Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sew Much Fun!

(Update:  As of 3/13/11, the name of the quilting club has been changed to Sisters-in-Stitches.)

Last month while participating in one of my favorite pastimes, Girl Chit-Chat, Patricia, a friend of mine from church, and I discovered that both of us were quilters. Patricia, being fairly new to quilting, suggested we get together from time to time. Another gal from church overheard us and said she’d be interested in joining us and had a daughter-in-law who also was an avid quilter. That is the moment we created the Austin Ward Quilting Club.

Last night was the first monthly meeting of the Austin Ward Quilting Club. Patricia and I had gotten the word out through flyers, email and Facebook. I enlisted the help of my dear friend, Tami Horvath, Decorator Extraordinaire, to setup the meeting room with me. And, as the meeting kicked off, five women were in attendance.

I was the speaker for our first meeting on Quilting Basics, and as the night progressed, more women showed up. By the time I was halfway through my lesson, I counted 14 women, which was the number of chairs I had set out. Some of the ones in attendance had not previously expressed interest, which means we may have more members at future meetings!

For decoration, Tami strung thick gauge wire across one wall of the room and draped three of my quilts over it – The Bear’s Paw Quilt, The Dresden Plate Quilt and my wall hanging. My only regret is that I didn’t bring a camera to take pictures. What was I thinking?! I do have other pictures of the quilts that I can share, though, to give you some idea of what the club members saw at our meeting.

Below is a picture of the Bear’s Paw Quilt I made for my father. This quilt was machine-pieced and hand-quilted. It was a bit of a bear for me to make, which is appropriate, since the recipient is a bit of a bear at times, too. This took a year for me to finish, simply because I kept setting it aside to work on other things.

Here’s a picture of the Dresden Plate Quilt I made for my mother, which was all hand-sewn, appliquéd and hand-quilted. I consider this my “therapy” quilt, which I made during the year I was unemployed, living on the Double M Ranch with my parents. This quilt took 2 months to make.

The last quilt displayed on the wall was my appliquéd wall hanging. I hand pieced, appliquéd and hand-quilted this antique-patterned quilt in two months. I made it while working for Visa. I lived in northern Virginia and traveled twice a month on a 5-hour flight to Visa’s headquarters in San Francisco, California. I stored the pieces in baggies and used my fingernail clippers to cut the thread, since I couldn’t take any scissors aboard – needles and clippers were acceptable, though.

On the long, rectangular table in front of me, Tami draped the LeMoyne Star Quilt, which was the second quilt I made. This is one I created for my son, Eric, who at that time was 8 years old and picked out one of the hardest patterns in my quilting book. He also selected the fabric and colors. I learned my lesson that I don’t allow my “quiltees” to pick out patterns for their quilts. Atop the quilt, Tami displayed books, fabric, other sewing notions and quilting tools, which I explained during my lesson.

Susan, Janie and Patricia have experience making quilts, but the remainder of our club members have never made a quilt before, so this will be a wonderful opportunity to share our skills and talents with those who want to learn. Even Tami, who was just there to help me decorate, has caught the quilting bug and has decided to make an art quilt. Awesome!

Public Apology: I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Christine Cain, Young Women’s President, who allowed us to stay in the room where we initially set up the quilts. I had no idea there was a protocol for reserving rooms at the church, but Christine graciously moved her meeting to another room. Christine, I won’t make that mistake again. Thank you so much!!

“Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859

Happy Quilting, Y’all!


  1. I'm happy that you have good attendance in the first day :-)
    Craig finish his program in the en of March and maybe he can move some tennis lesson in a different day for me to attend to the Quilting club :-D
    I Love you*

  2. I do hope you'll be able to join us, sister! You would really enjoy the followship of these women. Love you, too!