"Circling the Universe" by Karen Menzles and Nancy Schlegal

Quilter in Distress: Karen Menzles
Rescuer: Nancy Schlegal

"Circling the Universe" • 21" x 22"

Karen: "I attempted to translate the formation of molecules into cloth and stitch. What dissatisfied me was the lack of focus and a sense of confusion about how to fix it. Although I have considered slashing, inserting, burning, to name a few embellishing techniques, I am stymied."

Nancy: "The colors of the quilt and pieced background were very attractive to me and I decided to keep as much of the original quilt as possible. I thought what the quilt needed was more variety and structure to pull all those circles together. So I decided to cut up the original piece and stitch the four shapes to a background quilt of dark-blue sky fabric. I added more circles and teardrop shapes. I also cut out the two-circle shape in the middle and two other holes to make the background show through. A ribbon was stitched onto the four sections and lots of interesting embellishments were added along the ribbon, beads, buttons, washers, earrings, etc. A back was fused to the piece and the front turned to the back and stitched down."


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ellen seeburger

About ellen seeburger

Hello, I'm the Assistant Editor of Quilting Arts Magazine, Quilting Arts Gifts, International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene, and 101 Patchwork Projects.

4 thoughts on “"Circling the Universe" by Karen Menzles and Nancy Schlegal

  1. Karen-I just realized that we got each other’s quilts to rescue. I hope you like the glitz that I added to this one-it was a lot of fun to do.  I must have left out of  the description that the large half circles on the four edges of the background are wires that I took out underwire bras and just happened to lay them onto the quilt as I was doing it. Too good a coincidence to waste!


  2. Nancy, 

    This is wonderful.  As a repurposer of found objects I love the underwires, the buttons, the metal you added.  You may be amused to know that I briefly considered adding discoloured curtain weights to your piece. 

    The blue background fabric strongly unifies the piece.  I shall be pleased to display this one.  We should do this again! 

     toodley do,


  3. I really like the glitz!  The separation and additional of the blue makes it all stand out.  The ribbon also moves the eye around the piece.  Wonderful.