I married a Dead Head. I knew this going into the marriage, but I didn’t really know what it meant.

We spent our younger pre-kid years going to music festivals also known as “Following the Dead”. While seeing the Dead was the preferred experience, we attended all sorts of live music festivals in the midwest.

Eventually we migrated north, had children, and settled into adulthood, but my husband is still a Dead Head. This means he is the guy with tie dye t-shirt and Birkenstocks on. 


As I am piecing quilts, my husband often makes suggestions about what I should name them. I would say that at least half of my quilts are named by Walt.

This quilt started as a sample for the chapter in my book on triangles. 


The chapter is all about triangles and how you can create this shape improvisationally.


It is a just a triangle, but the possibilities are large.


And in some ways, never ending.


One shape–so many options.

thumb_IMG_8916_1024You can see it on the right hand side of this cool photo of my studio. This is the one time in recent years that my studio has been cleaning and in order for that to happen, many, many things were moved into hiding.


Unfortunately, I did not finish the quilt in time for it to be included in the book.


Two years later, I put in back on the design wall.


At the same—seriously, within days of each other–these events happened.


1. I received the Cloth in Common <> prompt for our next quilt. The prompt was “Lyrically Inspired”.


2. Walt came into my studio and said “You should name that quilt Lucy.”


I knew exactly what he was talking about.


Music and lyrics are often a source of inspiration for my work.


I love the idea of taking common elements of music— rhythm, pattern, and repetition—and recreating them in cloth.


While, there is no visual evidence of lyrics in my work, I often name my quilts after the titles of musical pieces.


Do a Little Dance is obviously in reference to KC and Sunshine band who I loved when I was ten.

Do a Little Dance

GET ON UP celebrates James Brown.

GET ON UP Cropped

This Quilt is Technotronic is, of course, inspired by This Beat is Technotronic.

This Quilt is Technotronic

And finally, LUCY inspired by Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles.


Does music inspire your work?

In other news, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics invited me to be a part of their March Madness. 16 quilt artists were invited to each build an eight color palette using the Paintbrush Studio Solids. Here are the brackets.


Basic RGB

Here is my color palette. I called it Hullabaloo.

Hullabaloo means uproar or commotion which is certainly part of March Madness. I wanted to use colors that challenge traditional notions of what goes together in a quilt. I also wanted to create an underdog—a palette that just might take the brackets even though at first look it appears that these fabrics would never play together let alone make a champion team.

I think my competition will be very difficult to beat. If you want to support my colors (or my competitor’s!) and enter to get a bundle of the winning palette, follow this link for all the details.



This entry was published on March 17, 2018 at 5:21 PM. It’s filed under My Process-Quilts, Quilt Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “LUCY

  1. jphoddick on said:

    Love, love, love GET ON UP – such a lively palette – and I love purple! Love reading your entries Maria. Just bought 22 one yard pieces of solids…I am going to dive into your book this summer after I finish 4 quilts for calls due before July.

  2. on said:

    Hey! That color palate would fit right into my living room.

    As for the Birkenstocks, they are big on the runways now. They even come in brushed metallics! I hear that they even wear them with socks.

  3. I’m a very new follower. Just found you on IG. your posts are so inspiring.

    PS – I love the quilt names, too.

  4. gericon on said:

    I am now officially a fan of your husband, Walt!! My youngest daughter was a dead head, by the way. She and her then boyfriend used to sell stuff at the shows to finance their adventures.

  5. Leonard Cohen’s lyrics often inspire my work. He gives me so much to think about.

  6. Somehow I knew exactly what Lucy you were referring to when I read the title of this post. Fun to see the various layouts… and a clean sewing room.

  7. Judy P. on said:

    I love your work and have your book. It is so funny to hear that your husband is a Dead-Head. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and used to see the Dead at the Fillmore and Winterland. Keep on truckin’.

  8. Lucy is such a clever title!
    Am intrigued to see what you do with the white fabric in Hallabaloo. Another wonderful title

  9. golfheader on said:

    I LOVE Lucy!

  10. When design comes out of your life it’s a solid reflection of you, your voice.
    Very inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing your process.

  11. debby on said:

    I love the new color combo you chose!

  12. Oh, I like what you have done with Lucy!

    And congratulations on being in the Paintbrush studios bracket! I do like your palette. Like you say, it isn’t a traditional winner. But I think that can sometimes be more interesting than the supposed sure bet. It all depends on how it comes together, it seems. Good luck!

  13. Daisy on said:

    I love all your song title quilt names!!!

  14. Thanks for doing your 2018 wrap up – I seem to have missed this post !! Really love this quilt and that your husband is a Dead Head !! I’m off to listen to Casey Jones 😂

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