem to have the upper hand, but the cats don't seem to mind in the least. Wearing masks, flippers and even shark fins, they're getting along swimmingly! I just added a colorful fish border and we were good to go. It was designed and pieced by me and very beautifully quilted by Nana's Creations. (AUG 2005)
This is my "Cats and Kittens" quilt. I designed, pieced and longarm quilted all by myself. It was donated to our local CPS organization at our September Guild meeting and was chosen as one of the top five in the challenge! There may be a couple of cats in this quilt. (AUG 2005)
We had an exchange of 5" squares of Christmas fabrics at my local quilt shop. This is the Christmas Scrappy quilt I made from the squares I got. You can see only about one quarter of it in the picture. It was quilted by Just Jazzy Designs. (OCT 2005)
My family loves hockey, especially the Dallas Stars. For some odd reason, my sister decided she loved the Toronto Maple Leafs, too, so I made her this Maple Leafs quilt. It was quilted by Nana's Creations and very nicely, too. (NOV 2005)
I made these two quilts for Christmas presents. The one on the top was for my mother, in a pattern and fabrics that she chose. I decided the western theme in a more manly color way would be a good choice for my boss. This became the quilt on the bottom. I quilted Mom's quilt myself, but my boss's quilt was quilted by Nana's Creations. (NOV/DEC 2005)
I designed and pieced this quilt for my dad's birthday. The center squares are various navy and WWII motifs. The large star points are red and blue mottled fabric with patriotic gold stars. The small stars are made from vintage-looking red, blue and dark gold prints. The background is made from twelve different vintage-looking cream-colored prints. Since some of the fabrics I chose looked too "new" for this scrappy, vintage quilt, I aged them with tan colored dye. The quilting was done by Nana's Creations. (APR 2006)
I made this quilt for a friend of mine who, of course, picked one of the most intricate patterns I've done so far. I loved the materials she chose, though. The periwinkle blues and crisp white are gorgeous together. I never made so many flying geese in my life! This quilt was quilted by Nana's Creations. (JAN 2006)
My brother-in-law enjoys fishing and wildlife, so I designed and pieced this quilt for his birthday. The fabrics are all from Moda's Northern Shores line. The fabrics are different fish and hooks, lake maps and even ducks. The picture panels feature things like boats, jumping trout and even a creel. This quilt was beautifully quilted by Nana's Creations. It's hard to see in this photo, but there are jumping trout in the middle of each of the large four-color stars. (APR 2006)
I made this Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny quilt to celebrate the birth of the first granddaughter of my friend, mentor and constant encourager, Robin Hardy. (See her website here.) . Of course Emily assumed it was for her. It was quilted by Nana's Creations. (MAY 2006)
I saw this darling pattern in a quilt book that has all kinds of cat motifs. Of course, Eloise was quite pleased that all of the Sunbonnet Kitties are black. The gorgeous quilting is by Nana's Creations. (MAY 2006)
I designed this Dallas Stars quilt in the team colors of black and green and gold. It was a present for my sister. I will definitely make me a Stars quilt someday, too! (JUL 2006)
Stars quilt closeup: You can see the Dallas Stars logo and some of the stars better here. Each star in this quilt is different.
This one is MINE! It's called "Black and White and Read All Over." The pictures don't show it very well, but all the fabrics in this quilt have to do with writing. There is old-fashioned quill writing on backgrounds in varying shades of cream and tan, and there are the letters used to write out the quotes. There are bits of handwritten sheet music, because how can you have good writing without a little music in it? And there are deep red roses, roses for romance and red for the blood every author puts into his work. In this picture, the quilt still needs to have the batting trimmed and the binding sewn on. I love this quilt! It was quilted by the fabulous Richard Larson of Quilting Design Studio. (JAN 2007)
Author quilt detail: You can see some of the beautiful quilting detail in this picture. The whole Emerson quote is, "All writing comes by the grace of God."
Author quilt detail: Since I always have cats in my books, I had to have cats in my author quilt! All four of my babies are discreetly quilted into the corners of the quilt, each 2 - 3" high. This is a closeup of Elliot.
My sister and I both loved this Elizabethan cat fabric and thought it was perfect for her sweet kitty, Katarina. It was beautifully quilted by Nana's Creations. (SEP 2007)
Katarina quilt detail: Aren't these cats regal? And I love the coordinating fabrics for the inner and outer borders.
I made this kooky quilt for my sister's kooky black cat, Baby Kitty. I swear I didn't pick out the fabrics! But I did sew them together, and the quilt was also beautifully quilted by Nana's Creations. (SEP 2007)
Baby Kitty quilt detail: Aren't those cats a hoot? Especially the ones on green in the corner? That was Baby Kitty to a T!
I made this little baby quilt in preparation for the arrival of Robin's second grandchild. "Newton," the little lamb on the fabric, is so cute. (SEP 2007)
This is a Double Nine-Patch quilt made in reproductions of 1930 Feed Sack fabrics. Obviously, it still needs to be quilted, but at least I finished the piecing in time to give it as a Christmas gift. Someday I'm going to make some quilts for me! (OCT 2007)
Nine-Patch close up: It's hard to see in the photo, but each nine-patch square has five tiny little nine-patch blocks in it. The small squares of multi-colored fabric finished at 1" each.
I made this Kitty Girl as a present for my sister's birthday. Three dimensional sewing is certainly different from two dimensional sewing, but it was a challenging and fun experience. And I think it turned out cute. (NOV 2007)
My mother-in-law-in-law (my sister's husband's mother) has been really nice to my family . . . especially since my own mother passed away. Since I know she's especially fond of apple decor, I made her this little table runner as a Christmas present. I hope she likes it! (DEC 2007)
I made this quilt for Robin for her birthday. I love this pattern, and plan to make one similar to this for myself one day. It was beautifully quilted by Nana's Creations. (DEC 2007)
I made this little quilt for a project our guild was doing to provide quilts to children in Africa. I loved all the bright kitty fabrics. The pattern is called "Disappearing Nine Patch." (JAN 2008)
I took a class based on Pat Speth's wonderful nickle quilt patterns. A nickle in quilting circles is a 5" square of fabric. From them, you can make tons of different blocks. This pattern is called "Idaho Beauty," and it's made from the all the miscellaneous green fabrics I had been collecting. You can see only about a quarter of the quilt, but I think it's delicious. It was quilted by Just Jazzy Designs. (JUN 2008)
This is another of Pat Speth's nickle patterns. It's called "Paths and Stiles." I thought it was a great way to show off this glorious fabric line called "Decadent Victorian." I love the purples and lavenders and creams and soft greens in paisleys and florals and sweet little dots. Again, only about a quarter of the quilt would fit in the picture. (JUN 2008)
My guild has an ongoing project called "Storybook Quilts." We're building a library of quilt-themed children's books and making little quilts to match. The books with their matching quilts travel to schools and libraries all over the area. My contribution was this little replica of the pictures from "The Kindness Quilt" by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. (JUL 2008)
Kindness quilt detail: I really enjoyed these bright fabrics and darling little bunnies, and I particularly liked how the lettering turned out. It was quilted by a wonderful lady from my guild. (JUL 2008)
I made this sweet little table runner for a Christmas present for a friend. My friend's mother had made a dress from this strawberry fabric, and my friend still had some scraps. I loved working with fabric that was probably over fifty years old. And, of course, Richard Larson's quilting is lovely. (DEC 2008)
This was a Christmas present for Robin. It's a little partridge in a pear tree from a Nancy Halvorsen pattern and using her fabrics. I love her stuff! (DEC 2008)
Robin loved the Victorian Decadence fabrics so much, I couldn't deny her at least a little mini quilt made out of them. This was needleturn appliqued and rather uncertainly quilted by me. (APR 2009)
I made this colorful little snowman table runner for our guild auction, and Robin was kind enough to buy it. This is another Nancy Halvorsen pattern, and I'm determined to make one for me someday, too. (AUG 2009)
This little wall hanging is from a pattern called "Hurry, Mr. Postman." I made it as a Christmas present to go with the blue and white basket quilt I made in January of 2006. I quilted it myself. (NOV 2009)
This little snowman pillow, with its authentic snowflake buttons!, was a Christmas present for Robin. I love the nice wintery plaids and the cream-colored wool. We don't get many snowmen down here unless we make them ourselves. (DEC 2009)
This little wall hanging was from a pattern called "Boot'iful." I don't know which of Robin's good deeds earned her this one, but 20+ years of mentoring a hapless fledgling writer ought to get you something! (APR 2010)
This is from a pattern called "Magic Squares." My sister selected the beautiful stone- and bronze-looking fabrics, and I made it for her for her birthday and Christmas present. I like how it turned out, and I'm eager for her to get it quilted. (SEPT 2010)
This was from a pattern called "Friendship Flowers." I made it for a friend's birthday. I thought it was cute and very 1930s. I even quilted it myself. (JUN 2011)
I SO love this quilt! It's so sweet and fresh and fun. The pattern is called "Flight of Fancy" and was made by Late Bloomer Quilts. I needleturned all the applique and it is now being quilted by Richard Larson. I can't wait to see the magic he'll do with it. (AUG 2011)
This is a closer view of the center block. I love the woven bias strips for the basket. They were an adventure to make!
Of course, I still love my cross stitch. I've finished the stitching on my beautiful Renaissance nativity, but I still need to put the backs on them and stuff them out so they'll stand up. Maybe by Christmas, but Christmas of which year . . .??
A few of my completed projects are pictured below. There is nothing as satisfying as finishing an intricate cross-stitched "painting."
I love Mary Engelbriet's work and have my sewing room decked out in her fabric and pictures. I love this saying, too, so doing this cross stitch was a natural for me. I stared it in 2003 but, after getting exactly halfway done, I put it up in 2005 so I could move to a new house. I didn't pick it up again until 2009, but I did finally finish it. (2010)
This one is called "Mermaid of the Pearls." It has the most beautiful metallic threads and tiny seed beads and is done on 32-count linen. This took me approximately three years to finish. (2002)
These are companion pieces, "Gather Ye Rosebuds" and "While Ye May." * I loved the stained-glass look of them and, of course, the timeless theme of the noble knight and his fair lady was irresistible to me. I'm not sure how long these actually took. I believe I started "While Ye May" in the early 1990s, but I know I put it away for a long time before I got back to it. Both pieces were eventually completed in 2002. They are stitched on 16-count Aida. (2002)
"Gather Ye Rosebuds"
"While Ye May"
* "Gather Ye Rosebuds" and "While Ye May" were designed by Kathi Wagner and published by Imaginating in 1984. The patterns are growing increasingly hard to find, but you might try searching the internet in general or perhaps eBay or Amazon.