Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Thank you for your readership, your support, and your comments on this blog over the last couple years. To give our readers a more pleasant and full experience, AQS has launched a new, comprehensive quilting information site:

You can find all my past and future blog posts at this site. Since the Quilt Views site will include content from me as well as my American Quilter’s Society colleagues, I think you’ll be very pleased with the amount of information we have pulled together.

Our upgraded website already has over 500 articles, with more added daily. All my previous blog posts are already live on that site, including the most recent comments from readers.

This website is hosted at a new URL, so please be sure to update your bookmarks, RSS feeds, and e-mail subscriptions.
Please visit us at our new, improved online location. Be sure to check out the site organization, including categories, tags, and techniques. And I hope you’ll sign up for e-mail updates to keep informed of the latest news.

You can find me now at

See you soon!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Barn Quilt Unveiling

This was a red-letter day in Fremont, Nebraska. Or maybe it would be better described as a red barn day! Candace Door, a Nebraska resident, was announced as the grand prize winner in AccuQuilt’s 2nd Annual Barn Quilt Design Contest, and her original quilt block design was unveiled on the side of the AccuQuilt headquarters building here in Fremont. From over 600 entries submitted, 100 semi-finalists were posted on AccuQuilt’s Facebook page where 10,000 fans voted for their favorites. The three top winners were then selected by Alex Anderson, Ricky Tims, and Eleanor Burns. (The winning designs are posted on AccuQuilt’s website, Eleanor was on also hand today to congratulate the winners and entertain the crowd with her rowdy Barn Quilt show, accompanied by music, laughs, and “live” farm animals including a rare flying pink pig, while promoting her new book, Quilt Blocks on American Barns.  

The idea for painting quilt designs on barns in rural America originated in 2001, where Donna Sue Groves meant to simply honor her mother and the five generations of quilters in her family with a colorful Snails Trail (or Monkey Wrench) design painted on the side of the family barn in Adams County, Ohio. In ten years, the concept has been eagerly adopted by historical societies and grass-roots art groups, and traditional block patterns now adorn over 3,000 barns all around America. The barns have become something of a tourist attraction in some states, with barn quilt trails popping up in rural counties nationwide.

Although the barn quilt contest event was certainly today’s highlight, the primary reason I am in Fremont is to participate in AccuQuilt’s first ever (and if you ask the attendees, first ANNUAL!) retreat for consumers, shop owners, or anyone who owns or uses an AccuQuilt Studio, Go!, or Go Baby! fabric cutter. Both the products and the company are quite remarkable, but I’ll save all those details for my next blog in a couple days.

In the meantime, take a peek at Eleanor’s book on the AQS website, She illustrates a variety of techniques to create 20 pieced blocks from 3” to 18”, including barn blocks. Sampler quilts photographed for the book showcase how the blocks can be adapted to a variety of styles and colorways as individual as America’s barns.  AQS members receive a discount on book purchases.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thank you from New Zealand

Just a few days ago I received this letter and photos from Yvonne Roberts, a 20-year quilter who is actively involved in the quilting community and quilting organizations in New Zealand.

Yvonne writes:
“When tragedy strikes, quilters want to do what quilters do: make quilts for all those who have suffered. Just after the devastating February earthquakes in Christchurch, I contacted some quilting friends in the U.S.A. for help and it and it snowballed from there.

From the quilters of Marlborough, New Zealand, I would like to offer thanks for the more than 2,000 quilt blocks and 20 tops that were kindly send by quilters around the world, including hundreds from the U.S.A. It was heartwarming to know so many people thought of us—without hesitation people packaged up blocks and quilt tops and sent them halfway across the world.
Beautiful, colorful blocks of all shapes and sizes arrived at my door daily. As the number of blocks arriving was beyond my wildest dreams, I asked five quilting groups in the Marlborough area for help: Picton, Linkwater, Havelock, Seddon, and Marlborough Quilters.
Over a weekend in May we held a 28-hour quiltathon, with 40 people coming and going and some stalwarts spending the full 28 hours there. It was a mighty effort by everyone, with 59 quilts made during this time.
Our quilts are being delivered through churches of all denominations. My sister,Coral Kay, is a counselor and has been able to target the areas most in need. The first quilt went to a baby born amongst the mayhem, which we thought rather appropriate—a new life, a new beginning. The oldest recipient so far is an 86-year-old woman, previously a survivor of the London Blitz in WW II. She is now too frightened to sleep in her bed so has made a nest under her dining table with her quilt.

What a delight we have had making these quilts! Already 180 quilts have been delivered to earthquake victims, and by mid-June when the project winds down, we are confident the total will be over 200.
To those for whom I don’t have e-mail addresses and haven't been able to thank personally, I’m sending this special thank you through AQS for your contributions. They are much appreciated.”