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.

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......


Quotation of the Day