Monday, February 20, 2017

My Interview with Alex Anderson of The Quilt Show

I was thrilled after Alex Anderson of The Quilt Show asked for an interview last fall on how I quilted their 2016 Block of the Month, Rajah Revisited.

Today, after making sure with Alex that I could post the video, I hope you can either click and view from my blog here, or if that fails, from their website at

My blog post at goes through the actual quilting involved after some history on the original making of this historical quilt. Click on the link or simply go to my Archive dated 11/23/15 and read it from there.

Alex is so personable, fun and such a great facilitator! She put me at ease quickly, and pretty soon we were 'talking quilts' and having a great time...

What else do quilters do, after all?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Memorial Quilt for Andrew

Some time before Thanksgiving I was contacted to make a memorial quilt from eight, well-worn pair of jeans from one young cowboy, known here as Andrew.

Making long strips out of Andrew's jeans

He was born in Oklahoma to a loving set of parents and a sister who was two months shy of being three years old. When Andrew was just a few months old, his family moved to Wyoming where he would spend the next seven years of his life. 

The jean strips have been sewn into a simple quilt top

From the time he was very young, he lived a life of adventure. He knew how to ride a dirt bike before he was five, and shortly after enrolling in grade school, he participated and excelled in baseball, wrestling and football.

Before quilting, I quickly check thread color with the
binding and backing fabrics, and balance the tension...

When Andrew was seven, his family moved to New Mexico, Colorado and eventually back to Oklahoma where he continued in sports and dirt bike-riding, and found new pursuits such as hunting and - more especially - riding bulls at the rodeo.

I like the red thread!

His greatest joy was riding in the Fire and Ice Series, and had dreams of one day going to the Professional Bull Riding circuit. Watching him ride was sometimes scary for those who knew and loved him, but it was quite impressive to witness his bravery each time he climbed on a bull. 

The quilting begins with the pattern
 Boots, Hats and Horseshoes.

He loved the thrill of trying to stay on the bucking bull and always got right back up after going down. He was proud to be a cowboy!

Detail of Boots, Hats and Horseshoes.

An imperfection in one pair of jeans I could not omit.
 I reinforced the hole with a jeans underlayment.

In spite of Andrew’s appetite for adventure, he was gentle at heart. He would play with cousins when they were babies, hold up a rattle for them with a gleam in his eye and a shy grin while they reached for it. 

Andrew was a good listener and befriended those who were teased at school. He picked people back up when they were down. He was a good friend to all, including his sister with whom he shared a special bond. 

The finished quilt, sewn from jeans, quilted and bound,
with one of Andrew's pockets doubling as label and storage.

The two-toned backing in (what else?) cowboy motifs.

On December 29, 2013, at the tender age of 13, Andrew passed away as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. On the brink of becoming a man, it would seem that  Andrew had a lot of years yet ahead of him, but to those who knew him best, it seems that he lived more in his thirteen years than most people do in an average lifespan—a lot of living  was definitely crammed into his short journey through mortality.

The text for this post has been graciously submitted by Andrew's grandmother, who commissioned me to make Andrew's quilt just one week prior to Thanksgiving. She hoped I could complete it by Christmas to give to his mother. Just five days before Christmas, it was overnighted by his grandmother on the west coast to Oklahoma. Andrew's quilt arrived at his mother's workplace on Christmas Eve, and it was welcomed with tears. 
I think God intended her to have it. 
Every quilt has a story.