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Question of the Week -- March 12, 2017


Good morning!
Welcome to the start of a new week. Daylight Saving Time has started...did you remember to set your clocks ahead an hour?

The other day I came across an old Quilters Newsletter Magazine with a quilt by Moneca Calvert on its cover. I had seen several other pieces by her in other magazines and admired them all. I hadn't seen anything by her in many, many years; so I did a quick search on the internet. I couldn't find a website for her, so I assume that she has retired from quilting and teaching. I've been quilting since 1981, and I can still recall some of the famous quilters from those early years...Georgia Bonesteel, Mary Ellen Hopkins, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Jean Ray Laury, Eleanor Burns, Katie Pasquini Masopust, Jean Wells and Yvonne Porcella are a few that came mind. Some of these women are still active in the quilting community and others have passed away.

This brings me to this week's questions for all of you...

How long have you been quilting? Who are some of the quilters you can recall when you think back to when you first started your quilting journey? Are they still active in the quilting world?

I hope you can take a moment to share your answers with us. Take care and have a wonderful week!
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23 Comments

Oh my, can I even remember back that far.  I made my first quilt in 1967. One of my first quilting books was the Mountain Artisans Quilting Book.  I still have that book and have threatened many times to remake the quilt on the cover.  The color and folk art was fabulous.  The inside less inspiring, all black and white.  Besides the ones Jo Ann named, I remember Marti Mitchell and Jinny Beyer.  I know there were a lot more.  Interestingly, I did a search and there is very little specific information on the internet.  I guess the world didn't think much of what we were doing then.  I started machine quilting about 1999.  I learned on my Bernina 150 from Pam Clarke who lives in the area.

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Helen Baczynski
Mar 12 2017 11:31 AM
I started quilting American style seriously when we returned from Saudi Arabia in about 1991. I started piecing, or doing patchwork as it's called in the U.K., when I was in high school - early 70's. I did English paper piecing exclusively and didn't do any quilting at that time. In the early 80's I started machine piecing and thought up strip piecing on foundations for myself. I made all kinds of things to sell at craft fairs in England. Tote bags, peg bags, oven gloves and cushion covers. I also made a couple of strip pieced jackets. The cushion covers where simple pieced blocks. I made a few real quilts at that time too with very simple quilting because I was just using my domestic machine.
Fast forward to 1991 - I decided to enter the Hoffman challenge so knew I had to quilt properly - more than just lines to hold it together. No patience for hand quilting so did simple machine quilting. I made a quilt for our bed by the quilt as you go method at that time too. It's more like a comforter, very warm. We've been using it all this time and now the fabrics are beginning to wear out.
When we moved to Las Vegas in '94, my neighbor introduced me to the quilt guild and that's when my real American style quilting took off. I got my longarm in late '97.
I used to watch Sharlene Jorgenson (Quilting from the Heartland) on the T.V and have a lot of her templates. Is she still around? The names you mentioned are familiar and I have a some of their books.
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QuiltingwithGrace
Mar 12 2017 11:51 AM

I started quilting American style seriously when we returned from Saudi Arabia in about 1991.

I used to watch Sharlene Jorgenson (Quilting from the Heartland) on the T.V and have a lot of her templates. Is she still around? The names you mentioned are familiar and I have a some of their books.

 

I find your first line to be the most interesting!  Helen, you have definitely been some interesting places.

 

Sharlene Jorgenson is still around.  I almost used her templates for the DWR I'm doing.  I did order them just in case I ever wanted to do the traditional method.

 

I was in my own little bubble when I started quilting in '98 and really only started quilting because I was afraid I would lose my stitching hobby when I was dx with MS.  I used to say I was a stitcher who sometimes quilted, then I was a stitcher who quilted, then a quilter who stitched.  Dd#1 says, "Mom, you're a quilter who talks about stitching 'cuz I haven't seen you stitch anything in years."  Anywho, I really knew squat about the quilting world and famous quilters until I joined MQR as I am basically self taught.

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RileyBigshoes
Mar 12 2017 11:52 AM

Got my first real LA in 2004.  Prior to that, I quilted on my domestic machine which had a 9" throat--which I thought at the time was gigantically huge.   :Hypnotized:

 

I was sewing quilts long before that.  I don't remember much about individual teachers or quilters.  Prior to getting a computer (and the-- gasp--INTERNET--), I just sort of muddled along by myself.  

 

My first true big quilt was in 1984 when we moved into our new house.  I had seen a comforter set in the Spiegel catalog but it was way out of my budget.  I decided I could make it myself.  I did.  It had (and all the smaller, lap quilts that came before) had seam allowances of 5/8".  Who knew, right?

 

 

 

What I think back to, more than individual quilters, are the online quilting groups that I used to follow.  I can't even remember them.  I'm sure they were Yahoo based.   MQR is my go-to place now.

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RileyBigshoes
Mar 12 2017 11:55 AM

Helen, what is a peg bag?

 

Never mind.  My friend Google has explained to me that it's a bag that I would call a clothespin bag.  Isn't Google smart, being so multi-lingual and all?

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Lemon Tree Tami
Mar 12 2017 11:56 AM

I made my first quilt in 1982 when I was in junior high school (12 years old) in the home ec class. It was a baby quilt for my newest cousin-to-be. It was machine pieced but hand quilted with very large stitches. LOL And I believe that I wanted it poufy so I used an extremely high loft poly batting. 

 

I collected many quilt books during the early years. I still have one on colors by Jinny Beyer and I may or may not have one by Eleanor Burns. The other quilt artist I really followed at the time was Yvonne Porcella because I loved her use of bright colors with those little pops of b&w. There was also a wonderful book of art quilts from a San Diego show I think. Such wonderful quilts!!! 

 

Sadly I'm not sure if any of the new quilters know too much about the quilt teachers and artists of the 70s 80s and 90s. 

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Vicki in MN
Mar 12 2017 12:23 PM

Eleanor Burns, and Debbie Mumm were the first 2(that I remember) that I associate quilting with.  Made my first quilt in the late 70's. Then didn't do it again until '83 for our first born. I was self taught or my mom taught me with her cardboard templates, pen and a scissors. Sometime in the late 80's, probably, I bought my first rotary cutter and matt and a Debbie Mumm book, I was hooked!!!

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I started quilting back in the 80's making my own cardboard templates and using free patterns that were offered in my local newspaper. I was a new mom and also was my husband's right hand "man" on our dairy farm and did not have time to make large quilts. I made all those blocks into pillows and gave them as gifts. Later when the kids were older I made my first sampler quilt and joined a quilt guild. I am for the most part self taught, having a degree in Home Economics which taught me excellent sewing skills. (insert a true story here: A good quilter friend of mine was flying back from Tampa last week and sat by a young woman on the plane who had just graduated with a degree in fashion design and something else tagged on to the name of the degree. In making conversation my friend told the young woman that she had graduated with a Home Economics degree and was a quilter and an heirloom garment maker. The young lady proceeded to tell her that that degree was not needed in modern times because all that stuff could be learned on You Tube. And I can testify to the fact that these young women practice their art of so called "homemaking" like they indeed learned it on You Tube too. Friends this is really sad.) The first books I bought were by Georgia Bonesteel and I got Fons and Porter magazine and other magazines. I truly love every aspect of quilting and learn something and get better at something with each project I complete.
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I made my first quilt in 1980 - it was a Trip Around The World made with cardboard templates. It was pieced and quilted by hand. I sometimes miss those days! 

 

At the time, I was really impressed by Maria McCormick-Snyder. She made some beautiful quilts that I could only dream about ever duplicating. I believe she's passed on now.

 

Louise

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I started quilting in 1983, after I bought Eleanor Burns' first Quilt in a Day book, the Log Cabin one.  Life took a nasty turn for me at that time and that top never got completely put together or finished at all.  And I had enough rust (ugh!) and brown fabrics to make two pair of matching bedroom curtains and other items.  I need to take all that to Goodwill one of these days....

 

Anyhoo, I didn't quilt again until 1999 when I caught Alex Anderson on Simply Quilts on television.  After all these years, she is still my favorite tv quilt show host.   (In all the years between 1983 and 1999,  I wanted to quilt, but couldn't because it so reminded me of all the nastiness of 1983.)    :(

 

I remember all those quilters already mentioned except Maria McCormick-Snyder, above. 

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Oh wow, this is fun. When I started quilting I just did it. I was a seamstress so I bought some pattern and made a quilt. I've never been a brand name girl so I didn't notice those kind of things. But then I moved to Eastern Oregon and that where I learned about Eleanor Burns I watched her but she drove me "clean out of my mind". But I like her books! Then my friend introduced me to Debbie Mumm quilts. I made a lot of those. When I retired in in the 90's I turned on the tv one day and there was Alex Anderson.
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RileyBigshoes
Mar 12 2017 08:14 PM

Wow, Debbie Mumm.  I haven't heard her name in years.  She was quite popular at one time.

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marrs_cynthia
Mar 12 2017 08:25 PM

When I started making quilts, the fabric selection was pretty limited to "calicoes". I made a poofy baby quilt for a co-worker (about 1987). She was (I think) thrilled to get a hand made quilt for her baby. I made a small quilt to surprise my sister. Turns out, she had started making quilts at the same time that I did. And one fabric in the one I made for her was orange. It bled badly. Remember how fabrics used to bleed - a lot? Some still do. But, dyes are much better now. My sister and I have continued to make quilts, though she couldn't make many because of her domestic issues. AT 81 she has given up all together. I am in the process of disposing of her huge fabric stash through my church as a fund raiser. I did the same with my huge stash 2 years ago and we raised over $6 K. Hope we do as well with my sister's fabric. She and I loved buying all our fabrics. Running my hands over beautiful fabrics makes me happy. Yes, I still have fabric. I have actually finished 5 quilts since I retired last year.

 

Great Wed. QOW topic.

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Castewarttx
Mar 12 2017 09:25 PM
I started quilting in the late 80's when I took a knitting class that was given at the quilt store. We had so much fun together we decided we would learn to quilt too, starting with a Christmas tree skirt. The store owner found the patterns for us, so I don't remember many names, but loved Alex Anderson's show on TV. All my quilts were either quilted by others, or done simply on my domestic machine. I only started long arming in the last 5 years, but loved having access to examples on YouTube and MQR of course.

Connie
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I started around the same time you did, Jo Ann.  I was in charge of the coffee fund at my office at work, and was so happy to have the plastic lids from the coffee cans (we drank Maxwell House in those days) to use for templates.  It was all hand quilting back in those days, although I did stitch pieces together with a sewing machine.  I remember my boss in that office telling me about the rotary cutter that her husband had bought her to clip coupons from the paper, and didn't I think it would be a great way to cut fabric?  You betcha!  I'd get my patterns from quilting magazines.  My first quilting book I purchased was Marsha McCloskey's Block Party, which, I think, was published in the late 1990s.  I bought my longarm in 2004 and my IQ in 2007.

 

I forgot to say that somewhere along the line, I found Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts on HGTV and another station.  My friends would all tape their soaps during the day to watch when they got home.  My soaps were two episodes of Simply Quilts per day.  I think I still have most of the episodes on VCR tape!  I should get them copied to DVDs.

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Wow, Debbie Mumm.  I haven't heard her name in years.  She was quite popular at one time.

I think that Anita Pederson still quilts for her. 

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The first time I watched Alex Anderson, it was an episode with Doreen Speckman.  I had taken some classes by that point (it had been several years prior) but it resparked the bug.  Doreen passed away right before or right after I saw that show. 

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Vicki in MN
Mar 13 2017 06:13 AM

Wow, Debbie Mumm.  I haven't heard her name in years.  She was quite popular at one time.

When I google her it came up with scrapbook stuff, maybe she left the quilting world.

I have lots of her books!  Maybe they will be collectibles some day, LOL

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Alex Anderson was on TV weekly. I watched her in 2001on...... I have tickets to her presentation in the Villages of Florida on Tuesdaymarch 28, 2017. I am taking my niece who has started quilting like crazy. It should be a wonderful day.
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I started quilting in the mid 70s, I was self taught through books, with Jinny Beyer being my favorite.  Back then the books were mostly block patterns and we we encouraged to come up with our own original designs.  Of course I used cardboard templates and scissors to make my blocks.  My first quilt was a baby block pattern, no one told me it was difficult and I didn't think anything of sewing all those set in seams! I entered my second quilt (alternating nine patch and shoo fly) into the county fair, it was placed in the "quilt other" category because it was machine pieced and hand quilted. I won a second place ribbon. My first quilting class was with Elly Sienkiewicz on basic quilting. At that time she had a mail-order quilt supply business. Today she is known for Baltimore Album quilts.  I was so excited when the rotary cutter was invented, although I joined the club last week, slicing my finger and getting 3 stitches!

 
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When my kids were babies I made tied quilts for them but started serious quilting in 1999. I was watching TV and saw "Stack-n- Whack" demonstrated by Bethany Reynolds on Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts. I bought the book and made a kaleidoscope  baby quilt. I was hooked!!! Good, bad, or indifferent I have been quilting ever since.

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I started out around 12 years ago.  I would need to look at the label on my first quilt to give you the exact year.  Once I started my quilting journey, I began watching all the quilt show on PBS (Georgia Bonesteel, Eleanor Burns - Quilt in a Day, Fons and Porter - Love of Quilting, Alex Anderson - Simply Quilts and the occasional Sewing with Nancy episodes.  My favorites were always Eleanor Burns and Alex Anderson. 

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I started quilting in 1984. Some of the big names I remember from that time is Georgia Bonstel, Jinny Beyer, Caryl Breyer Fallert, Joe Cunningham and Gwen Marsten. Later when I started quilting again in the mid 90's the names that inspired me the most where Ruth McDowell, Jean Wells and Charlotte War Anderson. My tastes in quilting are pretty broad............I just love the old antique and vintage but also love the cutting edge improv. I guess I just enjoy working with thread and fabric and playing with whatever is fun at the time.

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