about the artist

A “Hand’s On” Project

Karey Bresenhan, Director of the
International Quilt Festival in Houston, has asked the Quilt Art list to make fabric hands for a display at the quilt show this fall. Here is what she says on a web page about the project:

I fell so much in love with the Creative Spirit Center’s
idea of a three-dimensional hanging installation of “creative HANDS”
that we created “A Show of HANDS” for this fall’s International Quilt
Festival in Houston. This will be a special exhibit of HANDsome,
HANDS-on, HAND-picked quilts that people with gloved HANDS can touch–a true
laying on of HANDS to warm the heart and heal the spirit! I’m planning
for folks to walk through this magical “forest” of one-of-a-kind
HANDmade art HANDS hanging from the ceiling–literally HANDS all around–to see
the quilts. It sounds wonderful to me and I think visitors to the show will
love experiencing it first-HAND! We want this to be a visually stunning
exhibit, a HANDS-down show favorite, that will make people clap HANDS in
delight when they step into the exhibition…but we need more HANDS! In
other words, we’re short-HANDed!

Today is is cool and rainy in Portland, a great day for a fun, short-term project so I made a hand for the display.

First, I traced my hand on to two layers of felt and cut it out.


I grabbed some of my fused silk scraps. I saved even the smallest bits from the commission quilt.


I placed the scraps randomly over the two sides of the felt hands.


I added smaller strips to the top and then fused them to the felt using Teflon sheets.


Then I cut up some fun yarns and ribbon and layered those on top.


Next, I pinned a layer of light gray tulle over each hand.


I free motion quilted over the tulle to encase all of the embellishments. I wrote my name on another piece of silk and fused and stitched it to one side.


I trimmed each side and glued them together and then zigzagged the edges. I made an hole with an awl and attached a chain for hanging.



This was lots of fun and could become as addictive as making postcards. I am thinking of different ways and designs for doing these. I invite you to do one. The address where you can send them is on the web page link above.

I’m excited because the energetic and lovable Lisa is flying in to town for a few days.

7 Responses to “A “Hand’s On” Project”

  1. jenclair says:

    Congratulations on the continued good health, Gerrie!

    Your hands match the vibrant spirit that appears in all of your work. Good job!

  2. Kay says:

    What a fun project! Thanks for the link. Now that I’ve made the post cards, this looks like another thing I will want to try. It could be even more fun, because the cards have to be worth someone’s money, and these don’t. So pressure’s off. 🙂

  3. Diane D. says:

    Great directions, Gerrie! I love the way it turned out. Seeing your quilt at PNQE was a wonderful bonus.

  4. dee says:

    Very Glad to hear that you’re report went well-always a tense time that waiting. Do you have to be a member of art quilters groups to send a hand? Love yours!

  5. june says:


    I’m a bit late but wanted to say how delighted I was to hear the MD’s report. I’m having a fantastic time in eastern Oregon, talking to the rocks and singing to the fossils. Painting too, and drawing. cheers, June

  6. kirsty says:

    What a terrific idea! wouldn’t it be fun to swap them with friends so you had a collection of your friends hands floating around your room?!!

  7. Lisa says:

    Love the hand – just mught have to make one too. They do look as much fun as postcards!