Finish it Up Friday – American Outlaw: Willie Nelson

April 3, 2015

My husband loves Willie Nelson. Since we moved to Austin a few years ago, he’s grown even more fond of the country legend.

Willie is kind of a big deal here in his hometown, with a street named after him, statues around town and his famous July 4th picnic and music festival. You cannot have Willie without thinking of Austin and you certainly can’t think of Austin (famous for its live music and outlaw country) without thinking of Willie.

So when Dan asked me if I’d like to head to the Austin Rodeo and see Willie Nelson and his family perform afterwards, it was a no-brainer. Aside from quilting and teaching pole fitness, I also really enjoy live music and anything with horses.

While we were at the rodeo I got an email from the Austin Modern Quilt Guild that they would be taking submissions for a display at the Austin airport.

Hmmm, maybe I can quilt Willie and combine a few of my favorite things? And so the idea was born.

Willie on sewing machine

It wasn’t without difficulty though. It seemed like everything went wrong on this quilt. My sewing machine mysteriously started acting up, and I ended up breaking and entering Stephanie’s house to borrow her spare machine while she was at the hospital with her daughter Sophie (she broke her arm but is doing great now).

I kept a local quilt store open late because I ran out of the perfect shade of Aurifil thread right at closing time the night that the quilt pictures were due.

aurifil for Willie

Aurifil 50 wt 2460 and 2410


It was a race to finish before the sun went down to allow for good pictures. All in all, it was the must difficult quilt I’ve made, but it was well worth it.


There were some amazing quilts that were submitted to our guild for the exhibit, and I feel truly honored that my quilt was selected to be in the art display at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

Willie up close

One of the best parts is that Stephanie’s Laundry Day mini quilt she wrote about last Friday was also selected! It made for a very exciting week for us.

I’m linking up to Finish it up Friday so be sure to check out these other awesome quilts and the stories behind them. Thank you for reading and until next time!

Happy sewing ya’ll!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Terra Maggiolino April 3, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Good job, darlin! (How could they not choose it? I mean, it’s Willie!) We certainly do love him here in Texas!!
    And, Stephanie’s mini quilt is amazing, too!

  • Reply Terri Ann April 3, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Michelle, it’s amazing. The quilting enhances the pieces and it’s just so perfect, it looked like a screen print when I saw it on FB and now seeing it up close I’m just so impressed with your work. Congrats on being up at the airport, guess you’re gonna have to fly somewhere so you can take photos of it hanging huh 🙂

  • Reply Pieces to Patch April 3, 2015 at 7:46 am

    WOW! What a masterpiece!

  • Reply quiltingjetgirl April 3, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Wow, congratulations for getting it done in time to submit, and double congratulations to both you and Stephanie for having your work selected to be shown! 🙂

  • Reply Summer April 3, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I’m not a big fan of country music, but I am a fan of Willie’s and look for his place whenever I’m on I-35 between Waco and Dallas! I love the profile you chose to quilt and the emphasis on the braid. The maroon will surely please some Texas folks (others will wonder why you did not employ burnt orange instead ;P ). Any information on when the exhibit will be on display? I’d like to get up to Austin to see it, especially since I missed QuiltCon. I couldn’t find any information on the AMQG website. Howdy from Houston, by the way!

  • Reply quiltingmod April 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Congrats to you both. Your Willy quilt is phenomenal. Way to go pushing yourself! Sorry about the machine and thread issues; I feel your pain, or at least have before, so I sympathize with how lousy that is, especially when you’re in a time crunch.

  • Reply Sophie April 3, 2015 at 9:38 am

    What a perfect piece to display at the Austin airport. Congratulations on your finish and being chosen for the show.

  • Reply Melissa Meinhard April 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Wow that quilt blows my mind. You are such an artist!

  • Reply Melanie Tuazon April 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Congratulations you two!! That is so awesome. Amazing quilt.

  • Reply Jen April 3, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    This quilt is amazing and captures Willie perfectly! Congratulations to you both on being chosen for the display! I grew up listening to Willie at my grandparents farm, on 8 track tapes. I didn’t enjoy being forced to listen to him then but whenever I hear his music today, it brings back happy memories of summer and family fun. I even put one of his cds on just the other day 🙂

  • Reply Jasmine April 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Um, Wow! And Congratulations!

  • Reply Brenna April 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Wow!! This is gorgeous Michelle. You truly have outdone yourself. Congrats too!!!

  • Reply Kristin in Alaska April 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    That is just, wow! I can’t imagine tackling something like that. Awesome!

  • Reply heulwenprice April 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Amazing! I’m not surprised it was selected for display! 🙂

  • Reply Laura April 4, 2015 at 2:20 am

    that’s incredible. I want to visit now just to see it!

  • Reply kris April 5, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Wow that is awesome!!

  • Reply terryaskeartquilts April 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Very impressive!

  • Reply Cathy April 20, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Michelle, it turned out amazing!!! Great job!

  • Reply Chelsea Huckins April 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    That is so impressive! Love Wille too, so I am super jealous of how great this quilt came out. Congrats on your win.

  • Leave a Reply to quiltingmod Cancel reply