Today’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight is on Charles Wunderlich, a retired member of the US Air Force who began quilting after leaving the service. Charles shared with Kay Jones how he began quilting in his interview conducted 13 years ago today.

ImageKay Jones: Now, how did you become interested in quilting?

Charles Wunderlich: Well, my mother brought a top with her on a visit one time, here in Fort Worth. And I said, ‘What are you doing with that, are you going to quilt it?’ [CW is referring to his mother.] ‘No, we are going to quilt it.’ [CW is referring to himself.] ‘I have never quilted, I know what a needle is and a thread is, and that’s the extent of it.’ [CW referring to mother.] ‘Well, we’ll make it.’ So, we started each one of those deals, put the needle through and pull it back up. So, after an hour, I worked a little ways across, stitches about three to an inch, and anyway, that was a start. And, I guess I got hooked.

KJ: And when was that Charlie, about how old were you then?

CW: Oh gosh, I don’t know, I was 50-something, in my fifties.

KJ: And so, you’ve been quilting ever since?

CW: Well, off and on and some more than others, but I have never made it a chore. I sat down at quilt-frame quilt and after a few stitches I decided, ‘Ah, this is not for me morning,’ and I get up and move the quilt and take off. Or I might quilt through lunch, all day long and get up to go to the doctor and come back and quilt some more.

KJ: Quilt some more.

CW: So, it’s according to how I feel, but I’ve never made it a chore. It remains an enjoyable hobby, if that’s what you call it. And I’ve been with it now for twenty-six, almost thirty years. […]I’m retired. I spent thirty years in the U.S. Air Force.

KJ: In the Air Force? That take you to different parts of the world?

CW: Oh, took me to different parts, yes. Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, spent two short tours in Vietnam. Spent four years at then Carswell Air force Base, built a house, married, left the house, kept it rented, moved back to it when I got out of the service. But, while I was in the service there were too many other things that had to be done, so this came after I retired.

KJ: The quilting came after retirement. You weren’t quilting when you were traveling around the world, but were you interested at all in quilts and quilting?

CW: Never crossed my mind.

KJ: Not till your mother said you’re going to learn to quilt?

CW: That tripped the trigger.

KJ: Why do you think she decided then was the time Charlie?

CW: I don’t know, there was never any comments. I never asked the question, ‘Hey why did you do that? Why did you bring that quilt?’ But, that started it. And it’s all, I don’t even know what crossed her mind, she never said why she brought that. But, she did tell me who was going to quilt it.”

KJ: And you did.”


You can 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:

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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