Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Q" Is For Quilter

A quilter (n.) is defined as someone who "....makes a coverlet or blanket of two layers of fabric with a layer of cotton, wool, feathers or down in between; all stitched firmly together, usually in a decorative crisscross design."

(Middle English - quilte, from Anglo-Norman and from Latin - culcita = mattress)
Mr. Outback defines a quilter as someone who is typically covered with stray threads, always has some type of piecing next to their favorite chair, walks around muttering words like,  "stash", "road trip", "fat quarter", or "blankety blank bias edges"....He wonders how a person can start a brand new project when there are others still in the works...
I define a quilter as someone who is hopelessly in love with everything that defines a quilt. 
In 1982, a friend of mine called me one day and asked if I would be interested in signing up for a Beginning Patchwork Class at our local quilt shop (LQS). Being budget wise, I said "How much does it cost?"
$5.00 for a 3 week session. Sure, sign me interests back then revolved around needlepoint, macrame and knitting. What could be so difficult about cutting up some fabric and sewing them back together?
A gazillion dollars  & trillions of cut pieces later...quilting is such a part of my life, I cannot imagine a day without it. Most of my precious friendships have been formed by this passion. We all speak the same language.
Somewhere is the original pillow that was pieced during that Beginning is packed away in a box. I do remember the pattern though - "Clay's Choice." Done in bright reds and a solid white background with a ruffle, it was very elementary but I stressed over that for weeks.
We still use the first full size bed quilt I made. 

 It has been relegated to the travel trailer and has provided warmth on numerous chilly nights when on the road. It is a sampler quilt and was pieced during an extended Sampler Quilt Class at the same LQS. In the '80's fabric choices were limited. You usually chose a main fabric, an accent and the background. The ubiquitous threesome. My blue border is even a cotton/polyester blend (gasp!) That would be a major malfunction now as 100% quality cotton is the only choice. Despite the drawbacks, the quilt is entirely handquilted and I can no longer achieve small, even stitches. I recall it taking about 2 years to quilt (not a speed demon, am I!)
The blocks look so large to my eyes now - especially compared to the nine patch quilt that appears above in my blog header...each 9 patch unit finishes to 1 1/2" and there are well over 1000 blocks in the quilt. 

As we grow in our "passion," tastes are bound to change. These days, I am trying to learn applique. I read somewhere that historically,  making appliqued quilts often comes in one's later years...the children are grown and on their own. There is time to devote to the more intricate projects. Choosing colors is quite different than piecing a quilt. Techniques are totally different and the quilter tends to linger over each block savoring the process.

This is the latest completed applique block in my Beyond the Cherry Tree Quilt.
 And a peek at one that close to being finished.
As I stitch, the bond of all the other quilters now and in the past is strongly felt. We are a sisterhood (but with many gifted male counterparts!) and I hope that in years to come...someone will look upon my humble work and feel that same connection...

"When this you see...remember me..."
A signed block from an 1840's quilt

Be sure to hop over to Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday "Q" postings.

Have a good rest of the week and come back soon! Your comments are always a treasure.



  1. Pat, I so admire your beautiful work! I have neither the patience nor the skill to tackle such a project. Wonderful post!!

  2. Your Cherry Tree block is beautiful. I am one bud and some embroidery away from completing this block, too.

  3. Love this and especially love the "when this you see remember me." I'm a sucker for that and for appliques, which are so difficult.

    Love to you,


  4. There is something so cozy about snuggling up with a good quilt! Lovely blocks!

  5. Hi Pat! My first class was the pillow Clay's Choice too! Mine was worn out with small children and such....... Your applique blocks are beautiful!!! I agree whole-heartedly about kinship and quilting friends....the best friends one can have :) Lois Wilhelm

  6. For someone that is 'trying to learn applique', you sure jumped in with both feet, Pat. LoL Beyond the Cherry Tree is looking really good and your skill has certainly developed well. I love what you have been showing. Take care, dear friend. Judy C in NC

  7. Hello.
    Your work is beautiful. Quilting certainly involves a lot of time and patience.
    My craft is more of the literary kind...I write poetry.

    Thanks for sharing & for the visit too.


  8. I have a well worn and much loved quilt that my mother in law made for me when I got married. I finally put it away because it was getting so worn I was afraid it would become too damaged.

    Lovely quilts, my dear!

  9. Wonderful quilts! Great Q word which brought back many sweet memories for me of my first quilting classes in the 80's. My daughters and I went to many art fairs selling some of my creations...lots of work but great sharing times!

  10. Quilts are wonderful, and I love the traditions and memories attached to them.


  11. Great post, your BTCT is coming along! I haven't picked mine up in days, other things are taking my time! I have my first sampler, made for my DH. I just pulled it out the other day and it's my "extra" cover on my bed, it's chilly in the early mornings and I just pull it over for a little extra!

  12. Ugh, I hate it when you make a really long comment and in midstream, your computer shuts down! Unexplained! I was learning (and I use that term loosely) to quilt about the same time you were finishing your first quilt. I have passed my unfinished sampler quilt off to my friend who does quilt. Is that wrong? Applique was my undoing! Glad you stuck with it, TO!

  13. Pat, I'm impressed with anyone who can quilt or applique. Wonderful to have these stitching skills. Lovely...

  14. I am very impressed with talented quilters like you! Such lovely work you create into beautiful artistic memories. Love the designs you show here. Enjoy the weekend, Anne

  15. Beautiful quilts - the first one and now your applique projects. I love the colors you've chosen for your applique.

  16. I loved your story of how you came to this wonderful craft. Your appliques are beautiful - I always enjoy it when you show one of your quilts in a post.

  17. haha! I love Mr. Outback's definitions of a quilter and your definition too :o) ...and your story of how you came to quilt and the "...gazillion dollars & trillions of cut pieces later..."
    Your quilts are all beautiful! Oh how I wish we lived nearby! I would love to draw from your expertise and knowledge.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    For now, I have only done baby sizes and actually the catherdral one is the real first completed "bed" quilt...I've only done a wall hanging, some minis and a number of quilt tops! Thank you for your sweet comment!

  18. That latest BTCT quilt block is beautiful! You are so talented!!!

  19. Perfect post for Q, one that comes from the heart.:)

  20. Your work is absolutely stunning; quilting has surely meant a great deal in your life.

  21. This is such a gorgeous post. I am in awe of 'real' quilters. I've tried my hand at this in the past and I can truly say it is an art form...

    And not one I'm too great at!

    Thanks for quite a lovely post this week.


  22. Hi Pat,
    I left you a message on my blog about the harvest.

    You and your quilts are so amazing. I so wish I felt that I could quilt, but I just know I would never finish one if I started it. Beautiful post!


Your comments are like the chocolate chips in cookies...they make my day!