Monday, February 14, 2011

300 Shoes and Counting...

Is anyone else out there besides me a shoe fanatic? When I saw this clever wallhanging made by quilter Linda Mesirow of Shorewood, Wisconsin, I asked her permission to share it here. I just wish I had all those adorable high heels in my closet like Barbie®. Here is Linda’s story:

“This wallhanging started about three years ago when my daughter Laura and I were at an antique store and found a small baggie with five mismatched Barbie shoes for a dollar. I wondered who in the world would want five unmatched shoes. But they were only a dollar, so I bought them thinking I could use them in a quilt someday. I mentioned it to several friends who raided their daughters’ Barbie things. I paid a neighbor 25 cents per shoe for any she could get from her friends, found more at rummage sales, and even received some from someone I didn’t know who had heard about it from a friend.

The real revelation came when I went on—I had NO idea! There were thousands of Barbie shoes listed, from her original 1959 black mules made in Japan with the holes in the bottom ($100 apiece...I didn't buy them!) to 25 pairs of shoes for $5! Barbie shoes had been made in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I bought shoes from people all over the world, including Sweden and Germany.

After collecting for several years and ending up with over 300 shoes, it was time to do something with them. Since they were all different colors, I decided a checkerboard would be best. The squares are 2 1/4" x 2 3/8". It is technically not a quilt because it doesn't have three layers, but the shoes were all sewn on by hand after piercing each one with an upholstery needle. I wanted shoes to "walk" around the edge, so the piece is mounted on an oil painting canvas about 2' x 3'. Of the 250 shoes on the piece, there are only a few doubles. I gave it to Laura for her 28th birthday recently because she loved Barbie dolls, LOVES shoes, and wears really high and unusual high heels!”


  1. This is so cool! I may have those origanal Japan mules in the attic..I didn't throw anything away...course my girls didn't take such good care of my toys like I did as a kid. We had less and took care of what we's kids have so much they just don't care...kind of sad...

  2. Very unique and creative. I absolutely love it. Send a picture away to have a jigsaw puzzle made of it. Makes me want to put my creative thinking cap on. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This idea belongs published in a magazine - absolutely fab-u-lous!