Feeling a little sleepy this morning? For many places in the world, last night was the start of Daylight Saving Time as we lose an hour ‘spring forward’ and skip ahead 60 minutes into the future.

With time on our mind, today’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features a clock quilt created by Barb Vlack as a meditation on slowly losing time.

Barb shared with interviewer Karen Musgrave about the origins of her quilt and the symbolism of the clock it features:

This is a quilt that has a distorted picture of a clock that is a representation of what I understand my mother drew when they gave her the Alzheimer’s diagnostic test that is called the Clox Test. It was developed by Dr. Clox and just by coincidence the whole premise is that you want to see if the patient can draw a clock. Well my mother could not, and you can see from this quilt that the circle that would outline the clock is very distorted, all of the numbers are nowhere near where they are supposed to be, it is very disorganized, and it illustrates how this test has turned out to be a diagnostic tool for determining whether a patient has lost some organizational skills, a symptom that is associated with Alzheimer’s degeneration.

When I put together this quilt, I put the clock drawing on top of some pieced blocks called, “Time and Tide,” and I thought, ‘All right, we are losing time, my mother is losing time, and this was just one way to represent some of that.’ Actually, my father is losing time, too. When I told my dad about what was going on with my mom’s diagnosis (my mom and dad have been divorced for many years), he shook his head and told me he could not draw the clock either when he was given the Alzheimer’s diagnostic test. I am dealing with both my parents going through their Alzheimer’s journey. My mother lives alone, my father has a wife and they are a little bit different as far as their journeys, as far as what is going on. My mother cannot take the medication, my father can. So he is doing better.

It was really an interesting thing to go through and make this quilt, because just the process of making it made me do a lot of thinking. There are memories that go into this. There are tears that go into it. There is symbolism that goes into it. How can I represent a lot of the things that go into our lives right now, or even went into our lives for years previous? It has been a difficult experience to realize that both of my parents are going to be going through this whole thing with Alzheimer’s, because there is nothing we can do about it. They are just going to have to take one day at a time and deal with it. And we’re running out of time…

You can read more about Barb’s quilt, including how she selected the quilting pattern in her interview here. And you always can also read more 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: qsos@quiltalliance.org

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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