About Me

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I made my first quilt in 1973 while pregnant with my second daughter. My mother and grandmother both quilted but had not taught me, so I really began from scratch. I wanted a quilt to cover her bassinet, it was awful but it kept her head from rubbing the woven bassinet. My next attempt was a crib quilt for her but I had no one to tell me how large to make it. I measured the mattress and made it that size. Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam with no room to cover the baby. It just lays flat on the mattress. To say I have learned a lot, is an understatement.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday? Not at The Quilters Quarters

The day after Thanksgiving is unfortunately called "Black Friday". This name really means that the retail stores can be "in the black" for the season with all the sales, but it sounds so negative. I think a lot of folks think it means because of the crowds shopping, it is a black day indeed.

At The Quilters Quarters, we think of the day after Thanksgiving as a technicolor day. The shop originally opened on the day after Thanksgiving in 1996, 13 years ago. A lot of people thought I was crazy to do that since so many people hit the malls to shop, they figured I would not have anyone show up for the opening of my little quilt shop. They were wrong.

I soon learned that there are a lot of people like me, who would rather take a beating with a rubber hose than go to a mall on the day after Thanksgiving. A visit to a pleasant, easy going quilt shop is far superior to that frenzy.

We have come a very long way in the past 13 years and it is all thanks to you. On official Thanksgiving day, we will enjoy time with our family in the normal way, but on Friday, we enjoy the gift of your friendship and loyalty for all these years (and all year round). That is truly Thanksgiving at The Quilters Quarters.

Join us if you can for a quiet day, come and sew if you want, visit, chat, enjoy some warm apple cider and cookies. Relax and just enjoy the company of other quilters.

Thanks to you, we continue to grow and quilt.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have you seen the new Patriotic Gammill? This was created to honor the Quilts For Valor association. This is such a beautiful machine, more beautiful are the many, many volunteers who spend their time making quilts for soldiers wounded while defending our freedom.

As our country is in mourning for the soldiers who were killed or wounded at Ft. Hood, I pray we keep all service men and women in our hearts and prayers. We owe a debt we could never repay.

Thank you to those who serve and those who care for them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Did you ever secretly think about having an affair? Come on now, be honest. Well, we just finished our first affair....Quilt Sampler Affair that is. Friday and Saturday we hosted the first Quilt Sampler Affair with the other 5 quilt shops in the greater Kansas City area who are also Quilt Sampler Magazine shops. What a fun time we had.

Friday the weather was the pits. It was cold, rainy and windy to beat the band but that did not stop ya'll from coming out in droves. Each shop served refreshments and we all offered a free pattern for one 12" and two 6" blocks and kits for only $8 for all three. Each shop did a great job of creating a beautiful quilt for you to enjoy with kits available.

Saturday turned out to be a much prettier day with sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Of course, I am prejudiced, but I think ours was the best. We call it Christmas In Times Square. It is hard for you to see in the photo but we put Swarvoski crystals and buttons on the quilt to add some Christmas glitz. It is so well received and we are taking orders for both the pattern and the kit.

The grand prize was one $100 gift certificate to each shop and each shop had one basket holding well over $200 in merchandise. Needless to say, we had some very happy people after that.

We have our next one planned for October of 2010, hope you can join us at that time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christmas Advent Quilt

I cannot believe that before we know it, Christmas will be here.

Do you remember the wonderful Advent calendars we had as children? Each day you could open the little door and you would receive a treat. It would be either a piece of candy or maybe a small gift or an ornament for your tree.

With that in mind, we have decided that you can still enjoy that fun with our Christmas Advent Quilt. Beginning on December 1st, you can receive one block each day for 24 days of this darling quilt. The blocks are 6" and the finished quilt will be a nice lap or children's quilt.

Our quilt will be all red and white so you can actually finish it and also use it for Valentine's Day in February. A dual duty quilt.

We have kept the price at a very low rate of $3.00 each (including postage). How fun to receive a little gift each day for 24 days prior to Christmas?

The sign up fee will include your book "Sylvia's Bridal Quilt" and it will arrive with your first block that will begin arriving in December.

We have included a picture of the first block. We hope you enjoy this little treat (and who knows what else we might put in your gift?).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just-Shy-Of-A-Fat-Quarter ?

Would quilters notice 1/2"?

If you go to the quilt shop and ask for a fat quarter, would you notice if it were 1/2" shorter than before? 17 1/2" instead of 18"? Of course you would when you got ready to sew with it. Can you imagine the quilt shop giving you 17 1/2" and saying they were "Just-shy-of-a-fat-quarter"? Yeah, that would work! Or worse, NOT telling you the size?

We are used to receiving what we pay for. Quilters are always willing to buy what they need. We do not expect the quilt shop to give us fabric for free, we pay the full price. Most times when you get home and measure what you bought, you are surprised to see that it is a bit more than you ordered. That happens because each shop adds a little bit for straightening your edges. You are not charged extra for that, it is just something shop owners do to help you with your quilting.

Now why am I telling you this? This weekend I was putting groceries away and noticed something significant and it had the word "quilted" on it. I prefer Quilted Northern bathroom tissue and have purchased it for years, even when the commercials showed the quilters using knitting needles to make it. As I was stacking the double rolls of tissues I was instantly struck by the fact that they are now a full 1/2" more narrow than the last ones I purchased. (see photo).

Now that may not seem like much, but when you see that the packaging says it has 2 1/2 times the number of tissues as a single roll and nowhere does it say that it is more narrow, and you pay the same price as before, you have to wonder. It says that they have donated over $500,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and that is GREAT, how did they donate it? Are we now paying for that donation by smaller rolls of paper?

Now seriously, I do not care if my toilet paper is more narrow than before, it will not stop me from buying a product that I prefer. I just want to point out the value that you are receiving from your local quilt shop and small businesses in general. This just would not happen.

Small businesses could never get away with this type thing. You would raise Cain with us if we shorted your purchases. Especially if we did it without tell you.

So next time you go to the quilt shop, think about the value of the product you are purchasing and the quality and honesty of the small business person with whom you are dealing. October is Small Business Appreciation Month. We thank you for your patronage of our shop and I am certain that all other small businesses appreciate your support as well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Strippin N Stitchin

We just completed our 5 State, 12 Quilt Shop Strip N Stitch bus trip. What fun! Each bus was filled with happy quilters having a grand time. It never ceases to amaze me how happy quilters are as a whole.

Maybe it is the life style of the quilter that should be studied by socialogists to determine how to train people to live a good life. Oh wait! That is what we do in quilt shops, teach quilters.

Here is the issue. You put 50 plus women in a small confined space (a bus) and tell them to sit still. Then you move that space across hundreds of miles. You only allow them to leave that space for controlled time periods and then to be put in another confined space (a quilt shop) and tell them to they must eat and drink while they are in this confined space....on yes, they must shop while there. And then expect them to be happy? Good grief! Aren't we expecting too much from our quilters?

Translate that to what is real. You put 50 plus women, who share a common passion (quilting), in a room together where they can laugh, chat, visit, sleep, sew, eat chocolate and relax. You take them across hundreds of miles of beautiful countryside in the fall or spring. You then open the doors to some of the most gorgeous quilt shops in the country and give them time to shop till they drop and also eat good food and laugh some more. You show them mountains of inspiration for projects, then move them on to the next shop.

Expecting too much from our quilters? Heavens NO. They are expecting us to find them new and better shops for the next trip and to get it going soon.

I have posted some of the kits that were the best sellers (read most inspirational) for the bus participants and maybe you can feel some of the excitement and joy they felt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Today I wore yellow shoes to work. Bright, happy, yellow shoes. The weather was gray and overcast and I needed a lift, so out came the yellow shoes. Back in 1960- something-or-other, when I graduated and began my first job I had to walk five blocks from my parking lot to work. When the weather was ugly, I had a bright yellow London Fog rain coat, yellow T-strap pumps and a clear plastic bubble umbrella with bright yellow butterflies painted all over it. When everyone else was walking to work with dark colored rain gear, I looked and felt like walking sunshine. It made me feel good. It seemed to keep the nasty weather at bay. I still feel that way when I wear yellow shoes. With the long skirts popular now, they look especially nice just peaking out from under the hemline when you walk around. There is just nothing like a good pair of yellow shoes to keep your spirits up.
Now just what have yellow shoes got to do with quilting? Well, everything. After amassing huge collections of wonderful fabrics, quilters are making more scrap quilts than ever before. But these quilts need a cohesive and happy note. That note is the color yellow. For those of us who love the brighter shades and hues a sunny shade of yellow is more appropriate. For those who lean toward the warmer, country tones more indicative of the Kansas Troubles or Thimbleberries look, gold tones are the way to go. Unless you are making a very controlled scrap quilt, i.e. red,white and blue, blue and white or red and white, you need some yellow in your scrap quilts. It adds the accent that brings all the other colors to life. Much like sunshine brings life to all areas of our lives.
The next time you are putting fabrics together for a quilt, don't just consider the shape of the pieces, the size of the print and the scale of the design, really think about your color choices. Consider adding a touch of yellow to the design and see if it does not give you a quilt that says "hey, look me over, I am special and will make you feel good". Then, you too, may decide that it is a day to try wearing yellow shoes.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I simply cannot believe the weather we are enjoying in Kansas for July. It is cool and wonderful. Sure hope it holds out through September, yeah, like that is going to happen.

We have been acting a little like "bag ladies" around here and making cute new hand bags.

Using the Claire bag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs, we created a darling thing with zebras.

We were enjoying working with animals so much, we decided to see if we could make animals "Bigger Than A Bread Box". And we did! This pattern is from Atkinson Designs' book Big Bags little bags"

Another cute bag is the 10 Strips Bag.

These wonderful bags are available on line at http://www.quiltersqtrs.com/ in the Quilt Kits department. They are so fun, quick and easy.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stop the car, I want to go to the quilt show

When I first opened The Quilters Quarters I often wrote articles on quilting for our local newspaper, sometimes including a free quilt block pattern. I recently came across some old files and thought I would share some of these articles with you from time to time.

"Stop the car, I want to go to the quilt show" was published on September 10, 1999.

When I was a child, my family drove on vacations and my brother, who just loved fireworks, would watch for road signs and yell, "Stop Daddy, fireworks for sale, stop". It became a family joke. We still yell at him when we see a fireworks stand.

Today, my family could laugh about my thoughts of, "Stop, a quilt show, stop". I want to go to every quilt show possible. Quilters and non-quilters flock to quilt shows for a wide variety of reasons.

The primary reason, I believe, is that everyone relates to quilts. Someone in almost every family quilted in past years, either a grandmother, mother, or beloved aunt or friend. A quilt represents a slower, peaceful time in our lives; a warm cozy hug in which to wrap ourselves.
They also provide a visual feast: the soft, faded colors of antique quilts draw us back to cool evenings at grandma's house where the heat was not good, but we slept snug-as-a-bug under layers of handmade warmth.

The quilts of our "polyester era" provide us with a chuckle much like viewing an Austin Powers movie...did we really wear that stuff? And those colors? Yikes!

The newer quilts made from the exciting new colors and patterns are so lovely we can get lost in them. The quilters who visit quilt shows get caught up in various thought patterns.

We analyze each one for beauty, form, technical accuracy, and design. We mentally file away those that we would like to make for ourselvse and those we are certain we could never make.

The non-quilter sees a painting where the artist used fabric as a medium and often wonders, "how did they do that?". But the quilter knows.

The quilt show is both alive with activity and people, but at the same time often as hushed as a church or library. The quilts inspiring reflection and admiration also muffle sounds as they hang in rows for the pleasure of the viewers.

Yes, a quilt show is a delight, but a quilt show is also the final product of a tremendous amount of planning, thought, hard work, and dedication from a large number of volunteer workers. As you leave the next quilt show, please take a minute to thank the volunteers and the quilters, let them know how much you have enjoyed the opportunity to relax in their efforts. And if asked, take some time to volunteer the next time someone is organizing a quilt show. It really is quite an experience.

When I first wrote this 10 years ago, I did not think about the fact that each of us has an opportunity to go to a quilt show any day of the week. All we need do is visit our local quilt shop, they are filled to capacity with new and exciting quilts to view, enjoy and yes, make. You can visit many quilt shows without ever leaving your home, just go on-line and look at the displays on the quilt shop websites. I can't think of a better way to give myself some "visual candy" and looking beautiful quilts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Truth about friends and quilt shop owners!

Where does the time go? I thought I was doing ok with keeping up with the blog and everything else in the world (that is my responsibility isn't it?) and I see I have not written anything for quite some time.

Well, I have been working on getting lots of new stuff done in the shop and preparing for our bus trip. This one is going to be such a good time. 12 great shops are included and I just wish I could go along because it is fun to see my friends who own those shops also, but alas someone has to stay here to keep things happening as each bus arrives. Oh well, those of you who are going will just have to tell me all about them. There are only a few seats left, so make your decisions soon.

Speaking of friends, especially friends who are shop owners. About a year ago some of us got together and decided to do a round robin quilt for each other and ourselves. When mine was returned I think everyone was a bit jealous because it is so beautiful. If you have never done a round robin, it is fun. In a normal round robin, each participant makes a center block for themself and send it off to have a border added at each stop along the way. This is great fun as each month you work on someone else's quilt and have no idea what is happening to yours at the same time. It is also a bit scary for some people because you really never know what will come home to you. As I said, I was very pleased with mine.

Friends All Around

And since I now owned such a darling quilt, I wanted to share it with you. And we have decided to offer a personal round robin quilt to you. This will be as a block of the month, but each month you will receive the 'parts' for a border or 'round' on your quilt. One major advantage to this method is that you will know what is happening to your quilt and you know you can count on the workmanship of each round.

Close up of a corner

The center is an embroidered block from Cathy Parker who does just the most darling scenes involving quilters. I made a couple of small changes on mine. Hers is titled "the quilt guild" and I changed the title to the name of our 'shop owner" group. I squared it to 12 1/2" and removed one of the 'girls' (Cathy has 12 and there are only 11 members of our group) and I added their names on the chairs. I also removed the coffee cups and added wine glasses.

Center Block

When you do this block of the month, you can personalize it as you choose. Maybe this will be your friends, or family? Perhaps co-workers?

We will be using all 1930's reproduction fabrics, but they may vary from the ones in the original quilt as you know fabrics come and go at the whim of the manufacturers. We will also include all the embroidery floss necessary for your quilt. This one is just so much fun.

You may sign up on the site and begin your quilt in December. Maybe I will even tell you some secrets about the other shop owners with your borders.....maybe.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Enjoy The Process

I think it is a given that you would understand that I love to quilt. Right? Well, I do. I have quilted for over 35 years.
I love every part of the process of quilting. As a matter of fact, I think we should enjoy the process, regardless of where we are in the process.
Have you had days where you just did not want to sew? Be truthful, we all have. We just cannot make ourselves sit down in front of a machine. BUT, we still want to quilt. Ok, we are ready to enjoy another part of the process.....
Maybe this is the day that you need to just go fabric shopping. Maybe you are not ready to actually pick out fabric for a new project, but you can go and look at fabric; touch it; feel it; enjoy the inspiration of it. Yeah, right, we know you will end of buying some, but so what. If this is the part of the process you want to enjoy today, then go for it.
There are days when you are in the mood to just cut up fabric. Do it! Grab your rotary cutter and whack away. How great would it be on the days that you are just wanting to sew that you have 2 or 3 quilts all cut out and waiting? See what I mean about enjoying the process?
Somedays you are tired from work or whatever and you just want to put your feet up and relax, but the quilting genie is calling from your sewing room. You have permission to "quilt vicariously with your eyes" and just look at quilt magazines or that new book you bought at the shop. Again, give yourself permission to enjoy that part of the process. It is ok, there are no quilt police coming to yank you by the hair and force you to sew.
There are days when I want to do handwork. I love to do hand quilting and hand embroidery, it is relaxing and 'pick up and put down' easy. I can sit in front of the television and enjoy a movie with my husband and still enjoy my process. He keeps saying "why don't you do that on your embroidery machine, it is quicker", but that would negate this part of the process. Hand work.
I have been doing so much of it lately that I have been putting more and more of it in the store.
I added several new blocks of the month that are based on handwork, check them out to see if you enjoy them as much as I do.

There is not right or wrong part of this. It is just part of the process. Relax and enjoy yourself, life is too short to stress.
If this is not where you are in the process, try to decide what it is you really want to do today and then just go do it. Enjoy every minute of your hobby and the process to get to the finished quilt. Ouch, did I say finished? Is there some rule that says I have to actually finish it? If so, I had better run hide from the quilt police......

Monday, June 22, 2009

Exciting American Patchwork & Quilting Moment

Every once in a while you have something happen that just makes you feel really good. This week I had one of those moments.

I received my advance copy of the American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar for 2010. Now I knew this was coming, obviously, but it was still exciting to see.

What you ask? My quilt "Tea with Martha and Betsy" is featured on the calendar for the month of July, 2010. They did change the name to "Flying Stars" which is fine with me. A rose by anyother name is still a rose.....as Mr. Shakespeare said.

We all love to have someone else like our work, we are only human after all. One of the reasons we join guilds and enter our quilts in shows is so that others will go "ooohhh, ahhh" over them. Your quilt shop owners are no different, we want people to like our creations also.

This simple quilt was fun to create, fun to make and now fun to see in print. Thank you American Patchwork & Quilting for giving us your vote of confidence.

If you are interested in ordering your calendar now, you may pre-order and we will ship it just as soon as we have them in hand. We also have the kits available on the website. All the other quilts shown in the calendar are gorgeous also and it comes with a full set of patterns so you may make everyone of them. I love that about this calendar.

I hope you enjoy seeing this and thank you for all your support.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"That's it. I am not going any further, learn to live with it."

What a beautiful weekend we just experienced. Sometimes the weather in Kansas is really harsh, but Spring is just gorgeous. I always wonder how the women in covered wagons managed to withstand the elements of Kansas. I just cannot imagine seeing so much wide open land with the heat and wind with cool water and air conditioning. There were brave women for certain. To think they walked most of the way West beside the wagons, wearing long dresses with petticoats and no water except what was stored in old barrels on the side of the wagon. Yuk! Up at dawn, feed the family, move on and then stop for the evening to build a fire and start the feeding routine all over again.

I have often wondered what was in their minds when they looked out the wagon opening one day and said, "WOW, THIS is it. This is just paradise and I want to spend the rest of my life right in the same spot". Or did they wake up one morning and say, "That's it. I am not going any further, learn to live with it." Either way, I am glad as this is beautiful land.

With all that in mind, I created a new Block Of The Month. This BOM will tell the story of 12 women who moved West with their military husbands. These Frontier Army Wives helped settle the area and create a civilization where there was none. It will be a mystery series, just as they lived a mystery: never knowing what each day would bring.

Each month the participants will receive their pattern, fabric for the block and access to a DVD/video showing the piecing of that block. There will also be a history of each of these wonderful women.

Since we live in Leavenworth, we will introduce you to 12 women who helped settle Fort Leavenworth. Fort Leavenworth is the oldest continuously operating military post west of the Missouri River.

The first lady we will profile is Harriet Lovejoy Leavenworth, wife of Colonel Henry Leavenworth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To market, to market, to market

I just returned from Quilt Market and it was so fun! This Spring’s market was held in Pittsburgh where we had one day of really gorgeous weather and a couple of not so gorgeous.

However, since we were inside the convention center where it was simply raining beautiful quilt ideas, we did not care what the weather did.

The market held a lot of beautiful and exciting new fabric lines (yes, we ordered most of them) and just tons of new patterns and ideas. There were bags everywhere. Got to spend a few minutes with Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs and it was good to see her again. Joan always has such cute things.

Eleanor Burns also had new things….of course when El does NOT have something new we know the quilt world is in a bind. She is so full of ideas it makes your head spin.

Terry Atkinson’s new book is all about bags. Terry and her whole family are always such a nice people to spend time with, they really are fun.

As always, I ran around with my friend Debby Luttrell from Texas and also spent a lot of time with Mary Wilberg from Quilting Treasures in Minnesota and Kathy Runyan from Country Expressions in Missouri. Girl friends are so great; don’t’ you just love time with yours? We all ate way too much and laughed too much. We had a wonderful time on a Riverboat at the Moda customer appreciation party, laughin’ on the river. Kathy’s daughter, Jen, is the designer of Tula Pink from Moda and we enjoyed getting to know her. It is nice to see so many new, younger women involved in our industry.

I will be reporting on individual new things for a couple of days, there is just way too much to tell all at once.
Here are a couple of good photos from market though.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moving a Quilt Shop

How do you move a quilt shop?
As many of you know, we moved the quilt shop at the end of February. We have had many questions about the move and so I thought I would share some thoughts and pictures of the adventure.
A quick history of The Quilters Quarters and her moves.

1996: 402 S. 5th St: 600 sq ft and 300 bolts of fabric.

1997: 408 S. 5th St: 1200 sq ft and closer to 900 bolts of fabric. Added a Gammill and quilting services. Added a website. Double in size = good thing!

1999: 219 Delaware: 1900 sq ft and about 1800 bolts of fabric. Double the fabric = good thing!

2000: Expanded 219 Delaware to 3000 sq ft and about 2100 bolts of fabric. Larger in size = good thing.

2004: 205 – 207 Delaware: 3700 sq ft and about 2500 bolts of fabric. Newly renovated space with higher ceilings and more windows and more light. Double the exposure = good thing.

2006: Expanded to include 203 Delaware: 4700 sq ft and about 4000 bolts of fabric. Doubled the scope of the web site and services. Selected as American Patchwork and Quilting Top Shop. Double the staff and double the business = good thing.

2009: Moved again to 200 S. 5th St: Corner of 5th and Delaware: Is this a complete circle? Just about the same square footage and over 5000 bolts of fabric, added a Statler Stitcher. Doubled the charm, doubled the number of windows, doubled the number of lights, doubled the number of kits and blocks of the month on-line, doubled the number of special events = A very good thing.

With each move and/or expansion between 1996 and 2000, the staff all pitched in and moved it all. When we moved again in 2004 the staff loaded all the fabric on little red wagons and walked it down the street to the new location, after all, it was only half a block away.

How much work could that be? Right? I only wish I had pictures of that one to show you.

With the latest/LAST move, I did get some photos before and after the move. The staff worked very hard for two days to prepare for the movers to arrive and then the professional movers picked it all up and put it in the new space. Then the world’s most wonderful quilt shop staff made it beautiful! This wonderful staff has, however, threatened my life if I ever move the shop again.

We are all happy with the new digs (but of course keep moving things around to make them better) and we have heard nothing but rave reviews from our local customers and the guests on the May Day Bus Tour last weekend. We hope you enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dream Room Sewing Makeover

Let me just wave my magic wand and lead you to a website that will transform your sewing room. Visit my site at www.quiltersqtrs.com on May 1st to get complete information and rules to win a $10,000 Dream Sewing Room Makeover.

We'll give you ideas on how to spend your $10,000 to create a fabulous, well-stocked, well-notioned creative sewing retreat for you.

Don't forget on May 1st is when the contest starts. Visit www.quiltersqtrs.com and look for the Dream Sewing Room Makeover button to enter.

Clicking my heels until we meet up at home again,



Quotation of the Day