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Photo Session

One of my least favorite things to do is to photograph my work. I’ve discovered smaller pieces are much more manageable but then I have some pieces that are just larger because they want to be the size they become.

Sunday Dresses started out as a few pineapple blocks in a Quilt Festival workshop with Gyleen Fitzgerald. She is a real dynamo and the class was fun, her tool very helpful, and it didn’t hurt that I was there with a rowdy group of Holus Bolus. I came home with four or five pineapple blocks with three rounds each. I continued on with some black and white prints–all from my mother’s scrapbasket of leftovers from her Sunday Dresses. There were some everyday blouses and aprons and a few shirts for my brothers and so I sliced them all up with my handy dandy Accuquilt Studio cutter.

I set those blocks together and then decided to finish it off with several rounds of just straight strips set together end to end in a random pattern–just like my grandmother did with a special quilt she made just for me. That quilt was batted with a wool blanket–she lived through the Depression and World War II and was thrifty by necessity.

This quilt was quilted on my Gammill using a star motif in the centers of those pineapple blocks.

Every time I look at it I see my mother’s wardrobe made of plywood sitting in the corner of her bedroom, filled with those white-black print dresses, the bottom with a box of fabric scraps all carefully rolled up and pinned together either with a straight pin or tied with a piece of selvedge. That wardrobe was still there when we began remodeling the farmhouse–the dresses long gone but still so visible in my mind’s eye.


This is a small part of the completed piece. I tried to use her quilting stencils but quickly learned that hand quilting stencils do not work well with longarm machine quilting or probably any sort of machine quilting.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. This was one of my favorite pieces in the Made in Texas show. Your story of the fabric bundles, pinned or tied, struck so close. I inherited those bundles from both my Mother & Grandmother. Me opening them decades after they were made was a sweet moment.
    Congratulations for being chosen to be part of the traveling show!

    November 25, 2017
  2. thank you for your kind words. I had those bundles from my mother and my grandmother–she rolled strips into balls to weave into rag rugs on a large floor loom. I wanted that loom when I was ten or so–but my mother refused it–saying it was too dusty. In later years she regretted that decision although where we would have put it in our tiny house would have been a challenge.

    I have heard it was a great show—and regrettably I was unable to see it due to health issues–but I think it will be traveling to Houston this next festival.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment—-

    December 26, 2017

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