Quilt Baby Pictures

I ran across some quilt baby pictures the other day.

And a tangent: Chaucer was on to something when he wrote “The life so short, the craft so long to learn.” I’ll explain, but first you should know that we’re cleaning out, preparing for some home renovation. Or as I like to call it, #kitcheneggedon, where we are moving our entire kitchen into boxes or onto shelves, and our refrigerator out into the garage, which meant that two of our four file cabinets had to go. It was time, really, to figure out what we’d crammed into those moving metal drawers so long ago. We filled one giant curb-side recycle bin, borrowed our neighbor’s and filled his, and I was still going strong. Glance, toss, glance, toss, glance….Whoa.

Several files stopped me dead in my tracks, as they were from the first series of classes I ever took, a veritable record of my how some of my quilts were hatched (hence, Quilt Baby Pictures for the title of this post).

• An embellishment class which sample I promptly tossed. The redeeming factor were finding two beading needles in the class kit, which I needed.
• Two Laura Wasilowski classes: one on fusing, where we learned the Chicago School of Fusing fight song and that her first iron lasted 25 years, and a second where I made a reversible jacket (which I wore for years).
• Debbie Caffrey Mystery Class in which I had fun, but when I took another Mystery Class some years later (teacher shall remain anonymous) it put me off that format forever.
• A two-day Jane Sassaman class through Orange County Quilt Guild’s summer Camp Watch-A-Patcher, where she kept encouraging me to go wilder, bigger, more colorful. She’s genius.
• And a Hollis Chatelein class about close quilting in quilts, a vanguard in that style of quilting.

• I found three classes in my files from Roberta Horton, a personal quilting hero of mine. I did what she called an African-American quilt (or Utility Quilt), a Japanese Quilt, and a Plaid quilt.
• I also took a class from Mary Lou Weidman, where I designed a quilt in honor of my last child leaving home, in honor of our empty nest. The blob on the right is the full-size sketch of the quilt:

Empty Nest, Full Life • Quilt #56 in the Quilt Index
Nihondaira, #53 in the Quilt Index

This is the quilt made with the Japanese yukata fabrics; we were encouraged to take our smallish square of yukata fabric, design a shape and assemble it, while merging and borrowing it, and extending the design through sashiko or embroidery. Roberta’s classes always gave me more than I expected.

This is the quilt I made in that other class of hers, and I wrote about this method, plus the idea when I discussed the short story I was teaching in my English Class, “Everyday Use.”

Light in the Crook of Shadows, the “plaid” quilt.

This is from a class by Jan Krentz, because I so wanted to make a Lone Star Quilt, and she knew how. I used fabric my husband had brought me from Zimbabwe (yes, he’s a keeper) and I’ve not written about it on this blog. It was named Fiat Lux, because I finished it about the time I earned my undergraduate degree after 28 years of slogging. The motto of the University of California is “Fiat Lux,” so I adopted that for the title.

Fiat Lux, Quilt #57 in the Quilts Index

I found file folders for the Joen Wolfrom class I mentioned in the last post, as well as a few others, but the file that amazed me most of all was the one that held the papers from a class with Jean Ray Laury, the grandmother of the graphic arts quilts (in my mind).

I even saved a letter she’d written to me, returning the dollar I paid for some class supplies that she ended up giving out for free. Now that she is gone, it’s a treasure newly re-discovered, once long-lost in some random file cabinet (now gone) in my garage.

While it was a treat to find all these “baby quilt photos” I’m more than happy that I actually “raised the baby” and got it launched into the world. No, there will probably never be an embellished quilt — the interest just isn’t there to place sparklies and sequins all over a quilt. But those needles will come in handy when I have to restore the beads Carol put on her block for my Ladies quilt. Yes, I’m a fan of taking quilt classes. Only once have I come out of a class feeling like it was a waste of time (and I’ll never reveal which class it was).

16 thoughts on “Quilt Baby Pictures

  1. I went down a little different quilting road than you. I didn’t take as many classes. I mostly worked my way into the videos and online. I said never again to a few things like block swaps and mystery quilts. those things didn’t work for me and I hosted enough BOMs to know that some women can be ungrateful with free BOMs! LOL

    So, did you just take photos of your old memories and then discard them or did you send them back to the file cabinet?

    As always, thanks for sharing,

  2. Aha! You’ve taken even more classes than I have, and I didn’t think that was possible! And yes, I almost never feel a class is a waste of time. What a nice variety of things you’ve done!

  3. Lucky you, a new kitchen! Oh, the possibilities 😻. You sure have taken a lot of classes, what fun! We have lost our sweet Emily 🐈‍⬛ to kidney failure, almost 15 years old. Missing her terribly, hard to sleep without her 🥲.

  4. Oh. A deceased friend’s husband recently gave me eight lawyer’s boxes of her stuff to sort through. The handouts for every class she took since 1978–quilting, doll-making, tree skirts. And hundreds of patterns torn from magazines. An interesting walk down memory lane, but I whipped through them in one afternoon and two recycling bins.

  5. That must have been one amazing trip down memory lane! I’ve taken so few classes I barely remember them. I’ve been to quilter talks but they aren’t the same as a class. I hope the kitchen renovations are progressing well and not causing too much angst!

  6. Doesn’t it feel great to purge? I have a file cabinet in my studio full of sketches and patterns that I will never refer to again. It’s like they don’t exist since I turn to the internet and my computer now for reference rather than rifling through a file cabinet full of paper. Times have changed. Good luck with the kitchen. We went through that a few years ago with the frig in the garage and the microwave in the family room. Thankfully it was summer and easy to grill.

  7. Once again, wow. Jean Ray Laury?! Although you’ll never top how absolutely impressed I was to learn you studied with Susan Straight. I have the coolest online friends. 🙂

  8. I recently redid the flooring and painted my sewing room after removing everything from the room. I tossed loads of magazines and reminisced over the books collected through the 30+ years quilting and learning to quilt. I’ve always appreciated all the classes in which I learned even one minor technique or trick. The good friendships I’ve made over the years (and the ones I let go for my own sanity) have made my life fuller than I could ever imagine. I’ll keep making quilts and try to use as much fabric as possible!
    PS I’m sewing on the binding of my “Fall 2021 Blossom Quilt”. Thank you Elizabeth for a great class!

  9. Hi, I live in the uk and unfortunately have no classes in my area, so i am trying to teach myself. I would love to start a memory quilt for my 18m Granddaughter, which grows with her . Can anyone give a beginner any advise.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Frances, Since this blog isn’t really a forum or a place where others will answer, you are stuck with me and my answers.

      I did a search for “memory quilt classes online” https://www.google.com/search?q=memory+quilt+classes+online&sxsrf=AJOqlzUmTdt4s2AkQDOoSFgOI1n1BC7efw%3A1678199862148&source=hp&ei=NkwHZKblBqqE0PEProubiA0&iflsig=AK50M_UAAAAAZAdaRuNXEI-nneQiHwhd-42_PYX_klp0&ved=0ahUKEwim2JLVhcr9AhUqAjQIHa7FBtEQ4dUDCBE&uact=5&oq=memory+quilt+classes+online&gs_lcp=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&sclient=gws-wiz and you are in luck: there are several classes, and it looks like their fees are nominal. You can read and choose through them.

      I also did a search on this topic and found several links (click here to see https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+make+a+memory+quilt&sxsrf=AJOqlzXWnkC5pFugwblticmRwQHD_30n2Q%3A1678200167372&ei=Z00HZMaZFufA0PEP-cuquAw&ved=0ahUKEwiG6dnmhsr9AhVnIDQIHfmlCscQ4dUDCA8&uact=5&oq=how+to+make+a+memory+quilt&gs_lcp=Cgxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAQAzIECCMQJzIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgoIABCABBAUEIcCMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEOgUIABCRAjoRCC4QgAQQsQMQgwEQxwEQ0QM6CwgAEIAEELEDEIMBOggIABCABBCxAzoOCC4QgAQQsQMQxwEQ0QM6BwguENQCEEM6BAgAEEM6BQguEIAEOgcIABCxAxBDOgcIABCABBAKSgQIQRgAUABY6FpgkWFoAHABeACAAbsBiAG5G5IBBDAuMjaYAQCgAQHAAQE&sclient=gws-wiz-serp). I especially liked this one https://weallsew.com/making-a-memory-quilt-preparing-the-materials/ for describing how to cut apart the clothing to get the yardage.

      On this blog, I also have a beginner’s section with handouts https://opquilt.com/first-monday-sew-days/, a series of downloadable tutorials to make different blocks. You could try making some blocks, and then when you are ready, make some in the clothing you want.

      T-shirt quilts https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+make+a+T-shirt+quilt&sxsrf=AJOqlzXiLTPquYnJK1HQmJAh5v727VaaYw%3A1678200192211&ei=gE0HZJysDPXI0PEPg-yCiA4&ved=0ahUKEwic7MXyhsr9AhV1JDQIHQO2AOEQ4dUDCA8&uact=5&oq=how+to+make+a+T-shirt+quilt&gs_lcp=Cgxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAQAzIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgUIABCABDIICAAQCBAHEB4yCAgAEAgQBxAeMggIABAIEAcQHjoHCCMQsAMQJzoKCAAQRxDWBBCwAzoKCAAQDRCABBCxAzoHCAAQDRCABEoECEEYAFCqBFjEG2DXIGgEcAF4AIABlQGIAc4KkgEEMC4xMJgBAKABAcgBCcABAQ&sclient=gws-wiz-serp#cobssid=s are another type of memory quilt, but it’s best to stabilize the back with fusible interfacing, cut it apart, then sew the blocks together. I thought this tutorial https://www.instructables.com/T-shirt-Quilts/ was a decent version.

      Good luck on your quilt. I find it’s helpful to read through some of what’s online, and decide how you want to proceed (often the first one you read may work, but sometimes it’s not).


      ˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚ Elizabeth Eastmond opquilt@gmail.com http://www.opquilt.com IG: occasionalpiecequilt

  10. What an amazing archive of the many and varied classes you have taken! I recognize some of the names. Interesting about mystery quilts;). Tee hee. I’m embarking on my second-ever mystery quilt (Quiltmania), going to take it all with a grain of salt and not be afraid to drop out if I feel like it.

  11. Oh, my! When I think of the stuff I have stashed away it gives me the heebie jeebies. Strong work! Did it all go to the recycle bin? Did you ask yourself, “what if I want to make another reversible jacket?” no – that would be me and that’s why I have heebie jeebies. Good luck with the remodel – it will be worth the trouble – no doubt. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  12. What an interesting journey you took through old papers and files. Jean Ray Laury is from here in Fresno/Clovis. What a treasure she was.

  13. Oh my goodness! What a list of quilting dignitaries! I guess it dates me that I recognize every single name you mentioned, and that I too took workshops from some of these greats. It’s also amazing that you kept the quilts and “leavings” from your workshops… and I mean that in a good way! I couldn’t begin to come up with a comprehensive list of great instructors I learned from, though Carol Doak comes to mind. She’s the quilter from whom I learned about Yukata. She used it, and FPP to make vests. Can’t believe I made several of them (a particular Easter vest comes to mind ::-) and WORE them! And jackets… been there; done that too. You and I followed a similar quiltmaking journey, and I thank you for the trip down memory lane.

Your turn to have a say:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s