The Q.S.O.S. archives are full of stories about starting to quilt. It seems that everyone has a great story about how they “caught the quilting bug”. There are stories about learning the basics from family members, world-renowned teachers and even internet tutorials! But there are also many stories about teaching others to quilt–from daughters, to grandsons, to whole groups at a local guild or quilt shop. Today’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features two stories about helping future generations catch the bug!

Sandra McLeod of Texas says:

14-31-E8B-1-McLeodB“I am teaching my granddaughter to quilt. She’s eight. And we have finished two quilts now. I have her doing little blocks, I just pick up scraps from my quilt room, and I make strips a certain width . I have her sew two together, and then a fat strip on the end. We just put it in rows, and it’s just cute. Then, she picks out the border . Now, I’ve got her working on a charity quilt. Now, her seams aren’t always straight, but she likes to turn on the television while she’s working. So, she looks up at the TV at the same time she sews. So, those come out. But I don’t say anything to her, I just take it out, and pretty soon I slip that to her again and say ‘sew this.’ I don’t get to play with her all that often, but I am hoping that this is teaching another generation the pleasure that I’ve had in this.”

Elaine Evans of Vermont shares a story about teaching a young visitor to the United States to quilt:


“When I had an ESL [English as a Second Language.] student stay with me one summer,she came into the house and I took her into the bedroom. I said, ‘Well, this is your bedroom. There’s a hand-made quilt on your bed. I’d rather you didn’t eat on it or drink on it or anything like that, to mess it up and make it look terrible.’ She said, ‘Okay.’ She was a very nice young girl. She just loved the quilt. Of course, she said, ‘Do you have other quilts?’ I said, ‘Yes. Do you want to see them?’ She said, ‘Yes! They’re so pretty.’ She said, ‘Can we make one?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I think we can do that. What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘The maple leaves are so pretty, can we make a Maple Leaf?’ So we made a Maple Leaf that year. I showed her how to cut it. I showed her how to sew it. She sewed almost all of it. I did a few leaves for her. We got the squares all sewed together and we made a twin-sized quilt. She said, ‘Okay, do you want to tie it or do you want to quilt it?’ She said, ‘Your quilting is so pretty. Can we quilt it?’ [both laugh.] I said, ‘Yeah,’ but I said, ‘you’re going to have to quilt it, too. I’m not going to do it myself. You’re going to help.’ So she did and she sat there and she learned to quilt. She finished the quilt before she left, at the end of the six-weeks that she was here. She took it back home. Her mom was just flabbergasted. She said, ‘You taught my daughter how to quilt! That was just fantastic.’ A couple of weeks later, I got a package in the mail. It was all Japanese fabric. She had sent it to me because I had taught her daughter [Akiko.] how to quilt.”

Want to keep reading? You can see other stories about learning and teaching quiltmaking (and more!) 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:

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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