Jul 26 09

Reconnecting With an Old Friend

Sometimes, life gets in the way and a quilt in the works gets pushed aside for many months. There is something so soothing and exciting about reconnecting with that quilt on your machine bed, and breathing new life into it as you add some fun thread work:

I’m happy to say that Leaf Cycles VI is now quilted and bound, and all that remains to be done is a label:

Maybe it was all these great colors, but this quilt was really fun to make, right from the beginning. The applique on this quilt is all quite simple, and it’s all the thread work that adds the interest. Here is the oak leaf:

Do you see the irregular swirl that is stitched inside of it in this closeup shot?

That was actually free motion EMBROIDERED when the oak leaf was just a block (think how much easier that is as there is no batting or backing or bulk at that stage) and because it was appliqued with fusible web, no stabilizer was needed. I used Lava Thread by Superior Threads for that leaf. Do you see how all the leaves seem like they are protruding out a bit? That’s because they were embroidered instead of quilted and then once I had them in the final quilt sandwich, I just zipped around the edges with invisible thread. So fun, so easy! Here’s a closeup shot of the large dandelion leaf:

This leaf was also embroidered when it was just a quilt block. Here’s an old shot of this block before it was in an actual quilt top:

The design you see inside the outer zone is the angular swirl. The dark green was done using one of the YLI Variations line (I can’t remember the color name) and the lighter green zone was stitched with a YLI Variations thread color called “Grass.” Just like the oak leaf, all the different pieces of this leaf are outlined with invisible thread (I use Monopoly by Superior Threads) and that’s what makes
these leaves kind of protrude out.

Here’s a closeup of a large leaf of a weed from my yard:

The vein lines inside it were free motion embroidered (when this was just a block) using Sulky 12-weight Blendable thread. If I had waited and quilted those vein lines when this was in the final quilt sandwich, they would have receded into the quilt instead of “popped out” a bit the way they do. And here is a shot of the fern:

and you can see that the irregular swirl design was embroidered inside it when it was just a block. It always makes me feel kind of sad to finish a quilt, like our time together is over. I guess I should just let myself be excited about the next one. After all, “so much thread, so little time…” (You may quote me on that!)


  1. Cindy Keery Says:

    Wow, your quilting is amazing!

  2. Elaine Says:

    Your quilting is so lovely. I hope to get to your level one day.

  3. Kit Says:


  4. Eileen Keane Says:

    Your quilting is beyond awesome!! I just watched your trapunto demo on TQS and want to say thank you for sharing so much of your work.

  5. Hope Says:

    I love the machine embroidery. It makes even the “weed” look lovely. Thanks for sharing, Patsy. Just beautiful!

  6. LuAnn in Oregon Says:

    Well Patsy…….you knocked my socks off!
    Your website has enough inspiration to last me a lifetime.
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with the quilt world.
    I am on my way out to the Thread Shed to machine quilt “Patsy Style.”
    LuAnn in Oregon

  7. Alice (BCQuilter) Says:


    It is so nice to see the finished version of your leaves. It has really turned out well. Your work is truly inspiring, and when I grow up (as a quilter), I want to try these techniques out!

    Thank you for sharing.


  8. Katie Pearson Says:

    The bright colors and intricate quilting is truely inspiring! Your work is definitely a level at which I hope to one day attain and exceed. Are the quilting patterns, like the leaves, only attainable through the use of a long arm quilting machine or can they be done on normal sewing machines?

    I can’t wait to see more of your work 🙂

    Thanks for posting