Summer is officially here! And with it, plenty of trips to the pool, glasses of lemonade, beach visits and especially summer road trips! In this week’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight, Joyce Saia shares her story of making a quilt on the road, complete with an emergency fabric order and a stop at a laundromat!

Image“Well, my quilt is called “Logs and Leaves” because obviously I’ve got the Log Cabin blocks and the leaves in the border. It’s 80″ by 80″ and I made this in Beaumont. Actually, I finished it in Beaumont, Texas but I made most of it while I was on the road. Every year my husband and I travel for about four and a half months in the motor home. I always take my sewing machine and my supplies and as much fabric as I can sneak on board. This particular quilt I made in 2009. I knew that I wanted to make a log cabin quilt and I had a collection of Cherrywood fabrics. Before we went on the trip, I cut a whole bunch of fabric strips. So I just took strips, I didn’t have to take a bunch of fabric with me on the road. I made myself a block and copied it on paper foundations and took that with me. On the road, anytime we would stop for a couple of days, I would sew. I just made blocks most of the summer. When I had them about done and when I got to Pasco, Washington, I have a daughter in Pasco who quilts; we went to her Bernina store or the one where she frequents. They happened to have this embroidery pattern that was with leaves called “Colors of Autumn”. The rest of the way I embroidered. But first I didn’t have enough fabric to make the border out of. So we ran to Anacortes, Washington and I had the number for Cherrywood. I called Cherrywood fabrics and talked to Carla there and said I needed some yardage quickly because we were moving. I couldn’t stand and wait for mail to come. I didn’t know for sure what color, but I thought chocolate brown was safe, I know what color that was. I asked her for chocolate brown. She shipped two yards of chocolate brown to me by priority mail. She sent it that day and I had it Imageabout two days later and then of course went to a laundromat and washed the fabric. I ironed it and then started cutting it into strips to make the border. The embroidery design I just made up as I went along. I put one design in the center and then I just made four borders the same. I couldn’t put it together on the trip because I can’t put a big quilt together in my motor home. I had it all ready to go for when I got home. Then I put the quilt together and did the border. For the binding I found a stripe that was the perfect coloring. I found the embroidery design that seemed to just match it perfect. It’s actually appliquéd but it has embroidery on it. It’s one of my favorite quilts.”



You can read more stories about quilting on-the-go AND at home at the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Alliance’s site.


Posted by Emma Parker
Project Manager,  Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories