This month, we have a little gift for you: seven hand-picked quilt stories from our projects, each one about the different ways we give quilts — and what quilts give us!

As Tomme Fent says in her 2002 QSOS interview, I do think quilters are very generous. And quilters are so friendly. It’s like having a family connection the world over. You can go anywhere and find quilters, and just immediately strike up a conversation and have something to talk about. One thing I think is so great about quilting is what it’s done for me, and it’s also done for other quilters… Quilting is the most incredible creative expression. It’s a way of expressing grief, or joy, or love. You can just be as wild as you want or as conservative as you want. You can try something that’s totally outside your personality, outside the box. Or you can do something that’s just calming and relaxing.

Tomme’s thoughts resonate with me as I think about what it means to give someone a quilt you’ve made. It’s not only the gift of a beautiful handmade object, but also the gift of time, attention, and memory. But Tomme’s quote also got me thinking about also what a gift it is to be among quilters. A diverse, resourceful, clever and–most definitely: generous!–group. Thank you for being so generous with your support and your stories this year. We can’t wait to keep celebrating quilts with you all again in 2022!

Meg Cox

Our first Giving Quilt story comes from Meg Cox, who tells us about the memory quilt she made for her granddaughter, Lucy.

Jeanette Farmer

In this Go Tell It! interview, Jeanette Farmer talks about a quilt she’s made for a local child experiencing homelessness. Making charity quilts to give to those in need is a perfect example of the generosity of quilters.

Judy Whitson, QSOS interview

Betty Jean Weaver, interviewer: Another question is how have you given quilts as gifts?

Judy Whitson: Oh yes, I love to give. It is a sign that you really care for somebody when you give them a handmade item like a little baby quilt or a quilt for their bed or something, and it is more or less a memory quilt. I always put a signature block on there saying who it is for, the date, and who designed it and who made it, quilted.

Starla Phelps

Starla Phelps made this quilt for her husband — and it was the very first quilt she EVER made!

Eliza Hardy Jones

In season 3, episode 3, of our Running Stitch podcast, Janneken Smucker talks to musician and artist Eliza Hardy Jones about her quilts that interpret songs. They begin by talking about how Eliza began quilting: in the hopes of making gifts for friends and family.

Steve Nabity

Steve Nabity, then-CEO of Accuquilt, shared the moving story of this graduation quilt, made for his daughter. As he says in the interview, “every quilt has a story. Every quilt. And don’t take it for granted, because every quilt means something”.

Kim Van Etten

And our final Giving Quilt story: Kim Van Etten shares a quilt made by her grandmother, who gifted a quilt to more than 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As Kim says in the video, “she’s the reason I quilt”. Kim still uses her grandmother’s sewing machine to make her own quilts.

How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at:

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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