Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, USMC

yut yutWhen Terry graduated from boot camp on Parris Island in March of 1990, I was there to pick him up. I remember he was full of excitement – both to see me and to start his life in the Corps.  That first day, one of the places we visited on the island was the Marine history museum.  Now everyone knows that all Marines are highly trained – on the rifle range, in hand to hand combat, drilled and humped (that’s marching) until they almost drop.  But what you may not know is that one of the first things that a new recruit is taught is the history of the Corps.  Knowing this history is what inspires the “Esprit de Corps” among Marines.  All that “the few, the proud” stuff is not just for posters.  Take a visit to the Marine Corps Museum to see what I mean.

bulldog face lightened

So from very early on in our relationship, I heard about all about the battles and the Marines that came before.  Smedley Butler , John Basilone , Dan Daly and, of course, Chesty Puller.  My husband had a special affinity for Chesty.  But hell, most Marines do.  With that bulldog face and Marine attitude, what jar-head wouldn’t?   During the Korean War, when surrounded by the enemy on the Chosin Reservoir,  Chesty is quoted as saying  “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time.”  A truly inspiring Marine.

End of HikeWhen Terry was doing his walk for charity in 2011, one of the routes he took was from Chesty’s home in Saluda, VA to the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico.  It was crazy hot and Karlos the Dog was suffering a bit, so Terry had to shorten the walk from the original 90 or so to 45 miles.  None of the Marines he spoke to about this hike were surprised about where he chose to start it.

In honor of my husband, and all Marines, I chose to make an art quilt of Chesty.  I don’t have a place in mind to send it to, but I don’t really care.  This was a labor of love.

completed quilt

Here is a detail of his iconic face.  The colors and the focus on this insert are more accurate to real life (my camera is so annoying!) 🙂

close up chesty head quilted


I have always loved the process of transforming pieces of fabric into quilts. For years I collected scraps, just to be sure I'd have the right piece for the project at hand. Eventually, as my skills progressed, my hobby grew into art. I moved from simple quits, to 'landscape quilting' and then eventually onto portrait work. I am new to the art field and am self-taught, learning from my mistakes as well as from my successes. I create my images using only fabric and thread. I remain true to this limitation for two reasons; first, I love the challenge of finding new ways to depict ever more challenging subjects. Second, fabric work remains my true love. I enjoy the hunt for fabrics; where other artists might blend oil paints, I love finding that perfect shade or pattern for a specific need. I refer to my style as "gestalt impressionism" for one needs to take a step back from my pieces to get the whole picture. My view point changes by what is influencing me at the time. Recently I've begun to focus on the journey of the individual. I enjoy working on portraits of people whom I feel have lead interesting lives.

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Posted in Art Quilts
2 comments on “Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, USMC
  1. djan groft says:

    Absolutey Amazing!!! You are very talented. Semper Fi!

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