Quilting Memories

My mom convinced me to join the Calico Quilters Guild almost seven years ago. It amazes me that that amount of time has passed. The Guild was started in 1986, when I was only four-years-old, by Dusty Majors. We lost Dusty last year and she will always be missed. As much as we miss her love and guidance, we show the same amount of passion that she had when we quilt. She was our founding mother, teacher and friend.

I’ve loved to sew since I was a kid. I’m not sure when I started sewing. The first two years of high school, I chose fashion design as my vocational elective even though I had no desire what-so-ever to go into that field of study. Mrs. O was always chewing me out and telling me not to sew that fast, but it was comfortable and I managed to sew a straighter line than when I went slower. We did have the quarterback of the football team and one of the linemen in our class my freshman year. They were laughed at by their teammates for taking a “girl’s class” but while coming back from an away game, the quarterback’s jersey has ripped at the seam and Matt sat there sewing it back together. The teammates stopped making fun of them after that. I don’t remember the lineman’s name. All I remember about him was that he was a big guy and defended me one day while I was attempting to decorate the display window. I was sitting in the display cabinet when the bell rang marking the end of the period. I had made arrangements with my next teacher to miss class so that I could finish the sewing project. As kids walked by they started laughing at me, but once the lineman said hi to me, everyone stopped. The display turned out amazing.

My crazy quilt made my members of the Calico Quilters and myself.

Taking fashion design helped me to refine my sewing techniques and I think even helped to pave the way for me to get interested in quilting. Aunt Margherite told me one time that there is no such thing as a perfect quilt. A quilt that appears to be perfect will have at least one flaw when looked at closely. Around town it was considered an honor to have one quilt made by here. I know I wrote about her a few weeks ago, but she truly was an amazing woman.

Joining the Guild was one of the best things I think I’ve done. People my age don’t understand the passion that I have for quilting. Yes I belong to a Quilt Guild that is made up of quite a few women old enough to my mom or grandma. We are slowly gaining members that are closer to my age. People seem to be going back to the ways of living from the turn of the twentieth century. We are starting to grow our own fruits and vegetables. I know that some people my age are learning how to can vegetables to make the most of the money we spend. One of our business customers told me that he had a customer pay him with a weather vane because they didn’t have the money to pay him and that was the only thing they could offer. Some people are desperate that we seem to be reverting back to the bartering system.

Surprise Round Robin. Made by some of the members of the Calico Quilters.

I have learned so much from the ladies that make up the Calico Quilters and I have done more for this community that I grew up in because of the Guild. We give back as much as we can. Every year we give out at least one $500 scholarship to a local student. For the last two years we have been able to give $1500 in scholarships thanks to the wonderful people who purchase tickets to try and win one of our beautiful quilts. We donate quilts to the Quilts of Valor Foundation which provide wounded soldiers with a handmade quilt when they arrive home.

About five years ago, I volunteered to become the Guild Historian and I am working on a scrapbook to protect the Guild’s history. My mom became the President of the Guild in July 2010 and will hold the position for two years. People are always asking me to show them my quilts and while I haven’t finished a quilt in a long time and have only finished two, I think, I have plenty of blocks that are just waiting patiently for me to put them together. I thought I would share a couple of the projects I have had for the last couple of years. Only one of them is finished. Enjoy.

The front of a crazy quilt purse that I have yet to finish.

A prairie braid made my Mercy White on my Surprise Round Robin.

Applique flowers on my Surprise Round Robin made by Margi Duffy, a.k.a. my Mexican Mama.

My monogram and the year I finished my Crazy Quilt. I won first place in the Tri-County Fair in 2008.

Every crazy quilt should have a spider web and/or a spider to symbolize trapping good luck.

An embroidered tree done by Jan Dunaway on my Crazy Quilt.

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