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Pat Holly portrait

About Pat Holly


I first met Pat Holly on a bus in Switzerland with a group of Bernina Ambassadors when we were touring the Bernina factory in 2008. A few years later, I bought one of her remarkable miniature quilts at the IQA auction in Houston and it has been hanging in my studio for inspiration!

Here is a little more about Pat:

Sewing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. From an early age, I watched my mother sewing clothes for me and my siblings as well as household items (curtains and slipcovers, for example).I sewed doll clothes as a child, clothes for myself in high school, and costumes while in college. I continued sewing costumes for my daughters and for local theater productions. When my first daughter was born in 1983, I wanted to make a quilt and turned to my sister, Sue Nickels, for those beginning lessons. Sue and I have since collaborated on many projects (quilts, books, and teaching).

I see the quilts I make as a culmination of many experiences in my life. A lifelong exposure to sewing, a love of history and the need to create are all part of my quiltmaking. I studied weaving and graphic design at the University of Michigan School of Art, and am still fascinated with how cloth is created. I study old textiles from all over the world and find them an endless source of inspiration and wonder. The skills I learned in art school and years of experience with the sewing machine allows me to design and produce the quilts that satisfies my desire to pay tribute to the textile creators of the past.

Several of my recent quilts are inspired by my interest in India. I have studied the history of this amazing country and am fascinated by the complexities of the politics, religion and people. Looking at the beautiful embroideries and other textiles from the many regions in India give me the inspiration to design quilts celebrating the vibrant color and designs of this part of the world.

I had a brand new quilt, “Turkish Treasures” that was inspired by a wonderful trip to Turkey. Again, I am so lucky to be able to travel and see all the amazing images that have been created all over the world.

My quilts have been juried into many shows both in the United States and around the world and have won many awards, including Best of Show and four Best Miniature awards at the AQS Show in Paducah, Kentucky, Master Award for Innovative Artistry at the IQA Show in Houston, Texas and Masterpiece Quilt Award by the National Quilting Association.

Thoughts on Making Miniature Quilts

I have been making miniature quilts for several years. All my life I have enjoyed working on a small scale. I still have tiny sweaters I knit for my dolls when I was about ten years old. The control and precision of the sewing machines available today allow me to push the limit of how small I am able to do machine applique. I am drawn to the preciousness of miniature objects. I want the viewer to keep coming closer and closer to my creations and feel some of the wonder I have for this itty bitty world. I am still amazed and humbled that my miniatures are awarded such high honors and have great regard for the other wonderful miniature quiltmakers who work in such different methods