3 Nov

To me, quilts are beautiful expressions of love. As a teacher, there wasn’t time to have such a consuming hobby. But I knew when I retired, I would make quilts. My first quilt was one I found in a book with simple applique stars and hearts. I don’t even know where that book is anymore. I made 16 squares instead of 12 from fats I selected at Joann’s. It is obviously done by a self-taught  amateur, but I’m still proud of it.  My next quilt was pretty much designed by me. I saw a quilt in a magazine that was made of framed machine embroidery. It looked simple enough. A friend wanted a quilt for her first grandson and silly me, I thought I could do this. I selected Sunbonnet Sam embroidery designs that I found on They were free designs which I embroidered on a muslin-like fabric. I chose softer colors and made a number of the blocks. Then I started hunting for a background fabric and a frame fabric. That is the wrong order of steps, which I now understand. I searched for fabrics that went with the color choices I made. Then I went to a shop that sells only quilting fabric. A nice lady helped me select the frame fabric which I didn’t have enough experience to choose and then I found a background fabric that used most of the same colors I did. It was perfect. Took it all home and started making frames for the various sized embroideries. That’s when it got hard. Spend days arranging and rearranging the embroidery, measuring the background fabric, cutting it and trying to make it fit. Finally, I started cutting the background too big, sewing it together and cutting it down to fit. And then I had my quilt top. I stretched the backing to my dining room table and made the sandwich. Didn’t know it was called a sandwich. I basted it with pins because a friend told me that was the next step. Then I quilted around the frames. In between the frames, I quilted by using the outlines of the little boys. It took me two years to finish the quilt. I still wasn’t completely retired and I had bitten off more than I could chew. I begged a friend to bind it. I was sure I’d never finish it if someone didn’t bind it for me. My friend loved the quilt. Wrote me the sweetest letter and called it a work of art. It is a work of heart.

The designs of the sunbonnet boys are available on They were digitized by Reg Marg who live in the UK. Their web-site is


One Response to “Beginnings”

  1. Diane November 18, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    Aww that is so cute. I’m not sure which is the more cute..boy or quilt!
    That’s the beauty of quiltshops. The people in them are so friendly and helpful. It sure is lovely. Well done

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