Posted in Uncategorized

Another Thumbnail Quilt

I’ve been working on another thumbnail quilt. Originally, the piece was to have two appliqués and then I’d fold the fabric in half and stuff a piece of batting between the two layers. I wanted to see not just what the appliqués looked like, but also to figure out how I want to quilt it.

The first draft of the thumbnail quilt:



Like many of my pieces, this will eventually be an autobiographical piece. As I played with the appliqué and beading, I thought about bipolar disorder and how my brain is a whole lot different from the usual brain. My brain has a mind of its own. Moods frequently have nothing to do with how I feel or what is happening around me. When I’m above center, I’m loud, unrestrained, and I feel as if a hurricane blew in when I enter a room. When I’m below center, I want to be a hermit. I withdraw. I pretend I don’t hear people so I don’t have to respond to them. My intention was to show both above and below center in a quilt.

But then I got to thinking…… What if I tried to show not just the extremes, but the places between center and each extreme. What would those places look like?

I decided I didn’t want to fold the fabric in half. I unfolded and added two more leaves.


I took out the veins for one leaf, and put subdued beads and veins in the other leaf. I don’t usually use black thread for quilting, but I like how it looked and I couldn’t find another color that I liked as well.


I needed some quilting to fill in around some of the leaves so I used a template for a smaller leaf. I’m not sure if I like it. I had intended the appliqué leaves to be gingko leaves, but that’s one leaf that I have trouble drawing. I chose a gingko leaf because gingko’s are considered to be one of the oldest species of trees. I’m not sure how that relates to bipolar disorder. I haven’t decided if I like the ambiguous shapes. I’m not sure this quilt says what I want it to say.

As for the Tree of Life quilt, I was astounded by the variety of responses. People saw everything from a tree of life to sad and depressed. Through that, I learned that art speaks to people on a deep, inner level. Whether you see what I saw or not, you do see what you need to see in any given piece.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here and with Busy Hands Quilts here. Stop by and see what’s new with all the great artists who link with her.


I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 16 health destroying years. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at:

One thought on “Another Thumbnail Quilt

Comments are closed.