Dawna May Batson – February 2013 Featured Quilt Maker

 

Dawna May Batson of Yuma, Arizona
Dawna May Batson of Yuma, Arizona

I was so honored when I was contacted to be a featured Quilter of Arizona. I told my husband that I didn’t feel qualified. I feel that I am a quilt artist but I do not do complicated piecing. Someone once told me she was a “topper”. She liked to piece quilts but left the quilting to other more qualified. I guess that made me feel very good that I am the qualified person to quilt others quilts. That people put their beautiful work at my hands to enhance honors me.

I started sewing when I was eight years old with the 4-H. I credit my mom for helping me but she says it wasn’t her. My maternal Grandmother also taught me many different crafts. After learning the basics with the 4-H I learned much more through the Home Economics classes in high school. I also took an industrial sewing class in TX. That teacher said she would never give and “A” because there was always a mistake somewhere. That made me strive to perfection. I made most of my clothing in high school. However I lost the sewing bug and my mom’s sewing machine when I left home at 18 after marrying.

In 1986 my husband Mike and I moved to Yuma, Az. For our first anniversary my hubby got me my first sewing machine. I did little sewing for myself, finding readymade clothes were less expensive than making my own. Still having my machine, in 1998 I was wondering around Yuma trying to figure what to get my Mother in law for Christmas and saw a quilt in a shop window and thought, “I can make that and she would love it.”. I went in and the rest is history. I found my passion. My first quilt was a “Ragged Heart” wall hanging. In 99 my son Noble and I made a Levi quilt out of our old Levi’s. It was a great project to do with my son. My youngest son still sleeps with it today.

From that quilt I shortly started managing the shop. I quickly embraced everything quilting. I loved picking colors, I loved piecing, I loved teaching. Teaching just made me learn fast and more. The quilt shop closed within a few months, however, I was lucky to have a Longarm quilter here in Yuma that need help and asked me to come by and see what she could teach me. I was interested in learning the Longarm but nervous doing it on quilts not my own. I started quilting on my own quilts and learned a lot about tension and thread choices. After doing five quilts my mentor talked me into “doing her a favor” by quilting a friend of ours quilt, it went on from there. I continued working for her building up my confidence.

In 2001 Mike said if I would come back home he would buy me a longarm so I can work at home. Since I was taking my three year old, Joseph, with me to the shop I thought this would make things much easier. I got my longarm in April of 2001 and have been quilting ever since. I learn more and more each year and with every quilt I do.

I love piecing quilts but my greatest love is quilting. I am honored by the trust my customers have in me. I love enhancing their projects and putting a piece of me into each and every item. I am often asked if I regret starting a business out of my hobby. I have to say even after over 10 years I still love each and every day. I get to see beautiful things every day. My only regret is that I no longer get to do much piecing myself. However, when I do get to piece my tops it makes me love it even more.

Donna May Batson Gallery

Tennessee Waltz, patten by Eleanor Burns - Dawna May Batson
Tennessee Waltz, patten by Eleanor Burns – Dawna May Batson
Tennessee Waltz - detail
Tennessee Waltz – detail
Thanksgiving table cover by Dawna May Batson
Thanksgiving table cover by Dawna May Batson
Southwest Rehab, a gift for my mother-in-law to cheer her up while she recovered from a heart attack.
Southwest Rehab, a gift for my mother-in-law to cheer her up while she recovered from a heart attack.
Patriotic - nightmare border treatment by Dawna May Batson.
Patriotic – nightmare border treatment by Dawna May Batson.
Patriotic  quilt - detail
Patriotic quilt – detail
Patriotic Block of the Month by Dawna May Batson
Patriotic Block of the Month by Dawna May Batson
Christmas Lattice by Dawna May Batson
Christmas Lattice by Dawna May Batson
Jalapeno Quilt, Jacobs Ladder blocks with appliqué centers by Dawna May Batson
Jalapeno Quilt, Jacobs Ladder blocks with appliqué centers by Dawna May Batson
Flower Frenzy by Dawna May Batson
Flower Frenzy by Dawna May Batson
Easter Rail Fence  by Dawna May Batson
Easter Rail Fence by Dawna May Batson
For God and Country  by Dawna May Batson
For God and Country by Dawna May Batson

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