When friends who aren’t quilters see my tiny sewing studio (which is more like a ‘sewing corner’ than a full sewing studio!) one of the first things they ask is how I find the time to cut, piece, sew and quilt my many half-finished projects. Then, once they see my growing fabric stash, they have another question: how do you find the money to keep buying fabric? Quiltmaking might require a bit of an investment—of both hours and dollars—but for me, it’s worth it, just to keep quilting!

Three quilters interviewed in Houston, Texas at the 2011 International Quilt Festival talked a bit about finding the time and money to keep quilting and how those challenges affect quiltmakers today.


Lynn Welch: “I think time is a huge issue for quiltmakers. The second one would be with the economy would be money. You know we’re looking at quilt fabrics that are over ten dollars a yard, spools of thread at four dollars a spool and that’s going to start impacting what people buy and what they make. I think you’re seeing the generations behind mine as having a lot of time constraints. If they can’t get into careers and are working two or three jobs just to make even, I see that with my nieces, they don’t have a lot of free time to do handwork or even machine work. You’re seeing a growth of the modern quilt guilds which are people that are doing much simpler quilts, not so complex, but they still love quilting and using fabric 

but it’s a whole different way of looking at quilting, which I’m glad to see that that’s happening. I think time for a lot of people and then money probably are going to constrain the industry.


Sharon Gaylor Chambers: “I think finding time to do their craft, their art. You really have to be able to do that. With most of the women these days working outside the home, it’s difficult because I’m privileged to have been able to work and do my craft and then retire and do my thing here.”



Gail Valentine: “The price of cotton [laughing.] We were commenting on the price of cotton, it must be really hard for new quilt makers to build up a stash like we certainly did years ago. Things change, up and down. I remember in the 70’s there just didn’t seem to be that much available. A lot of quilters started quilting in the 80’s and learning how to quilt in the 80’s. I had no stash, but I was able to build it up and beyond.”

You can read more stories from the International Quilt Festival (and hundreds of other locations!) 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


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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