Aug 13 07

3 New Quilts Started!!!

Man, have I ever been busy! The past 10 days have been jam-packed with quilt-related activities yet I ‘ve had no photos to post until tonight. It began the weekend before this one with the Asheville Quilt Show, which is always a great show. My friend, Peggy, was visiting from Florida and Ern and I also began filming the next DVD that same weekend. I’m proud to say that we finished all the filming last Wednesday and it is halfway edited! That Ern-man is unbelievable!

With all this going on, I had no opportunity to do any sewing for myself because my whole focus had to be on sewing and preparing for that DVD. I finally got to start 3 quilts this weekend, and it was none too soon because 2/3 are due VERY SOON! The first one is kind of a stylized representation of neuronal synapses. It’s meant to be a fun quilt, not a literal one. I have just barely started the quilting part of it, but here are some pictures along the way to show what I was trying to do. This first one is an overall shot of the top before it’s in a quilt sandwich:


The blob-like things are the neuron cell bodies and the long branching things are the dendrites. I wanted the cell bodies to be kind of prominent, so I trapuntoed them with 1 layer of batting. You can see that looking on the backside:


If you look closely at that picture above, you’ll see some small wisps of stabilizer near the dendrites. I wanted them to be kind of prominent as well, so I stitched them with free motion embroidery when it was still just a quilt top so I’d be able to stitch around them with invisible thread once it was in a sandwich. That way, they slightly protrude OUT instead of sinking into the batting if I had just quilted them. Here’s a shot with some dendrites when it’s still just a quilt top:


Here’s a shot of a portion of it that’s quilted. The picture doesn’t show it well, but you can start to tell the cell body has some protuberance to it:


And here’s a close-up of some of the dendritic branching. Hard to tell in this lighting, but the branching doesn’t recede into the batting because it was free motion embroidered instead of free motion quilted:


My plan is to sew many small seed beads emanating from the axons and these will represent the neurotransmitters that the dendrites are picking up. I don’t generally use a lot of beads on my quilts, so this will be a bit of a departure for me. I do enjoy handwork, but this is NOT handwork that I’m looking forward to!

I’ll post some final pictures once it’s done, but it sure feels good to be sewing again!


  1. Diane Says:

    This is so cool! I love the idea and it’s wonderfully educational to see how you’re going about it. I can’t wait to see the whole thing!

  2. Sally Bramald Says:

    I love this concept. I can see a whole series of these.
    Is it going to hang at the hospice?

    Thanks, Sally! Actually, I am making it for an art show where the theme is “connections.” I’m running so close to the deadline, (I don’t usually work this way, so it’s really throwing me!), that all I have thought about so far is getting it done on time, but maybe hospice would make a good “final resting place” for it. (No joke intended!)

  3. joyce Says:

    What a great idea for a quilt. I love the colors you have used and the quilting is wonderful. How big is it?

    Before finishing, it measures 30 inches x 30 inches, so it should finish out close to that.

  4. sion Says:

    awesome, I love it

  5. Brigitte Says:

    Patsy….I enjoy seeing all of your work. It is very inspirational. What is the new DVD going to be? I am ready to order!

    Thanks, Brigitte! The next DVD is the first volume of “Free Motion Fun…With Vines and Leaves!” It will be many vine and leaf quilting motifs as well as how to hyperquilt them to create secondary designs. If everything goes as planned, it should be out in the second half of September. For anyone else reading this answer, please visit Brigitte’s blog at
    She does beautiful work and talk about inspirational!!!!!!

  6. Lynda T. Says:

    I could identify these. Terrific work and ideas.