The first quilt I ever made was an Ohio Star pattern, made using a “Quilt-as You-Go”
method. Each block was made completely
(with batting and Backing) and then joined together. In those days quilting was done all by hand,
and took forever. Rotary cutters and
mats were just starting to come into use and became much easier to use than
cutting with scissors. I finished my
quilt and eventually entered it into the Solano County Fair. The judge complimented the front but said the
back looked sloppy from all the “joints”.
I never again used that method.
My second quilt was a “Schoolhouse,” which was a lot of fun but again took a long
time to quilt. By this time, I had
purchased a quilting frame. I think I
used it to hand-quilt 4 pieces before one of my cocker spaniels jumped through
the quilt that was on it; that was a disaster!
My third piece
was a Texas Star. I was very proud of
this one and of the hand-quilting in it.
I entered it in the County Fair in 1986.
My husband and I went to the fair to see it, and looked all over the
building to find it. I was thinking that maybe it hadn’t been good enough to
display. Finally, as we were leaving, we
saw it at the entrance. There it was with ribbons all around it! It had won the
“Best of Show” quilt. I went on to make a bedspread using the same Star pattern
but extending it to all the edges. This
one graced our bed for many years.
In 1989 I traded my old Pfaff machine for a Bernina
1120. The same year I took a Machine
Quilting class from Harriett Hargrave, one of the first to teach it, and my
life was changed. This was only sewing
multiple diagonal straight lines through a finished quilt but what a
difference! No more hand-quilting,
although I admire all those who do it.
It’s just not for me, except for using perle cotton with large stitches
In the 90’s I took many classes, making traditional
quilts but usually inserting a few changes to make them my own. I
became fascinated with the “Watercolor” method
which used hundreds of 2” square pieces to shade from one tone to
another. I fashioned my own piece featuring 3
pinwheels on a background of multicolored “color-washed” pieces. It
took quite a while to make this since my
husband kept coming in and rearranging pieces without my knowledge.
This quilt took “Best of Show” at the county fair and then went to the
Fair to take 2nd place among all the counties.
It was not until the year 2000 that I made my first Art Quilt. It came from a friend’s photograph of Lake MacDonald in Glacier
National Park. I used the Ruth McDowell
method of piecing everything together, only deviating once when I gave up and
attached the sky to the mountains. All
those ups and down were too difficult to piece. I named it “Mountain Majesty”. It also won awards in the best of show category
at the California State Fair.
I had made the quilt “Fantasy Tree” in 1998, and “Bouquet
of Color” in 2003. I had also made
another bedspread and several other traditional quilts. I guess I forgot to include all the baby
quilts I had made for grandchildren, 10 of them. By this time I had retired from 34 years of
teaching and had more time to quilt.