Friday, March 28, 2014

My (Quilt) Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys


Little Cowpokes Fabric | Discount Cowboy Scenes Fabric | Carousel Designs
I have always been in love with the romantic legend of the cowboy.  However, this love affair only extends to the singing and Saturday afternoon matinée version of the cowpoke; and their spirit of independence.  My favorite definition is number three in the Merriam-Webster dictionary “someone who does things that other people consider foolish and dangerous.”  Based on this description, I am a cowboy quilter!  Furthermore, my quilt heroes are also cowboys!

I hand applique!  I hand embroider!  I hand piece!   And, I proudly machine quilt!  I quilt because fabric is my artist medium.  The needle, whether guided by my hand or my sewing machine, is my brushwork.  In painter’s terms, hand applique and hand piecing is my underpainting.  Hand embroidery is my glazing and opaque touches.  Hand quilting is the line drawing, the gesture, and the sculptural element of the brushstrokes.

Just as painters apprentice by studying the masters, I too apprentice by studying the quilt masters and encourage all of you to do the same.  I mention my heroes frequently in my blogs and if you notice the areas just to the left and right of this page you will see many, many links to my heroes' blogs and websites.  I frequently browse their sites for education and inspiration.

Today’s tip is an oldie but a goodie.  I always have a hand project packed and ready to go when a road trip presents itself.  In this case, it’s the Mystery in the Smokies by Cindy Blackberg.  I am still working on the first installment that requires embroidery with three separate balls of 12 wt pearl cotton.  The way I keep everything neat and keep the thread from tangling is by placing the three balls in a ziplock bag.  I then thread each ball, one at a time and pull the thread out through the side of the plastic bag leaving a tail hanging.  Every time I need a color just pull the tail and clip off what I need.  Sweet!

Until next time…
Best stitches,

Mercy in Miami where the avacado tree is STILL producing :)


  1. Great tip, Mercy - am putting it to use right now. Thanks! I grew up watching the rodeo and making cowboys my heroes.

    1. Thanks nudge! Let me know how it goes. Have a wonderful day!!
      Best stitches Mercy