Hello World!

Welcome to the first entry of my blog! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will drop by from time to time and allow me to share my work and thoughts with you.

Whew, that first coupla sentences were tough. No wonder I put this off for so long.

I have to be honest here, I feel a little awkward. I read blogs all the time and think the people who write them are so funny, clever, and talented. They have such interesting lives and are so busy and prolific. I on the other hand am pretty boring. I work really slowly and I’m not sure where I rank on the cleverness scale. I have been told I’m funny a few times, so I guess I have that base at least partially covered.

The blogs I follow most often focus on two things—sharing and teaching. My goal for this blog is to do the same. I love to share and I love to teach. Sharing with a small group is one thing, and easy for me to wrap my mind around. Sharing with the world is something different altogether. The idea of blogging is both exciting and scary for me. I’m sure I’ll mess up from time to time, but I’ve got lots to share, and hope you’ll be patient with me as I work my way through this process.

a little history: I started quilting in the Fall of 2000 after a visit to see my family in Morrilton, Arkansas. During this visit, I dropped by to see friend and former art teacher Jim Gatling. He had spoken to me previously about watching a video featuring the quilts created by his students over the last 30 years—which I was one of. As I sat and watched this video, I realized. . .Okay, wait a minute. I feel like I’m writing my autobiography or the beginnings of my obituary.

getting up to date: For those who don’t know me. I have been quilting for ten years. This all sounds really braggy, but here goes. I am an award-winning quilt designer, lecturer and teacher. My quilts have been exhibited in national and international quilt shows. My work has been published in Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Quilting Arts and The Quilter. I’ve appeared on Simply Quilts and Quilt Central. I’ve accomplished a few other things, but I can’t go on with this. When I make a web site, I promise to be less casual. I’m not apologizing for what I’ve accomplished, but it’s not what this blog is about.

My quilts are more recognizable than I am. An example is this is the photo in the header. It is a crop from a quilt I created for an episode of Simply Quilts. It is one of the most recognizable pieces I’ve made so far. Usually when I show it, people go “Oh, you’re that guy.” “I know you.” How cool is that? Up until then I’m just a guy showing my quilts.

infinity and beyond: I’m still planning on showing my finished quilts, but more importantly, I’m going to show you what goes into making them. I always document my quilts from beginning to end, because I think it’s important as a quilt maker and a creative person. I am now going to share my journey with you. This way you will see what I go through as I work.

I am working on a few different projects that are in various stages of construction, so to make my blog worth visiting again, I will start my next entry with a brief overview of one of my projects and a photo or two. I’d add a teaser photo now, but I don’t know how.

See, I told you I had a lot to learn about blogging.


51 Responses to “Hello World!”

  1. Kathy Colvin Says:

    I’m so glad to see you on the web. A new blogger with so much to share and teach. I can’t wait to see this develop and also to see your website when that is ready for the world.

    I can’t wait to share this link with my quilting friends so we can all follow what is up with you. Are comments public or private? I’ve never commented on a blog before. Another newbie! I’ll find out soon. See you are teaching me already.

  2. Patricia Eaton Says:

    Tom….Well, finally! I have been waiting a long time for this to happen. I will look forward to reading all about your quilts and whatever else you choose to write about. As you know, I’m one of your biggest fans. You’re off to a great start….so enjoy this new journey you’ve embarked on. I can tell you from experience….it will make you feel great! And, as you love sharing…blogging is a great way to accomplish it. I’m proud of you!! ENJOY! pat

    PS. I’ve just subscribed!!

  3. Sherry Ford Says:

    Welcome, Tom!!! It’s a joy to see you here since I don’t get to see you nearly often enough in “real life.” And, getting to follow and learn more about your creative process will be wonderful. Both your talent and your level of accomplishment are inspiring. I’ll be looking forward to each and every post!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Sherry,

      I’m glad you stopped by. I’m really excited about this new adventure.

  4. deb aka purple princess Says:

    Yay, Tom!!!! Need I say more? ;-D

  5. Anne Says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging, Tom. I truly enjoy quilt-related blogs. However, I do not keep my own blog updated! I followed a link from Patricia Eaton’s blog to find you.

    Congratulations on your wonderful quilting accomplishments! Believe it or not, I still have most of the episodes of “Simply Quilts” recorded on a stack of VHS tapes! I still watch them.

    By the way, I read that you have family in Arkansas. I am an Arkansan and love to camp at Petit Jean State Park. My family and I live near Little Rock. I can’t wait to learn more about your upcoming projects! I have subscribed to your blog feed.

    • Tom Says:

      Thanks Anne,

      I really appreciate you subscribing to my blog.

      Yes, my family lives in Morrilton, which is about 30 minutes from Petit Jean mountain.

  6. Kelley Davis Says:

    I’m so excited that I get to read about you from now on. I’m kinda “house bound’ for the time being and it really brightened my day to read your blog. I have a piece I made in one of your classes hanging in my sewing room and it makes me think of you all the time. You are a wonderful person.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Kelley,

      I’m excited that you are here. Knowing you are out there is going to make the process of learning to blog even more fun. As I write this note I can see your smile. I’ll be thinking of you when I make my posts.

      Take care of yourself. There are a lot more quilt shows we need to see.

  7. Shannon Young Says:

    Hi, Tom! So glad to see you’ve started blogging! The world needs more exposure to wonderful people and you are wonderful, dahling! Just basking in your reflective/creative glow is inspiring! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us. I know you stay super busy, but I hope you can come to Quilt AR this year. It’s gonna be fun. And get this – they’ve let me be in charge of the challenges! HA!

    Take care and keep stitching!

    • Tom Says:

      Thanks Shannon. I’m not sure I can make it to Quilt Arkansas this year. It would be fun to go, but I can’t commit at this moment. If you are in charge the of challenges, it might be worth coming just for that. I know you will do a great job and everyone will be challenged, entertained, and inspired.

  8. Pam Says:

    Well Tom I give you a lot of credit. I’ve been a quilter for about 20+ years and I don’t think I could BLOG about it! I like you admire all the other people’s blogs and read them often. I have seen you on Simply Quilts and you have a good eye for what you’re doing in quilting. I’ll be one of your cheerleaders! I found the info for your blog on Bird Nest on the ground. She said to tell you that she sent me!! Good Luck and I’ll be watching for more. Pam

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Pam,

      Quilting for 20+ years? Wow, I can’t wait until I can make that statement. Congratulations! Thanks for following me on my journey. Pat (Birds Nest) is a mentor and a friend. Her advice on how she approaches her work was hugely influential in my progress as a quilter. I feel lucky/blessed to have such an accomplished person help me on my journey.

  9. Gari Says:

    Hi Tom,

    I’m a new follower of your blog. Pat Eaton sent me! 😉

    I LOVE the quilt on the header! Are those french knots or beads? (Either/or, Pat loves both, huh!!!) I can see why you two are friends!

    Thanks for sharing the whole process of your projects as I believe that is where the greatest sharing comes from, not just showing the finished piece.

    I hope we also get to see pics of your studio!!

    Enjoy your new journey… I know I’m looking forward to it!!!!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Gari,

      Thanks for signing up. Pat is a jewel. Because of her I have 16 comments on my first post. Love you Pat.

      No, those are not French Knots. They are beads. I use knots on some projects, but use beads most often for the textural change and because I’m not that good at making French Knots. The knots get lopsided on occasion. I’m working on it though.

      As I said, I have a lot to share…studio included.

  10. Brenda Wall Says:

    Tom glad to see you are blogging. You are doing great with this and I look forward to reading more.

  11. Dana Stieferman Says:

    Hi, Tom. At last, a face to match your e-mails! Yes, I still have those circles sitting on my sewing table; hope to get them out soon and on the way to your place.

    Pat Eaton sent me and I’m glad she did. Looking forward to your future blogs.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Dana, I can’t wait to get the circles. I plan to tell everyone about them in future posts.

  12. Dana Stieferman Says:

    PS: What are those little, colorful critters that pop into our comment boxes? I notice Debbie got a purple one. Did she pay extra for it! : )

    • Tom Says:

      Ha! The critters are an option for displaying an avatar for those who don’t have one. I initially had quilt blocks, but critters were more fun. The program picks the critter, so Deb ended up with a purple one. Since she loves purple so much I consider it divine intervention.

    • deb aka purple princess Says:

      Yes, I did, Dana. ;-D

  13. skoots1mom Says:

    awesome to have you aboard! quilting is my mother’s thing currently, and I’m a new knitter…but, I do want to learning quilting, too! You’re blog is going to show me a lot!

    • Tom Says:

      I plan to share everything I do. If I don’t explain it well enough or if you have questions, just let me know. I’m glad you dropped by.

  14. Allison Aller Says:

    Looking forward to watching your blogging unfold! Thanks to Pat E for sending me here.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Allison, I’m a huge fan of yours. Congratulations on your new book. I love crazy quilting and am incorporating more and more of it into my work. You’ll see it a lot more in future posts.

  15. Margery Allcock Says:

    Virtual Quilter (Judy Butcher) sent me over here, and I’m glad I came. I’m adding your blog to my “blogs I like to read” list. There are so many blogs out there, but not so many I want to follow!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Margery, Thanks for stopping by. I hope my blog is one that keeps you entertained and coming back for more.

  16. Marié Says:


    You are a really good writer- and as far as I am concerned that is what blogging is about. Some marvelous quilts is also wonderful to see- but I go back to the writers and you are one!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Marié, Thanks for dropping by. I plan to show a lot more quilts as I continue with this process. I have to first figure out what’s the best way to show them. I’m very, very new to posting, so it doesn’t always work out as I had planned.

      If you have questions or thoughts about what you’d like to see, please let me know.

  17. Margo Says:

    WHOO-HOO! You GO, dude!! You will be great at this too!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Margo, Thanks for stopping by. When you are finished with your quilt I want to show it to everyone. Send me a picture. Pretty please!

  18. Kathy Drew Says:

    This is so exciting. Good for you. It is beautiful and I can’t wait till tonite and relax and really look it over.

  19. JoAnn Says:

    Thank you, thank you. SO glad you have decided to do a blog. Next best thing to being there. Looking forward to reading more and more. Hugs to you

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, Blog are good, but It’s not quite as good as being there. Cyber hugs are great for sure, but I give better ones in person.

  20. Jayardi Says:

    • • • Hi Tom! Thanks for letting me know you are up and running. CONGRATULATIONS on getting started. I look forward to seeing more of your work in progress.

    p.s. Hope you don’t mind if I share this with all my quilting sisters.

  21. Karen E Overton Says:

    Hey Tom, so pleased to see you in blogville! Like one of your other friends, I can just hear your voice as I read your thoughts – I think it’s wonderful that the world can now enjoy your humor and most importantly your work. You’re a great encourager to me and I know many more will or do feel that way. I’ve subscribed so I won’t miss a word!
    your friend, Karen O in TX
    PS see ya at the Dallas Quilt Celebration – glad ya’ll are coming. The A1 booth is #154-155, same location as last year. See ya soon!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      YEA! You’re here. I seriously doubt I can keep up with you, but I think this is going to be fun. Ah, you’re making me blush. I only try to make you see what I see. What are friends for, if not for that?

      I’ll definitely be seeing you in Dallas.

  22. Nicki Lee Says:

    Hi Tom!

    Congratulations on finally starting a blog – I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things you will share – how exciting for all of us!

    I met you at the COF HGTV Quilting Retreat in Texas a couple years ago via Jayardi and have to say… you are one of the funniest and most talented people I have ever met. I enjoy your fabulous sense of color and creativity. Let the Tom Russell party begin!

    • deb aka purple princess Says:

      Oooo…I like your way with words, Nicki! “Let the Tom Russell party begin”! That sez it all! ;-D

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Nicki. Thanks for stopping by. The COF retreat was so much fun. I can’t believe I was fortunate enough to get to go. Spending the evening with you guys was one of the greatest quilting experiences I’ve ever had.

      Since all my friends are here, it’s definitely a party. Deb is responsible for starting the first line dance. I think she lead off with the Electric Slide.

  23. kathy drew Says:

    Hello dear friend of mine. What a wonderful blog. I subscribed just to see what you are up to and to see that sweet face of yours. You are so talented and your blog is wonderful. I can’t wait to be a part of the Tom Russell party.

  24. Sharla Colvin Says:

    Was the programming joke in the title intentional? This blog looks really good, and I’m not a quilter, but I’m subscribing anyway : ) Gotta keep tabs on my mom, after all. Hope you’re all having fun here in Dallas!

  25. Sherry Says:

    FINALLY! You took your scrap collection of bits and pieces and got them all together to form…A BLOG! Glad to see you!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      We said and oh, so true. Thanks for dropping by. I have one more thing I need to share before I get back to my pile of scraps. I think you’ll enjoy my next post, so come back soon.

  26. Gerri Says:

    I so enjoyed being at the taping of TQS in Boulder yesterday and really enjoyed your demos and quilts- BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for generously including ‘the Boxed Bows Pattern’ in our goodie bags- can’t wait to make it!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: