The past few weeks, our Q.S.O.S. Spotlight has been about the ways quilting has helped quilters through hard times, sad moments, and difficult passages. Quiltmaking can provide solace in a time of need, but it can also provide joy, camaraderie, and a heck of a lot of giggles. This week’s spotlight features a few answers to the question “tell me about an amusing experience that has come from your quiltmaking”. These are just a handful of many–from quilt disasters to humorous mis-understandings, clueless relatives and wild exploits at quilt camp–it’s clear that quilting and fun can go hand-in-hand.

Carolyn Gorham Guest tells a story about the hazards of multi-tasking while sewing:

“There’s an amusing sewing story at my mother’s. Because I was one of four girls, and my mother sewed, sometimes every table and space would be spread out with patterns and fabric and whatever. One summer day when my younger sister and I were sewing, we had a sewing machine set up on the dining room table and one set up out on the front porch. We were working at it. Mom was making bread. They were moving things from place to place. We got the bread done and everything put away for dinner, which was midday. My father bit into a roll that had a common pin in it… It was one of the few times I’ve ever seen him make specific requests about,  because he usually was an easy-going man. He wanted the sewing separate from the food.”

Shirley Fowlkes Stevenson overhears an opinion at a quilt show:

“One of the first shows, I guess that I vended in Paducah [Kentucky.] years ago. Two little old ladies came up in front of the booth and pointed at a quilt and one said to the other, “Mabel, that’s not a quilt, that’s just something you hang on the wall.” [laughs.] I still remember that.”


Gwen Otte shares some mis-understandings about a common sewing tool–the marking pen:

“[O]ne of our friends is an advanced math, algebra, trig teacher here in Gordon. And she could be my daughter. She’s much younger. But we invited her to come and she hadn’t known us very well but she came. We had a blue, almost navy blue and white, star quilt spread out and it was under construction. The blue, water-soluble pen was new at that time, that felt tip, and I had marked the quilting lines on the white with that. And she walked in. She sat down, brought her own thimble, brought her own needle. She sat down, didn’t say anything, started chatting, was rather reserved but we didn’t know her real well and after we had worked for an hour and a half or so, somebody said, ‘Well, let’s remove those blue lines from this white and see how it looks.’ She said, ‘You can take that out?’ And we said, ‘Well, yes, you use water.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I just thought you women had the worst sense of color in the world. That that would be in there forever.’ And so she was so relieved when we removed the turquoise.

Then another friend who was here that day went to a quilt shop and a few days later I got a cell phone call and the reception was terrible. I could barely make out what she was saying and she finally said, ‘I am in a quilt shop in Rapid City and my husband has been looking for that green bottle that you used to remove that blue line.’ And I said, ‘I’m not sure what you mean.’ And she said, ‘Oh you know, that green bottle you always spray that with to take the blue line out.’ You can imagine her laughter when I said, ‘That’s water in an old hairspray bottle.’ “

What’s your most amusing quilt experience? You can read more (funny, inspiring and entertaining) quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance website.


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

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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