Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This wall quilt, "Courage" was created in 1997 for a young friend as a graduating from college present.
This quote by Anais Nin is embroidered in a spiral in the center, " Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage."
The periods of clinical depression experienced on and off for a number of years by my friend are represented by the frayed raw seams on the front surface of the quilt. The joy and positive adventures I hoped she'd find are portrayed by the sparkling jewel-like colors in the outer portions of the connected rings. For the most part, I think her adventures in life so far have been in the outer ring.

It's hand quilted. This photo makes me miss those days of sitting in pleasant, quiet places stitching for hours.
Here's a photo of the backside.
The last post as well of this one feature quilts made in my early days of quilting. This happened because I had to move the binders in which I keep the information about the quilts I've made. Pocket pages hold the drawings, templates, photos, and info that pertains to the creation and finishing of each quilt.
I scanned the drawings and photos of this quilt on my computer to get the photos here on my blog.

I had forgotten this was inspired by Doreen Speckman's "Peaky and Spike" pattern that I saw her present on "Simply Quilts". Can't recall if I bought her book or checked it out from our guild's library.

Here's a photo of my design wall that shows fabrics being auditioned.
I still work this way ... making a loose sketch that's not too detailed filled in with general hues and values and then working the details out on the design wall. This method of designing is more dynamic than planning every detail and making all the decisions on paper. The time or two when I have done ALL the planning ahead, the projects never got made ...for me, the adventure of creation was done by then.

Pulling out those binders happened at a good time. I feel as though I'm "on hold" after the completion of the prairie flower quilt ... that I need to take time for contemplation. While they are out, stay tuned for the presentation of more quilts from the early days of my adventure into quilting.


Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying the walk through your quilting history! I didn't know you hand quilted. Interesting how you keep such detailed records- I'm sure it serves you well.

Dolores said...

It's nice to take a breather after a big project and it's nice to look back on what you accomplished. I love the fact that you hand quilted.

verobirdie said...

This is a beautiful piece and it is interesting to see how you work!

Libby Fife said...

Probably need to clear your mind a bit-your horizon is probably filled still with prairie flowers!

arlee said...

I know that feeling--after finishing pieces that take up a big part of your life, you wonder where to go next---enjoying this process of yours to find a new path.

Kristin said...


I love the "Courage" quilt, and I imagine that it did, indeed, give your friend courage along the way. What a lovely gift.

Kristin F. in SC

self taught artist said...

i love this, the title, the simplicity (in appearance) and especially the crinkle look...its wonderful nellie!