Mr. Big

Recently I was sewing a quilt. It had a face on it which turned out to be larger than I expected.

Paschkis big pink head quiltI wondered what a REALLY big quilt would look like. Hmmm – if I sewed together pieces of old wool blankets I could make a very large quilt without backing it. And thus the idea for Mr. Big was born.

I put out the call for wool blankets and several kind people gave me some.Thank you Fay Jones, Kate Harkins, Reeta Tollefson, Diane Glenn and Marcia Paschkis! I cut all of the blankets into 12″ squares which my  trusty cat Ruby guarded.wool squares Ruby on wool

Once I knew how many squares were available, I drew up a plan.big wool quilt designEach ¼” square would be a 12″ wool piece. I didn’t have a room large enough to lay it out, so I borrowed one from Coyote Central. Once I saw the quilt  I took away the two outer rows bringing it down in size to 11′ x 18′. I left the figure intact but rearranged the background several times. Paschkis big quilt planAfter I saw how big it really was I felt overwhelmed and wondered what on earth I was doing. But if I didn’t keep going than I had needlessly destroyed a lot of nice blankets.

So I picked up each row and put it in its own bag. I came home and sewed.  The sewing became more cumbersome as the quilt grew. But it was possible! It was even fun; the ridiculousness of the project made it entertaining.sewing bigThe finished blanket was once again too big to spread out in my house, so I took it back to Coyote for a look. I stood on a ladder to photograph it.Paschkis Quilt BigAnd then took a rest (photographed by Marybeth Satterlee).me on bigIn May I will be having a show at the Bitters Barn in La Conner. I hope Mr. Big will fit on a barn wall there. After that I will need to find either a cold giant in need of a blanket, or a giant wall. Hmmm.

The Brave Little Tailor by Franz Wacik

The Brave Little Tailor by Franz Wacik

20 responses to “Mr. Big


    How absolutely fun! AND, beautiful. So glad you enjoyed it. I thought of you when I was helping my Mother move to assisted living & came across one of those OLD plaid wool blankets but alas, she wouldn’t part with it. Keep up the good work! Cathy Bonnell

    • Yes – those old blankets are precious. And I am so sorry to hear that your mother passed away – my condolences.

  2. This is crazy! And fun and funny and CRAZY! And to top it all off, the Little Tailor is one of my FAVORITE stories. SEVEN in one blow, he said. And everyone had new respect for him. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this. I wish I could see it in person.

  3. I am so glad you included yourself in the photograph. That quilt is OMG big! It could be a house cozy.

    • There was a technical bookstore on 15th Ave. that was covered in crocheted afghans for a while – it looked great.

  4. Awww, you look like a little mouse curled on the blanket.

  5. What fun!
    Lois Pan at Foulkeways

  6. Your mind works in the most marvelous way Julie! I love it!

  7. This is amazing! I love it. Also, it’s great to see the process as well as the finished quilt. The whole thing is so much fun.

  8. Hi Julie, I was in the class down in Ballard with you a while back. Do you know where they still carry the folklorica fabric?

    • I don’t know – fabric is like fruit. It has a short shelf life. You might be able to find some on etsy or eBay. It sounds like you are still quilting- yeah!

  9. Pingback: Oh, Mama | Mooshka

  10. Annette Keith

    Ms. Paschkis, I do not think the quilt of Mr. Big is too much and this is why. Once I crocheted a blanket for a doll I made called Pinkle Winkle and gave it to a nurse at our local hospital for her little girl who liked to curl up in a corner with a blanket and a doll to read to the doll. Now that large Mr. Big might have a place in someone’s home. rolling that up to store would be terrible, but seeing that in a home, well, that is reminds me of how I like awesome sewing time and warm quilts with a story on them, then crawling up into a bed to read on a miserably cold day in Mississippi.
    You do have a talent, amazing gifts you are, a treasure.

    • Julie Paschkis

      In Birch Harbor, Maine there is a lovely restaurant called The Pickled Wrinkle. It is named after pickled whelks – a Maine delicacy. The doll Pinkle Winkle could go to that restaurant! Her quilt would be good for the long Maine winters.

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