Quilting Gallery Blog

Margaret Bucklew

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By: Margaret Bucklew

An epiphany happened to me about twenty years ago. There was a void in my life and I didn’t even know it was happening.

I think an inspiration is like a flash of light in your psyche just waiting for action, and I needed one.

On the wall in a fabric store hung a stunning Oregon Trail Jacket. I bought the pattern and soon realized, even though I had no quilting experience, it had to be very similar to making a quilt. There was piecing, thin batting, matching seams and so on. Whatever it was called, I was hooked.


Wearing the jacket was always a fun experience because strangers would stop me and ask about what I was wearing; there were always questions and compliments.

The jacket still looks as good as it did the day I completed it; wish I could say the same for myself.


First, I would only wear it on nice days. Second, I wore it into a shop and the lady was so enthralled with the jacket she couldn’t contain herself. She asked just about every question she could think of; how was it made, how much it cost to make, where I found the pattern and on and on. I finally completed the sale and was about the leave when she said, “Wait, Wait, I want Dorothy to come out and see your jacket, she just loves gaudy things like I do!”

The jacket was just the inspiration I needed to steer me into the quilting realm. I went on to make traditional quilts for each of my children and grandchildren; however, I soon branched out into portrait quilts. I find creating a realistic likeness of a loved one in patterned fabric to be very exciting and rewarding.

I create my own portrait/pictorial quilt patterns and the technique I use to complete the quilt is to simply zig zag the edges of each piece of fabric in a slightly non-traditional appliqué method.

After years of presenting lectures and workshops to guilds and being asked how I make the patterns, I developed an online class to help quilters enjoy the process. It really is quite easy and lots of fun to make patterns from favorite photos. Purchasing an appliqué pattern is nice, but creating your own is awesome! All you need is a computer, software (free software is available) and a photo. My next online class to learn how to make the patterns begins September 5, 2009.

I recently retired from my faculty position as coordinator of the graphic communication program at a college and I’m now spending my retirement enjoying the quilting world more fully. I design pantos and continuous line stitching patterns for blocks, appliqué patterns, kits, teach online classes, and share the “how to” of portrait and pictorial quilting to guilds through lectures and workshops.

My quilts, patterns, presentations, and information about online classes are available on my web site and blog.



Are you interesting in trying the non-traditional method of appliqué, which I call “appliquilt” using one of my kits? Enter to win a Riley kit, complete with fabric for the top and binding. Finished size is 13.5″ x 16″.

It’s as easy as leaving a comment below! It’s your chance to win! One random winner will be chosen next Thursday, July 9th.

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to #2 Betsy Lynn for winning Margaret’s Riley appliquilt kit.

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This post was published on July 2nd, 2009. Post topics: Guest Bloggers, Quilt Gallery. Post tags: , .

23 Responses to “Margaret Bucklew”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I would love to learn a new applique technique.

  2. Betsy Lynn says:

    Wow, what at great blog, you’re very interesting Margaret!

  3. Carol R says:

    I have often thought there must be a way to make a portrait using fabric, now I know there is. I would love to win this giveaway. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to enter.
    .-= Carol R’s latest post: Recent Project =-.

  4. Béatrice says:

    I love to learn new technique, great blog ! Kiss from France
    .-= Béatrice’s latest post: Le temps des foins =-.

  5. quiltingreader says:

    I’d love to lean a new way to applique. And I love cats.

  6. Sue Cahill says:

    What a lovely little quilt, and a new technique to learn!! Thanks so much for sharing your story and for giving us a chance to win.

  7. roberta says:


  8. Mary Jo Jones says:

    I would love to learn your method and hope that I am the lucky winner…thanks so much for the chance to win. Your jacket is awesome!

    Mary Jo in Iowa

  9. Teajuana says:

    I’d love to learn the technique too.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I would love to learn the new applique technique! Please enter me:)

  11. Elaine C. says:

    I love cats, plus learning a new technique would be fun! I’m in! Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks!
    .-= Elaine C.’s latest post: Update on Pink Brown Kaleidoscope quilt =-.

  12. Carolyn cdn says:

    Could you add me to the draw? I just came across your blog through Pink Panda and I’m so glad I did!

  13. What fun – to learn a new technique while creating such an adorable little quilt. Feel free to draw my name for the kit, I promise I’ll give it a good home!! :-)
    .-= Tracy in SW WA’s latest post: A Delicious Bunny =-.

  14. Virginia Hendricks says:

    that jacket is gorgeous! WOW! :)

  15. Holly says:

    The jacket is great and very pretty. Please enter me in the drawing for the kit.
    .-= Holly’s latest post: Popcicle Time =-.

  16. Vivian says:

    Thank you for your blog post! What a wonderful creative journey you’ve taken. I haven’t tried applique yet, I’m a new quilter and haven’t progressed to that yet but I would love to try!
    .-= Vivian’s latest post: Sydnee’s Roses =-.

  17. Jan says:

    I too would love to win your kit. Creating quilts this way is awesome.
    PS LOVE the jacket!
    .-= Jan’s latest post: Going to see the new grandson, the twins and Opportunity Knocking =-.

  18. Pam says:

    Way too cool, Margaret! I foster kittens for a no kill organization and would love to win the Riley kit!

  19. Darlee Byron says:

    Okay, now that I was directed to the proper comment box… The words “non-traditional” and “Applique” in the same phrase has me interested. Sounds like a cool project.

  20. Anya says:

    Wonderful giveaway! thanks for the chance.
    .-= Anya’s latest post: Ami Simms Would Be Proud =-.

  21. Tessa says:

    I love the idea of art meeting applique. I’m an artist and a quilter and have always tried to figure out how to do this, with no luck, ’til now. I’d love to win!

    Tessa Lund

  22. Sharon Griffith says:

    I really like the idea of a new way to applique’..Please add me to your very long list..thanks


  23. Jessica says:

    I love applique, and I’m always looking for new and easier ways. Thanks for a fun giveaway.

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