A Sneak Peek

Happy New Year, all y’all!  I thought I’d give you a peek at what keeps me busy when I’m not trying to keep my head from exploding from just normal weirdness.  My sewing machine and I have been on fire (not literally).  The subject of my latest art quilt is the Queen of Hearts.  I’ve been thinking about translating the playing card into a quilt for years.  I’ve also been collecting fabric with food printed on it.  So I figured I’d make the Queen of Heartburn by combining the food fabric and the graphics from the playing card.  Who wouldn’t?  I thought you’d like to see some of the process I use.  Here you go!

First I draw the pattern on my dining room table.  I use an enlargement of the playing card to keep the graphic elements in balance.  This usually takes about 2 weeks.

queen of hearts pattern (1)

When the pattern is finished I get a few copies reproduced.  I color one copy like this so I can see which line goes to which element.  For example, look at her eye.  There’s an iris, a pupil, the white of her eye, the skin around her eye, an eyelid, and a brow.  By coloring it in I can keep it all straight.  These are NOT at all the colors I’ll use in the quilt itself.

queen in progress (5)

When I’m finally ready to start constructing the quilt, I cut sections from another copy like this.  This is her left eye.  Each piece has a notation written on it to remind me which fabric to use.

queen in progress (4)

Some of the pieces are kind of small like this one that will be part of her iris.  Sometimes I wonder, “What was I thinking?”

queen's eye

This is her eye all sewn together with her eyelid attached.

queen in progress (6)

And this is her pieced eye sewn into her face section.

queen in progress (1)

I’m channeling my inner Picasso by splitting her face in a cubist style.  I like how her eyes look like olives because this quilt is all about heartburn, remember?  There’s popcorn in her hair, donuts on her hat, and a collar made of blueberries.  Mushrooms, onion rings, and cucumbers are on her bodice.  This girl has problems, wouldn’t you say?

queen (1)

She’s still a work in progress.  I hope to have this finished by the end of March.  I’ll show it to you when I’m done.  I’d love to read your comment if you’d like to leave one.  If you get my blog via email, scroll back to the top and click on the title, A Sneak Peek.  Then scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.  It’s easy.  Thanks!

Art is the demonstration that the ordinary is extraordinary.   –Amedee Ozenfant


  1. Val your work is truly stunning and every time I look at it I feel the need to quilt. I have a dream to create a quilt using a picture of my dogs jumping but working full time and with no sewing room to leave work in I keep putting it off. One day!

  2. Mary & Joe says:

    Hi Val–you must have the patience of Job

    🙂 Joe

  3. I can’t wait to see it completed. I think you should be a quilt teacher and travel the world teaching this technique

  4. Jan Edgerton says:


    You are truly a genius!! You are a master quilter from design to finish, and I loved seeing the process on your blog! I can’t wait to see the finished product! It is sure to be a masterpiece!!


  5. Howard Brodsly says:

    Impressive – Like it very much

  6. You inspire me,dear friend. Perhaps I really can paste some old Christmas card photos into a scrapbook after all….. 🙂
    Keep up the amazing work!

  7. Wow! She is dynamite! This is paper pieced????

  8. Val, that is truly amazing,fantastic

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