Tom Russell – Former Student and Friend

Tom At Little Rock 2I met Tom Russell when he took art in the 7th grade. I think it was 1976. He was the most talented student I have ever had. He had a unique way of drawing and designing that was so maturetom  & russellville slaes 160 for his young age. He took all my classes through high school and even did an independent study his senior year. After graduating he went to an art school in Houston and got his degree. He was the artistic director for several publications.Later he moved back to Houston and was the artistic director for Garden Ridge. He took up quilting after he saw a video I had done for our local station. He was like a sponge trying to soak up all the information he could about quilting, and he was great at it. He even took a quilting class from me at Ferndale. His color choices and how he manipulated threads and beads was unbelievable. He was a perfectionist. He passed away last week and it is such a personal loss for me, his family, and a loss for the quilting community. His humor and his love of sharing his art of quilting will be greatly missed.Tom Russell 1Tom Russell 22

About Jim Gatling

Artist: primitive watercolors, colored pencil. Quilter: Original designs, Scrap quilts. Craftsman: Woodburning, Recycling Teacher: Retired MHS, SHCS K-12 Part Time. Collector: Antiques, Quilts, Glass, Buttons, Petit Point, Needlepoint, Hankies, Figural Perfume Bottles. Son, Father, Grandfather, Neighbor, Friend.
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4 Responses to Tom Russell – Former Student and Friend

  1. Wendy Drew says:

    I didn’t know Tom personally but tried to follow him professionally with his quilting. He was so talented. The quilting world has lost a talented man. So sad he’s gone.

  2. Lauren Hill says:

    I only knew Tom from his presentation at AQG, but he was very talented, entertaining, and down to earth. His quilts were absolute works of art, but he could laugh and make things funny. I will miss him. I had so hoped he would come back and speak again some day.

  3. C Self says:

    I am so saddened to learn of Tom’s passing. I met Tom when he taught at our guild and thoroughly loved his work and his personality. I read his blog and watched his works as they progressed. The Quilt Show is making his appearance from July 2012 available free to all through the end of Feb. It can be found at under ‘Watch shows and DVD’s.’ Look for free shows and see Tom and his amazing work on Show 1101. I am so sad to know he is gone and know what a personal loss this must be for you Jim.

  4. Jim Gatling says:

    Thank you. Yes, it is a great loss. Ricky Tims has contacted me several times during this time about the Qulit Show and Tom. He was a wonderful student and teacher.

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