Monthly Archives: March 2012

It’s not just a quilt–it’s part of a story.


About 6 weeks ago, I received a message on Etsy from a young woman who wanted me to make a quilt for her mother. As the message went on, the story of her mother began to unravel for me.

The woman’s mother is Cherokee Indian and raised her children in the Cherokee area of one the Carolinas. The mother also did a lot of sewing and used to make quilts for her children.

At some point in the past few years, the mother’s diabetes caused blindness and the mother was no longer able to sew and quilt. However, the mother still had a stash of fabrics intended for future projects (as every good quilter would).

The daughter, wanting to provide the mother with the quilt the mother could no longer make herself, contacted me.  The daughter wanted to send me her mother’s fabrics (supplemented by some other fabrics the daughter ordered and sent directly to me) and have me make one of my Classic Americana quilts in all of those fabrics. (The first photo above shows a grouping of the fabrics.)

The daughter also sent me the sweetest note. In the note she told me about a tradition her mother had of embroidering a “secret” message (in Cherokee) somewhere in one of the quilt patches. The note also had  a hand-written image of a Cherokee saying (photo 2). This symbol is from a lullaby and it means, “Close your eyes, little one.”

What a joy it was to do this project for such a darling daughter. The quilt was so wonderful to look at, and the afternoon I spent stitching the embroidery is one I will long remember.

Here is what the daughter said when they received the quilt: “I just got the quilt today. It’s one of the most gorgeous quilts I’ve ever seen! Thank you so much for working with me and making a dream come true.”

Having my love of quilting be able to connect me to the lives and stories of other people is a dream come true for me!


Uniform Woes


I’ve been asked, by a group from a private school, to create a quilt that can be auctioned at a fundraiser in May. The quilt needs to incorporate the school colors of blue, yellow and white, as well as pieces of the uniforms.

I’m having some difficulty and could use some help.

The first photo shows blue 9-patch blocks with a piece of uniform fabric in the centers. The crest in the upper corner will appear in all four corners of the overall quilt.

When I looked at this sample section from across the studio, I worried that the 9-patch blocks would seem to heavy and solid.

The second photo shows how I revised the 9-patch blocks to have white centers, with some of the centers being the crest. (I don’t have enough crests to put in each of the 9-patches.) For this version, the crest in the corner will come out.

But, where do I put the plaid uniform pieces?

Any suggestions? Do you have a preferences between the first version and the second?