Quilt-along 2021

I don’t generally go to speciality craft stores (I feel half guilty for going to the big super stores and half intimidated that they will tut-tut me). But once at Australia’s major craft store I had a salesperson tell me I should be buying fabrics all from the same collection so the colours match. Even though it wasn’t the look I was going for, it gives you that “ooh I’m in trouble” feeling. I guess he was trying to be helpful…


These stories are awful, my gosh. Art & creativity are limitless & utterly without rules. Nobody can instruct someone else about what the other person is supposed to like. That’s ridiculous, telling someone else what to like. Just no. I like what I like, thanks.


I have a friend who is a very accomplished watercolorist and also teaches. She’s recently started doing pastels and they are wonderful. She made the comment that you aren’t supposed to blend anymore, it’s not a thing these days. And I said “who says!” and she replied “exactly”. We had a good chuckle.

It’s sad that we are so vulnerable to criticism or implied criticism, I know my upbringing as a good girl in the 50’s often smacks me right in the face with ingrained reactions sometimes.

That’s why I love this community. We are so supportive and positive. It’s been my happy place for many years now and even more so in the last year and a half with social isolation.


I have worked hard to leave out words like “should”, “supposed to”, etc. I have learned a lot from people here and on FB about the impact of these type of judgmental words…yes, it is ingrained, but it can be changed, even if it is slow…I am amazed that those of us from that era have any creativity at all, but I think there were some very forward and positive people in our lives that helped us…I love this community for helping form me as well…


I hope your friend will forever keep blending!

I think I’ve mostly beat that inner good Catholic girl, I no longer care much about what others will think of me. But I still get annoyed when people are unnecessarily mean. There’s no need to actively make the world a less nice place - too many people are doing that already! I would love to talk with irl people about quilting techniques, like my questions about hand-quilting, without feeling like I’m back in highschool and facing the queen bee. And from a business perspective, I prefer to spend my hard-earned cash at businesses that are trying to make a positive impact rather than a negative one. So if you are very unfriendly to me I’m not coming back.

I like seeing all sorts of quilts at quilt expos. I’ve seen some Amish quilts irl that are probably the very definition of traditional and the craftwomanship in them is just amazing. I can appreciate lots of art even if the colour or the style doesn’t appeal to me personally or maybe I wouldn’t want to have it in my house. I can still appreciate skill and talent and hard work. I don’t get some sorts of modern art, but I freely admit I don’t get it, I don’t go around saying “a toddler could make that”.


Two stories about local crafts shops…

We have 2 local quilt shops, that until very recently were about equidistant from my house. All of 2 miles away, so both very close. (One just moved over to Brentwood, the next town over. Not that far, but more like a 20 minute drive, rather than a 3 minute one.) Quilters Garden (the one that moved) is much bigger and has an insane selection. But they were also literally scary to shop at. It was like being on an episode of Hoarders, Craft Edition. They had so much fabric, that while every single shelf was full, with bolts piled on top of those, and also a row of bolts on the floor in front of each shelf. The aisles were so narrow due to the stuff on the floor, that you could only walk through sideways, and it became difficult to find the thing you were looking for, because it was buried under so much other stuff. There were signs ALL OVER the store saying you couldn’t take pictures of anything, under any circumstances. There were rumors that the fire marshal had told them they needed to get things off the floor or be closed down. Shortly after moving here I ran over there to grab some batting for a quilt that I needed done right away. I could see the batting on the shelf, but there was so much stuff in front of it, that I couldn’t reach it. And there was a thick layer of dust coating it, so it had clearly been that way for a while. I ended up buying a few fat quarters, and I got the third degree from the employees, asking if I was SURE I knew what to do with the fabric, and if I was certain I actually know how to use a sewing machine, telling me I could take classes from them, if I was ‘just trying my mom’s machine’. Obviously they couldn’t know that I literally made my living sewing for 16 years, but still. (At the time I was probably 34, but I’ve always looked younger than I am, so clearly they don’t think much of 20-something crafters.) They were so rude, I refuse to go back, despite their huge selection.

The other local quilt shop is much smaller, and has a fraction of the selection, but they do carry good stuff, and fair-enough prices. Not as cheap as Joanns, but certainly cooler prints, and better quality quilting cottons overall. Bonus, they are super nice, and have never given me an ounce of grief, just spent time helping me find fabrics to match for bindings or borders. Because of that, I’m happy to go there and pay double for thread, just to help keep them open. (@Edel, this is the one I took you to!)

Meanwhile, we also had a local yarn shop. I tried calling them to ask if they carried Tee Shirt Yarn/Zpaghetti, whatever you wish to call it. They told me there was no such thing. I mentioned several brands and what the brands called it, and they said again there was no such thing. (There is. Even Lion Brand makes some.) So I never went into the store. Then the Women’s March happened. Apparently so many women went in to buy pink yarn to make Pussy Hats, that the owner freaked out and posted a giant rant on Facebook, telling anyone who wanted pink yarn that they were NOT welcome in her store, and calling them a number of names, including ‘disgusting’, and talking about how they should be ashamed of themselves. It actually made national news on CNN. I posted a review to their FB page, mentioning their treatment of me on the phone, and thousands of other people showed up to post their opinions too. Eventually FB locked their page citing ‘national controversy’. They ended up moving from that rather central location, to a new storefront in the middle of nowhere, where I’m guessing the rent is cheaper.

Finally, I think the only ‘supposed to’ I insist on, is when I forced my students to always wear safety glasses when machine sewing on corsets that contained steel boning. No one needs a broken machine needle in the eye. :wink:


So very recognisable!! I get questions about being new to sewing too. One time when I asked for an invisible zipper they tried to sell me a regular one because they didn’t believe I really needed an invisible one, asking if I had ever put in a zipper before. I’ve made most of my own clothing since I was 14, so yes, I’m familiar with different types of zippers, which is why I’m asking for this very specific thing.

I am very glad to have learned the traditional sewing techniques from my mum and later on my sewing teacher. I am happy to use some shortcuts now but I’ve learned a lot from the traditional methods. Other than a basic scrappy rectangle quilt top I made as a kid, I didn’t start quilting until 10 years after I’d started sewing doll’s clothes and maybe 5 years after I’d started to sew my own clothes. I’ve always approached quilting as a seamstress and it’s not until very recently (as in, since LC, and a little bit from the previous place) that I’ve started to learn some typical quilting tips and tricks. I wish I’d have learned those techniques sooner and it’s a shame that I probably would have if the local quilting scene had been a little more approachable.


I’m kind of the opposite. My mom took up quilting when we moved up to the mountains and there was NOTHING to do. My aunt invited her to a quilt class, and soon mom had a side business making and selling quilts. She would give me scrap fabric and tell me to make things with it. Soon I was making small quilts, but I really wanted to be making clothing and costumes. I taught myself to sew costumes using Simplicity patterns in junior high & high school, before going on to college where I majored in Technical Theatre, with a concentration in costuming. Then got my MFA in costume design & construction. Now that I learned all that, I’m back to where I started; making quilts!


I remember that Pussy Hat story!


I loved that shop @MistressJennie I just wished I had all the cash while I was there. :grin:

I hate gatekeeping in craft, as far as I’m concerned there aren’t enough people who do craft, we need to encourage more people to do more things and to break the rules.

For your curious folk: double pointed needles to speed up your stitching.

I think they’re on Amazon too. This brand btw, makes excellent needles.


I’ve never heard of such a thing but there they are on Amazon.ca. Amazing.

At the fancy yarn shop the other day they did me a favour by ignoring me and chatting together at the back of the room until I got POed enough to leave empty handed. With bad shop keeps like that, who needs a crafting budget? Sheesh.


Friends will tell me “you’re lucky, your mom taught you to sew!” and I say “yeah, but she was lazy, she taught me all the bad stuff you really shouldn’t do!” LOL

I hate hearing about how quilting guilds/shops, yarn stores, fabric stores etc gatekeep. So stupid for so many reasons, from social to financial. I was at a quilt show once and I heard all of these older women complaining about how young people don’t want to get into quilting and yet the next sentence out of their mouths was to trash a quilt that a young person had brought into the show because her fabrics weren’t reproductions of historical fabrics & she hadn’t hand quilted. Argh!!! Like gatekeeping in the historical costuming world, too. Argh!


I’ll give them a try! I like John James needles as well.

This reminds me, by the way, of the time that a shop focused mainly on jewelry making and papercraft but also had a small section of embroidery supplies tried to tell me beading needles aren’t a thing. Clearly they use a different technique so they didn’t sell beading needles, that’s a valid answer to my question, but instead they really insisted no such thing existed. I remember telling them (I was quite young then, maybe 18, I still lived in my hometown then) they certainly did exist, how else do people sew beads on fabric, since that’s not an uncommon thing to do? They told me people used regular sewing needles for that. Even when I told them I had owned beading needles they didn’t believe me. I walked away and never went there again. It was a smelly place anyway, the owner smoked in the back room.


This place is the total opposite of those awful stories. Thank goodness we have each other & our cultivated “can-do” attitude! Makers gonna make, yo, and creativity finds a way. We can have anything we want because we can make it ourselves. If you don’t know how, friends here can & will help figure it out! Go team!


I was asked to teach a friends 10 year old daughter to quilt because she was SO interested to learn. We spent time picking out a pattern and colours before they headed to the big box fabric store. When I arrived at the next lesson, the mom pulled out a panel of fabric and said the girl at the store said this was the best way to learn quilting. I read through the instructions printed on the panel figuring out where to cut and where to attach it again. When I asked about the extra fabric needed, the mom said the employee said it wasn’t necessary. I did my best that lesson and the next, with a child who clearly wasn’t interested, and then the mom said they’d get someone else to help finish. Learned later it was a 16 year old but never found out if they’d actually finished.

Another friend asked me to teach her quilting. Again we picked out a pattern then headed to the same big box fabric store together. We picked out fabrics for her oldest grand daughter and then I said I was going to look around for a few minutes for my own project. When I saw her again, she said she’d had her fabrics cut, which surprised me as we hadn’t calculated amounts. Then she showed me the fabric and said the girl cutting thought my choices were wrong and suggested a colour that didn’t fit at all but my friend listened to her. She also sold her a meter of every fabric because that was the best way to buy it. Later, my friend decided the new colour looked wrong so didn’t use it and had lots of extra fabric, some of which she’d never use again.

If only both of them had listened to experience and not the fabric store girls.


What a waste of good learning opportunities! I’d love to have an experienced teacher like you.


I marionberries submit this as my October BOM entry.

This one was a challenge, I converted to a 9" block and calculated correctly! Only a few rip and redox. Corners are a bit wonky, but I’m happy it came together at all.

I missed the Oct. Prompt, anyone remember it?


I really like how your BOM came out! I can’t remember your other BOMs, do they all feature similar colors?

Here is this month’s prompt and the quarterly challenge:

1 Like

@homerof2, thanks for “accidentally” reminding me to add it! :slight_smile: