My name is Agnes Bullock and I have an Etsy shop called Dachsies With Moxie Tapestries, Quilts and More. I opened the shop last fall, after I began making pet portrait quilts and place mats for friends on Blogville. I am a novice, self-taught quilter who lives in Ohio with my husband Geoffrey and our five dachshunds, Ginger, Chip, Thai, Tasha and Anna Rose.
I learned to sew over thirty years ago in Home Ec, but hated it! When I was honorably discharged from the Army in 1988, I bought a Singer sewing machine and tried teaching myself to sew- not until I moved back to NY four years later, did I finally conquer craft sewing and made wreaths and trees for my family for Christmas, and dipped my hand into the world of quilting. I became frustrated with that and gave up sewing for twenty years. Fast forward to the summer of 2011- thanks to the friends that I was beginning to make via the blogging world (which involved pets), I found myself compelled to purchase a couple of dachshund related quilting patterns, and then suddenly I had the idea to take the photo of a friend’s dachshund and make a quilt from the photo! My very first creation was of Frankie Furter, the Mayor of Blogville, a gorgeous black and tan long-haired mini dachshund.
Utilizing the first photo, I made an applique pattern with the help of Adobe Photoshop, cutting and fusing the pieces to the background of the quilt top, then embroidered each piece in place. I then completed the piecing the quilt top, then added the backing and batting before quilting and binding. Frankie was made as a thank you gift to new friends who have become a source of strength and inspiration especially since my husband was laid off without notice in mid August of 2011.
My second pet portrait quilt was for another Blogville friend, whose beloved dachshund, Twix, had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I again used a picture of Twix the Twixerrific, and cut and pieced away, completing the quilt and mailing it the same day as Frankie’s went out. I simply wanted to help her Mom and Dad deal with the hurt of losing her so soon.
The response to Frankie’s quilt was huge- his Mom and Dad went crazy over it and she ordered a pet portrait of her daughter’s German Shepherd, Sarge!
Sarge was supposed to be a Christmas present, but was shipped off for Thanksgiving, and was loved by his peeps! (I took pictures of every step of the way for Lana)
While I was working on Sarge, Lana was talking me into starting up a little cottage industry, making the pet portraits for Etsy- I was quite unsure, since I am relatively new to quilting after a 20 year hiatus, and didn’t want to promise something that I could not deliver. I also tried my hand at making place mats- one of our Blogville friends was loving the quilts and I wanted to surprise her and so the Miss Amber Da Weenie place mat line was born-
With the advent of the place mat line, I soon had my first order (not through Etsy- a direct commission)- Sarge’s Mom wanted a set of six place mats of Frankie for Christmas! I found myself in the position of working on a gift for Lana, while working on another commission from Lana- who had ordered another quilt, this time with two portraits, of Frankie’s wives Ruby and Penny!! On top of that, I was turning my hand to pillows to see if they would be feasible a gift from me to Lana, a pillow of Ernie, Frankie’s puppy, and another of Frankie, which my dachsies insisted that I make!
I also participated in a couple of giveaways and auctions in Blogville, during November and December one for Pet Blogs United, and for Crossed Paws– both were of place mats that became Christmas presents! The Crossed Paws family also ordered a place mat for a friend in the United Kingdom-
I also received lots of encouragement from Blogville- Sugar the Golden retriever’s Mom created the banner for my Etsy shop and other friends gave me much-needed advice!
Right before Christmas, however, a tragedy struck our Blogville family- friends in Texas lost five of their pack to a terrible house fire just before Christmas. These heroic animals, now called The Fearless Five, gave their lives warning their peeps and no one was lost. Guero, Coco Chanel, Shelby, Lucky and Tiger perished saving their people, and will never be forgotten. I had just received a large commission, from the White Dog Army, and I now found myself torn I wanted to make a queen sized memory quilt, but with the WDA order and Christmas didn’t think that I could handle the work load. The Mom of the WDA, graciously allowed me to piece the top of the Fearless Five Memory Quilt. Donations of fabric poured in from South America, the UK, Australia, Canada, and all over the United States. A real quilter from NY, Cynthia Welch, volunteered her services and quilted and bound what became a king sized undertaking.
Accompanying the quilt were private commissions of love two pillows, a baby quilt, two bandanas for the surviving pack members, and two prayer shawls for the Mom and Grandmother of The Fearless Five pack. All told, the quilt and these items reached our friends at the end of February. Sixty people world-wide donated fabric to this undertaking without them, none of these gifts were possible.
Right after that, I started the White Dog Army commission- a large quilt, 70 X 55, with FIVE pet portraits! My husband helped he is my right hand and he is in charge of fabric choice and pattern making without him, DWM would not be possible. Sue received her birthday gift the weekend before and loved it.
Right now, I am working on three auction items a set of four place mats, a pillow and a quilt! These will be shipping this month!
While I have not had any Etsy orders, I keep my hand in quilting and taking online quilting classes. I make items for auctions and giveaways, and am hoping that my business starts to take off I can easily accommodate orders of up to three/four quilts a week plus 12 placemats per week. I am not limited to dog portraits cats, etc are welcome! My current Etsy listings are linked below:
From Dakota’s Den: we were honored and excited to feature Agnes on Dakota’s blog. When we stumbled upon her and saw her work we were just overcome with how talented she is. We hope you enjoyed learning more about her as much as we did!