Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guest Post: Quilter Patty Swatzell on living in "The Great Outdoors"

Each Thursday we're opening our blog to hear from talented crafters in our community. This week's guest blogger is quilter Patty Swatzell, who explains how living near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has inspired her work.

I am one of those fortunate quilters living in “The Great Outdoors.” For the last 25 plus years, we have lived near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and spend a lot of time visiting our favorite place…Cades Cove, a valley with an 11-mile loop perfect for sightseeing.

In the springtime, we love seeing the yellow jonquils blooming where old homesteads once stood, surrounded by Dogwoods and Mountain Laurel in bloom. Deer can be seen in the open fields where crops once grew. The black bears and their young cubs are beginning to roam and seeing them is a real treat. There is nothing prettier than a big Momma Bear running with her 3 cubs trailing behind.

We take our RV to the campground during spring and autumn. It’s these times of the year that I get most of my ideas for my quilts or do hand sewing. Evenings we find ourselves sitting by the campfire and I find myself thinking about future projects and what fabrics I will be using but then it’s roasting marshmallow time.

Back home, the view from my sewing room is looking out at those mountains I love. Every moment I spend in my sewing room I am in my happy place enjoying a quilter’s life.


Most of the quilts I make are donated to various individuals that have touched my life. The quilt I am working on now includes memories of our time living in Fairbanks, Alaska with the USAF. I am also into sewing small wall hangings of the mountains using a rotary cutter, Ombre and landscape fabrics. I like to blend and fade the colors into each other. This leaves a lot to my imagination and with the mountains forever changing, each day is more beautiful than the last.  --Patty

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