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