Tag Archives: sewing

M is for Museums of Quilts

Antique quilt

Antique quilt

Quilts often give us a chance to travel back in time. Imagine wrapping a quilt made by your mother, grandmother, aunt, or even great-grandmother. My friend and fellow author, Deborah has a quilt made by her mother-in-law, just for Deborah.

The quilt is across the bottom of her bed, for looks. However, on bad days, or when Deborah is ill she wants that quilt to wrap around her. It gives her the feeling of having her mother-in-law’s arms wrap around her. A feeling she enjoys since her mother-in-law died several years ago.

We don’t have to wrap a quilt around us to visit the past and feel the emotions of those long ago quilters. We can visit quilt museums. No, we can’t wrap up in those quilts, but just seeing them touches our hearts.

On my list of quilty places to visit is the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden Colorado. As a bonus, until the end of April that museum has a special exhibit by male (another “m” word) quilters.  While I won’t make it to the Colorado museum this month, it is on my list of places to see.

Quilt museums are like a permanent quilt show, giving guests the opportunity to see a variety of quilts over a longer period of time. The museums also offer visitors a chance to see special displays, such as the  round-up of men’s quilts available at the Rocky Mountain Quilt museum.

You don’t have to go to a quilt museum though. Other museums often offer a peek into the past with quilt displays. The quilt show above was made in 1850 and is on display in a museum in  Dodge City Kansas.

Do you have a quilt museum in your state?

Have you ever visited a quilt museum?

Do you own a quilt made by a relative, or loved one no longer with us?

The complete story of Deborah’s quilt is in Devoted to Quilting 2. Join us on Facebook at, A Patchwork Life.

Joining the fun bloggers at the A to Z challenge. Check them out for more great blogs.

Music, Food, and Quilts

Cajun cooking, jazz music, Mardi Gras parties, with all that going for it Louisiana must have quilts. They do, quilt guilds across the state, at least one show each year, and they have their own block.

The Louisiana quilt block is a patchwork block of flying geese set in a pin wheel design.

The Louisiana Quilt Block, image from ideas-for-quilting.com/images

According to Quilter’s Resource there are two major quilt shows in Louisiana, and I’ve missed both of them this year. That’s ok though, that just gives me more time to plan on visiting.

The first show, presented by the North Louisiana Quilters Guild is a biannual event. That gives me a whole year to plan that visit. Their next show will be in February 2015.

The second show, sponsored by The Gulf States Quilting Association, is an annual event. Held in Slidell Louisiana , one of the towns  affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they have a wide array of teachers, vendors and I’m sure quilts. This one is definitely going on my quilt tour list.

Have you ever been to Louisiana? If so what was your favorite thing to do or see?

Are you from Louisiana? Do you know of other quilt shows?

Have you made a quilt using the Louisiana block? Share it in comments?

Please join me on Facebook at Devoted to Quilting  for more quilting fun.

Joining the The A to Z Blogging Challenge  which includes creative bloggers from all areas and across the globe. 


Hopping for Quilting

No rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma in the Quilt stores, especially in April.

No, in April (April 24-May 3) we have the HOP THE RIVER SHOP HOP. An extravaganza of quilt store shopping that couldn’t be contained in one state.

The Hop includes five stores in Oklahoma and four in that state below the river (Texas). A complete list of the stores involved in the hop can be found at The Quilt n Bee.

Hopping from store to store, especially with friends is a great way to spend the day, weekend, or week.

Stores offer prizes and have gifts for their customers during hops. However, the best thing about a hop is seeing different quilts, almost like a quilt show on the road. Instead of the quilts traveling, the visitors are.

Each store has different fabrics and tools. Sharing, learning, visiting, and fabrics. This will be my first time to Hop the River and I’m looking forward to the adventure.

Have you ever participated in a shop Hop?

How often do you visit new stores?

How many stores would be your limit to visit in a day?

Please leave a comment, I love hearing from you.

This post using the letter H was brought to you by the friendly folks at the A to Z challenge. Over 2,000 bloggers are participating.

Wax Paper in the Sewing Room


Save time and money. Shop at home.

The time you save can be used working on a project. The money will go towards your next fabric purchase.

Shopping at home allows us to finish our projects without making a trip to the store. Today we’re shopping in the kitchen for emergency sewing supplies.

There it is. In your cabinets with other kitchen papers.

The roll of wax paper.

What can you do with wax paper.

Allow me to wax on about the benefits of wax paper in the sewing room.

1. The paper can be used for quilting over tee-shirt quilts. Often the presser foot will stick to the design of the shirt, making quilting difficult. Placing the wax paper over the design allows the presser foot to glide.

2. Draw the quilting design on the wax paper and place the paper over the quilt. Since you can see the quilt pattern through the paper, you will be able to tell if this pattern works for this quilt.

3. If you don’t have fusible handy when making a tee-shirt quilt, wax paper will help stabilize the stretching tee-shirt fabric for sewing.

4. Use the paper as a quilting template. Draw your quilting design on the paper then pin it to your quilt top. Stitch through the wax paper following your design. The wax paper will tear away when you’re finished, tweezers will help get the tiny pieces.

5. In a pinch wax paper can be used in place of a silicone sheet when pressing fusibles. The sandwich your fabrics between two pieces of wax paper. The paper will protect both your ironing board and your iron.

Spoons in the Sewing Room

Spoons are for more than stirring.

Spoons are for more than stirring.

I love my wooden spoons. They serve several purposes. On the rare occasions that I cook, they are great for stirring mixes together, stirring food in the skillet or saucepan. I’ve even used it to move the ingredients in the blender.

However, my favorite use for the spoons is in the sewing room. To be more correct, with my sewing since I sew in the dining room, cut and iron on my kitchen bar. Maybe I should have started with the bar as a sewing tool.

I digress. I love the wooden spoons for sewing.

First, they are great cold irons. They can “iron” the seam to one side, or open if need be. If you don’t have a cold iron, try using your wood spoon.

The handle end works for helping to push stuffing into a narrow tube. The handle can also be used to help turn a tube right-side out.

Linking up with The Nester in the Too Awesome to Categorize category. There are almost 200 bloggers in that category alone. There are eight other categories, each just as full.  Enjoy the awesome blogs.

31 Days of Sewing Tools From Around The House

Quilters,and sewists,  love gadgets. Even if we missed the shoe buying gene, the shopping gene, and the “must have chocolate” gene, we seemed to have managed to acquire the, “anything for the sewing room” gene.

We have multiple sewing machines, templates, scissors, and untold number of items designed to make our sewing life easier, or just because we like them.

Sometimes all of those nifty gadgets and tools cost money the electric company insists on having. If not, they will make sure our sewing machines and lights don’t work. Bother!

Other times, it’s not money that stops us from adding to our ever-growing collection of helpful items, it’s time. We are working on a project and need something RIGHT NOW. Not tomorrow, or next week, not even in an hour. We want/need it NOW. We don’t have time, or want to take the time, to run to the store and purchase the item.

We begin to scour our house, we look in the kitchen, the office, even the garage, for something that will suffice. So, for the next time you’re in dire need of a tool you don’t have, look around your house.

To help you locate these multi-use items, for the next 31 days, I’ll be highlighting one for you. I’ll also be linking up with The Nester, where over 1000 others bloggers are gathering and sharing their 31 day blogs. The blogs cover a variety of subjects divided up into specific categories. You’re sure to find something you enjoy.

I’ll be posting a list here of the items I cover, so you can find them easier.

Do you have any sewing room tools you enjoy using that were designed for another purpose? Share them in the contacts.

Three Considerations when Looking for Quilt Show Venues

Location is the first consideration when planning a quilt show. You can read all five important ingredients for a quilt show here.

Your location will depend on where you live, and what is available to you. You can make almost any location work. Some may take a little more creativity, ingenuity, and even elbow grease.  However, before you can begin scouting for the appropriate location there are three factors  consider.

1.Indoors or out? Is your show going to be a one day outdoor event, or do you prefer an indoor venue?  This will affect where you locate.  An outdoor quilt show can be fun and successful, although you do need to have a contingency plan in the event of inclement weather.

There are several successful outdoor quilt shows held each year including: Eureka Montana Quilt Show, August 3, in Eureka Montana. Winters California Quilt Show, June 22, in Winters California, and of course,The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, held the second Saturday in July in Sisters Oregon.

2. Finances. How much can you afford to pay for the use of the facilities?  For small groups a free location is best,  as they don’t usually have a lot of money in their treasury. Some locations to consider for a free, or low-cost use are: school auditoriums if  the students are on a break. Churches, often have a dining hall or activity center they are willing to have used for a quilt show. Town halls, or community centers often have a large open space perfect for a quilt show. Some farmers and ranchers have large barns or shop buildings that are empty, or can easily be emptied, during certain parts of the year, they may consider allowing a quilt show in their barn. The Clarita Amish Auction held the second Saturday in September includes a quilt display (before the auction) in one of the barns. Once your finances are established, it’s easier to narrow the location search.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

3. Accessibility. You want people to be able to get to your quilts to view them. Adequate parking is one consideration, if you use a farmer’s shop building, your customers need to be able to drive and park on his pasture, unless of course, the shop is located right next to the road. You want to avoid the need for people to park in the road, it’s not safe, and will deter some possible attendees from stopping.  A nearby parking lot is your best option, if available. You also want your venue to be accessible to those in wheelchairs, with walker or pushing strollers. If stairs must be climbed, you’ll need to install a ramp, a temporary one if necessary, for those needing one. Most public venues will be wheelchair accessible, it’s just something to keep in mind. You want your beautiful quilts accessible to everyone who wishes to see them.


1. What is the most unusual location you’ve visited for a quilt show?

2. What is the most difficult obstacle your group has had to overcome to have a quilt show?

3. How far will you drive to attend a quilt show?

Using Zig Zag in Quilts

Applique, using zig zag stitching and pieced quilt for the grands.

Applique, using zig zag stitching and pieced quilt for the grands.

Thanks to Calico Connections for reminding me that a zig-zag stitch is often used in quilting.

I’d planned to write about the Zig-Zag quilt which some call the Chevron, and can be made with half-square triangles. The problem is I don’t have my Zig-Zag quilt finished, which means no picture.

However, thanks to Calico, I remember that the zig-zag stitch can  be used to piece batting together. By bunting two pieces of batting together and using a wide zig zag stitch we can make our batting dollars go further, and not have extra bulk in our quilt.

I also use the zig zag stitch when adding binding. Because, I often either leave my backing big enough to fold over the edges, then using a zig zag or decorative stitch, sew it to the top, or I add the binding backwards. By backwards I mean, most quilters sew their binding to the front of the quilt and fold it over to hand-stitch on the back, I do the opposite. I sew the binding to the back of the quilt, and fold it over to the front and once again zig zag or decorative stitch it down.

The zig zag stitch is also one of the ways to attach an applique. Since I seldom do applique, and when I do it’s for a project that will be used and washed, often, I want the applique to stay put. I usually call it a satin stitch because the zigs are so close to the zags. A satin stitch is, essentially, a zig zag.

The quilt at the top of this post is one made for one of my little grandsons, and his younger brother, and cousins have a similar quilt, they all have  several applique blocks.

Not only was the zig zag stitched used to hold the appliques in place, but it was used a decorative, or defining stitch on the hats and the frog.

The frog block. The frog is one piece, the legs are defined with zig zag stitching. The swirling water around the frog is just my  unusual quilting.

The frog block. The frog is one piece, the legs are defined with zig zag stitching. The swirling water around the frog is just my unusual quilting.

That’s it. We’ve come to the end of the month, and the end of the alphabet. I managed to post about every letter, although some times not exactly on the correct day. But, hey, I’m making progress.

I’ve enjoyed meeting some of the other bloggers in the challenge, and found a few new ones to follow. I hope you did too.

For next month, something different, but I’ll wait and tell you about them tomorrow.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this alphabet series. How often do you use zig zag in your quilts?

Quilts, Tied, Unsewn, Washed and Versatile

Playing catch-up today.

Tied or tacked quilts are most often relegated to the functional uses. In fact there are some, like my father, who don’t consider a tacked quilt a “real” quilt.  In his world, a tied quilt was a comforter and a stitched (quilted) one was, well a quilt.

My father isn’t alone. There are quilt shows that limit the exhibition to those quilts that are stitched together.

I think it comes down to how you were raised and what type of quilts you were exposed to. In my father’s case, his mother made both stitched and tied quilts. However, the stitched quilts were the ones given as gifts, and with the more intricate designs.

The tied quilts were those the family used every day. Thus, for him, a tied quilt wasn’t a real quilt.

I didn’t grow up with quilts or quilters and taught myself to quilt, with the help of my mother-in-law. For me, a quilt is a quilt and I love them all. Plus, every quilt has a story, tied, or stitched.

What about you? Are tacked quilts “not real quilts?”

Tied quilt my mother-in-law made, probably in the late 30's. The 9patch's are flour sack fabric.

Tied quilt my mother-in-law made, probably in the late 30’s. The 9patch’s are flour sack fabric.

Almost every quilter has a manually operated Unsewing Machine. Otherwise known as a seam ripper. However, a few weeks ago, Alex Anderson unveiled the latest in sewing innovations, a stitch eraser. Enjoy.

Quilts are one of our most versatile household items. A quilt can wrap and calm a crying baby. Give comfort to a grieving adult. Children love hiding in, and playing pretend in their quilt forts.

There are quilted table cloths for both fine dining, and picnics at the park that can double as a cover up should the need arise. Quilts are perfect cushions at outdoor events, ready to be used for warmth should the  temperatures drop.

A quilt can be folded and placed on the foot of the bed for decoration, yet still available as a cover.

Quilts can be made into clothes, stuffed animals, and totes. Whatever the need, the versatile  quilt is sure to be available to fill it.

How do you wash your quilts? My quilts are made for everyday use, they get thrown in the washer and hung out on the line. However, I do have some special quilts that don’t get washed.

They don’t get used, I place them on the bed from time to time to relax the threads and let them air out. Other than that, no washing.

If a special quilt must be washed I wash it in the bathtub. Actually, it soaks in a solution for delicate fabrics. The water is then squeezed out and the quilt rinsed, and re-rinsed. Then, it’s placed on a sheet outside, with another sheet covering it (to protect it from direct sun and bird droppings) until it is dry.

Yes. It is a lot of work. No, I don’t do it often. However, there are times when a washing is just what is called for.

How about your quilts? Washable? Non?

Sewing and Speaking

It’s Show and Tell Monday! Ok, it’s not, it’s just Monday. But, today is letter S for the A to Z challenge.

Okay, it’s not even Monday, it’s Wednesday. The post was ready, except for a picture on Monday. Still no picture, but a post of words is better than nothing. Right?

I’ve been a little (sometimes I am a master at understatement) behind on the blog challenges.  Last week I almost forgot I had a blog, much less a couple of challenges.

What in the world could make me forget something like my blog?

A speech contest. Speech contest begins with “S”, so I’m good. Right?

Sure, speech contest begins with “S,” but what does it have to do with quilts?

Well, the speech was about a quilt. Sort of. In the speech I compared our lives to quilts. To further illustrate the point I made a “quilt” to use as a prop.

I spent last week sewing, and speaking, giving practice speeches wherever and whenever possible including speaking to the dog. Poor baby. This week though, I’m back on track trying to accomplish too many things in too short of time. It was a fun week though. Too bad it didn’t end with a win.

Oh well, there’s always the next contest.

That was Monday. This is Wednesday. Shortly after writing that post and before I could take the picture of the quilt the stomach flu bug found and attacked me. No pictures, no posting, no writing. Just sick.

Better now, and future posts will, with luck, appear on schedule. 🙂 Hope the “bugs” haven’t attacked anyone else.