DOMINICAN INSTITUTE
 FOR THE ARTS
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women rise and shine
Donna Brunell OP

The traditional style mini quilt that I did as part of a quilt challenge. I was awarded a first place ribbon in the traditional category for this in a vote by guild members.
I create many different types of quilts, but my favorites are the smaller ones that capture the beauty of nature and are suited for displaying on a wall. Usually I start with one of my own photos, which I enlarge, trace, and adapt for use with fabric. I use a variety of methods of constructing the quilts.

If I plan to piece the elements together, I first make patterns, use them to cut out the fabric, pin them to a display board, then sew the pieces in sections.If I use an appliqué method, I draw or trace the shapes on fusible backing material, cut them out, and iron them to the background fabric.Another method I've enjoyed is simply cutting pieces of fabric and randomly building a scene as I go along.

For all methods, once the scene is "built," I layer it on batting and a backing fabric, then quilt the piece either by hand or by machine; sometimes I do both. Lastly, I attach the binding and add a sleeve on the back for hanging. Or, I wrap the piece around a canvas.

The entire process of creating a quilt is a contemplative process for me. The repetitive stitching along with the hum of the sewing machine serve as mantras that help me to be centered. I find the process of quilting relaxing, healing, prayerful, and therapeutic.I also enjoy making comfort quilts with a group of my friends. We get together once a month for a day-long session and make quilts from leftover and donated fabrics for those in need.