South by Southwest, by Beverly Hicks Burch

South by Southwest©

By Beverly Hicks Burch

A major milestone has been completed. Back during the holiday season (2008) Tall & Handsome had two weeks of free time…home…uninterrupted…with me…

Yep, you can see this “working-out-of-town-for-the-week-and-coming-home-for-the-weekend” cycle is getting really old…fast…or slow in our case…since August. You see, we celebrated our 5th anniversary in December and we enjoy and miss getting to spend a daily life together. Guess we’re funny like that…

Besides celebrating Christmas, our anniversary, New Years and my birthday in the span of eight days, Tall & Handsome decided to use that time to launch a new project and hobby in his life…as a “textile artist”…

Yes, he wanted to learn to quilt…

When some people hear I’m teaching my husband to quilt, their first reaction is subtle…”ARE YOU CRAZY, WOMAN?!” Then when I explain this is the second man I’ve taught to quilt (yes, I taught Gomez, the ex, how to quilt, also) they usually have to pick their chin up off the floor.

It’s like,” Why would you want to do that?!”

Well there’s many reason. One is a shared affliction:). He now knows the lure and pull of new fabric calling…”the urge to splurge” and the need to create… Although quilting may seem to be an odd pursuit for a man to pursue, it’s really not that uncommon or even rare anymore. There are many celebrated male quilters in the quilt community nowadays.

For T & H it seemed like a natural progression of his interest in art and design. He had originally started college as an art major and dabbled in photography and stained glass design and work over the years. Quilting appeals to a lot of people…men included…for the artistic and design value. It is after all a creative outlet for many people…

Those two weeks in December were our maiden voyage…the kick off of his first lessons and our first project together.

I had purchased some Southwestern themed fabric a couple of years ago or so with the intent to make him a quilt that would remind him of “home”…the Southwest and/or New Mexico in particular. Well, life and circumstances intervened and the fabric was never used…

When he decided he wanted to learn to quilt, I saw that as a golden opportunity to utilize the long ignored fabric. (I also need to interject here that he’s been a very apt student. He was determined to learn as much as he could and to do the best he could. I’m pleased and proud of his determination, efforts and result.)

So, out of those circumstances South by Southwest© born…

South by Southwest© combines our two heritages. Yall know I’m Southern…as it gets…and quite fond and proud of my Southern heritage.

I call T & H my Southwest cowboy…he’s originally from the Southwest. He was born in a little cattle town called Clovis, NM near the Texas border in cattle country. The genealogist in me was curious…how and from where do families “relocate” to little a Plains town at the edge of New Mexico?

I was surprised to find out T & H’s roots are as Southern as mine. His people hailed from states like South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas. (There is one Yankee thrown in there…a Scotsman from Nova Scotia…and I love the Scots!) T & H grew up in the South and is a alumnus of Florida State University, but he did move back to New Mexico for several years. That’s where he was living when we met.

For the quilt we used the pattern Tennessee Waltz for a nod toward my Southern heritage and place of birth (and ironically part of his heritage)…and used the Southwestern fabric he helped choose a couple of years ago. We used the “quilt in a day” method…and I have to ask, “Is that really possible?!”

It’s taken two people this long to complete the top…how can one person make a “quilt in a day”? Of course we had that thing we’re dealing with…only getting to squeeze in time to work on it when he’s home for the weekend…and then only if other matters aren’t pressing. The borders were our own design and choice.

So, let me share the finished top and steps that went into the making of South by Southwest©…

Strip for So by SW

Cutting the Strips for the Four Patches

Strips sewn together - So by SW

The Strips Sewn Together

Cutting the sections - So by SW 2 

Cutting the Strips into Sections for Four Patches

Making the 4 patches

Making the Four Patches

For the Stars

Fabric for the Star Points

Cutting the rectangles

Cutting the Rectangles for the Star Points – Yes, this will make the star points!

Cutting the rectangles in half

Next, cut the rectangles in half…

Filler for points

Cut the insert or filler space between the Star Points…

Making the points

Make the Star Points – sew the blue rectangle halves on the filler section…

Even up the point square

After the Star Point sections are made…even them up with the special “Quilt in a Day” template…then you are ready to assemble the Star blocks…

Making Snowball 2

Next make the Snowball blocks – cut a 9.5 in. square and four smaller squares…draw a diagonal across the back of each small square and the following the pencil line, sew a smaller square onto each corner of the larger block. Trim to a 1/4 in. seam allowance and press…

Both blocks finished 

The finished blocks – Snowball block on the left; Star block on right

1st two rows

Begin to assemble the rows – this is the 1st two rows assembled…

South by Southwest - 9

Next, begin to attach the borders – here is a detail of the border fabrics and order of attachment

South by Southwest - 10

Snowball blocks were made for the corner of the borders…

South by Southwest - 3

One of the affects of the design…

South by Southwest - 8

Another affect of the design – a secondary design…

South by Southwest - 12

South by Southwest©

South by Southwest  & Reggie 

T & H with our 1st joint project…South by Southwest©

© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


3 thoughts on “South by Southwest, by Beverly Hicks Burch

  1. That’s a beautiful quilt. I live right near Clovis, NM, and my husband’s family has lived here for several generations. They first came from Tennessee, too, in order to homestead.

  2. Thanks Amanda!

    It is a small world…even smaller when you realize how much in common people have.

    I was hoping this quilt would represent our combined heritages…the Tennessee Waltz meets the Southwest…and we’re pleased with how it turned out. T & H already has his next project planned. 🙂 A very good sign…

    Enjoy those green chilies for us! 🙂


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