Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Have you seen Pat Holly’s amazing Paisley Peacock, the June TQL centerfold? This quilt won best of show in Paducah last week, and we were thrilled for her, of course. When we first saw Pat’s 60" x 72" masterpiece, we knew we had to get to know her better! Here’s part of our conversation:
TQL: Why did you mostly make miniature quilts for a while? Why do you like that scale?
PH: I started making miniature quilts about eleven years ago. I have always loved creating little things. I learned to knit when I was about ten, and I found patterns to make sweaters and dresses for my Barbie doll. These were made on size one needles with “fingering” yarn. I learned all about knitting making these tiny garments and was happy as a clam. I also made doll clothes on my mom’s sewing machine. When I started making quilts (over 30 years ago), I made them in all sizes (bed size, wall size). I always loved looking at the miniature quilts at shows and decided to try my hand. I think the first show I entered was in 2000. I kept entering shows and finally won a ribbon in 2006 (2nd place, both AQS and IQA) with my quilt Tapestree. I was really excited because my quilts are mostly machine appliqued, and this was a technique not usually recognized with awards. In the miniature category, all techniques are accepted and judged together (hand, machine, pieced, appliqued).
Working on this tiny scale fascinates me. I love the idea of drawing the viewer in closer and closer. I also have a grand time seeing how small I can make the elements. Of course, there is a limit! And, although people don’t believe me, it really doesn’t take a long time to make a miniature. When you stitch around a circle that is ¼˝ in diameter, there are not that many stitches to make compared to a 3˝ circle.
More next time!