Sunday, July 15, 2012

Judy W.'s "Dream Horse"

Judy W's ~ "Dream Horse"

My lifelong obsession with horses is hands down the most consistent subject I daydream about.  I gravitate to horses like bees to pollen.  I love everything equine, even the smell of their stables.

From my first initial pony ride as a child, to present day, horses have captured my hearts desire to be near them, touch them, smell them, feed them, ride them, read about them, and on occasion draw them.  This is the first time I have specifically hand drawn a horse from memory and translated it into a quilt. 

This pictorial portrayal is straightforward, nothing fancy or cutting edge here.  The horse applique was cut from the shiny side of rust-dyed satin that I'd backed with  Wonder Under fusible stabilizer.  I used Fray Check to keep the edges from unraveling. The word HORSE is cut as one piece from fusible-backed brown cotton fabric.  I positioned the horse between the letters to create a frame before ironing both to the blue background fabric. To avoid stitching the horse head edge, I spot glued it for reinforcement.  Mane and face features were free-motion thread stitched.

A wood grained border fabric depicts a stall and rawhide lace was anchored with Fast Grab Aileen's Glue, to frame the piece.  (Great glue for a no sew item).

As a child I often wished for a horse but my parents reply was usually, "if wishes were horses then beggars could ride", or simply stated, "dream on!"  So for now the dream continues.   I'm considering donating this piece to the Friends of Pets Quilt Auction this Fall.


  1. What a pleasurable straightforward piece! I enjoyed reading how you dealt with avoiding stitching the horse head edge and drawing the mane and face lines. I hope you get a horse some day or find one to help ride.

  2. Hey Jude - How can we have known each other all these years without me knowing that you love horses ! Where was my brain all those years... perhaps I was daydreaming too much :-) I absolutely love everything you did with this piece....the fabric choices, the many and varied techniques you used, and all the products you used to accomplish this beautiful piece. You know.... if you were to come down here to Texas, we'd make sure your horse dreams come true ! Really :-D I love your idea about donating a quilt to the "Friends of Pets" quilt auction, but I think this quilt is so special and so personal to you that it needs to stay with you. Bunches of love to you, dear Sister - I miss you like crazy......! Kath

  3. Judy,
    What a wonderful quilt! I have to say that everything about it is just right. Love your machine thread work! I agree that this one should be yours, but maybe you could make another one for auction. It would touch a lot of horse lovers.

  4. Judy, having just seen my granddaughter at her end-of-camp rodeo, I am suddenly "into" horses myself! They had some magnificent animals at that camp, and I know what you mean by even loving how they smell! Grandddaughter said the same thing! But this quilt is so well-conceived and brought to fruition! I loved reading all of your various "tips", too, and plan to incorporate some of them in the future in my quilt. This is truly a lovely piece of art, depicting something you truly love!

  5. Judy, This is a beautiful piece. I love how your horse is peering out of but also framed by the letters!! The detail of the mane and features is so well done and realistic. Nice job!!

  6. Well Judy, like you, I have always dreamed about owning a horse! I had a pony as a child, and have always adored horses. I think this quilt is perfect! I love the horse's head protruding through the word "horse." And your thread work is outstanding. Beautiful!

  7. I have been fascinated with typography since college and love to incorporate text into my work whenever I can. I was fascinated when I saw your quilt as you have so successfully combined the word horse and hand-drawn horse image, making neither element more important than the other. The wood-grain fabric with the rawhide
    lace is just the perfect border.

  8. What a beautiful quilt! I especially love the way you combined the word and the image. Great job!