The Making of the Famous Tula PInk Ship Head quilts

When Tula Pink was envisioning what she wanted for her Parsiville booth at Quilt Market, she described the panels that she wanted quilted.

“Not just any quilting,” she said, “I want them to look realistic”. If you were at the Houston Quilt Market, or if you have seen one of the millions of pictures of her booth, then you may have noticed the panels hanging at the back. Just in case you haven’t seen them before, this is what I am talking about:

Two tall quilts depicting the world-famous Parisville shiphead. (Picture by Julie H. of Jaybird Quilts)

3 months ago, however, they looked a little different:

This is how the panels looked when I received them from Tula.

She included a full-size version of the design (not pictured) and a smaller one. The idea was that I would try to follow her lines and shading to make it look as close as possible to the design.

I used a white marking pencil to mark out the bows and the curls. The placement of those were crucial and I wanted to make sure that it looked right before I started.

The following pictures were taking under the quilt at different points of the quilting process.

The quilting process was easier than I thought it would be. I had an excellent road map (Tula’s drawings). I would quilt the outline of the shape that I was quilting, whether it was the hair or a sail, and I would go over and over it until I thought that I had done too much quilting and then I would quilt it some more. I wanted the quilting to become the shading and help and depth to the quilt.

We also decided to use 2 layers of quilters dream batting. This provided the extra bit of puff and really helped the letters stand out.

Tula also wanted the Parisville logo and giant feathers quilted on it. I marked the letters for Parisville so that they would be perfect, but the feathers were quilted randomly. I wanted them to look as though they were falling on the quilt.

Both the shiphead quilts are displayed in Tula Pink’s booth at The Quilt Shoppe in Stewartsville (or Pinkerville, to you Tula Troops!). If you happen to be in the area, we would love for you to stop by!




  1. Thanks for sharing your process with this! I’ve been drooling over the photos of these. They are simply amazing!! Beautiful work.

  2. masterpieces!

  3. Wow! That’s all I can say! Wish I could see these in real life.

  4. You know, I was on a blog today that asked the question–what was your favorite photo from market? I answered that this quilt was it. It’s unbelievable in photos so I can only imagine how it looks in person. “In jaw-dropping awe” is the only phrase I can think of to express my thoughts!

  5. Girl, you are just amazing! Absolutely stunning work!

  6. An amazing work of art! You two collaborate so well! I’ve never been to Pinkerville but I think I’d better head that way soon.

  7. I saw these in person and they are unreal! Very impressive work.

  8. Absolutely fabulous!

  9. This is so beautiful!

  10. You make it look too easy. lol

  11. I love seeing behind the scenes! It looks so different in it’s “raw” state. Your shading and details are amazing!!!

  12. :-O

    I am stunned and amazed.


  13. Georgieanna says:

    Angela; you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT QUILTING

  14. Oh. My. Word.

    You’re a genius.

  15. Furball Farm Quilting says:

    Oh wow, I would have loved to have seen them in “real” life. Simply gorgeous just hanging in the booth. Thankyou for sharing.

  16. One of the best quilts I’ve seen!

  17. Wow these are gorgeous! And if one were out traveling and wished to see them in person where exactly is “Pinkerville”,,,,,like what state?? lol

  18. I am doing this amazing little happy dance as I just figured it out. And low and behold I only live about and hour and 15 or so minutes from being able to see this in real life hanging in the momma’s quilt shop!
    I’ll be sure and take some pics and post them on my blog.

  19. I seen these in person Friday at Tula Pink’s Mom’s shop. Phenomenal work is all I can say!


  1. […] The Making of the Famous Tula PInk Ship Head quilts « Quiltingismytherapy's Blog […]

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