May 11, 2022

Video Skills Update

My January blog post on developing video skills for workshop teaching and YouTube outreach is in need of updating already! 

I splurged (lucked into a sale!) on a great ring-light designed specifically for filming top-down demos.  I'm glad I waited until I'd done some filming without much investment past my DIY equipment.  That way, I knew what my situation and video goals needed. 

April 21, 2022

Double Wedding Ring Times Two

A customer sent me two Double Wedding Ring quilts made by her grandmother.  She asked if I could take pieces off of the more “loved up” quilt (great words!) and use them to restore the less damaged one.  The quilts were both totally scrappy.  Some fabrics appeared in both quilts, but not all.  This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to try that scenario! 

The owner told me:
My grandmother... used my mom's little dresses and probably her sisters' dresses also. My grandmother had 5 girls.

March 16, 2022

Memory Quilt


Here is why people treasure quilts.  This quilt holds so many loving memories, symbolizes such a great story, and inspired this beautiful essay.  (Notes and photos on the repair process follow the story.)

My paternal grandmother made this quilt in the mid-1990s.  It was born from love that went back one long lifetime, and love that she wanted to carry forward several more lifetimes.

Grandma was a proud, tough “Okie.”  Born in 1919, she came of age in the worst hard times:  on a homestead farm between Hough and Guymon, Oklahoma, during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.  She was able to do some college.  But she left early, to join the WAVES during WWII.  Then, she married and had two kids.  She was stubborn, but she had a sweet streak, too.  Acutely aware that she was my only living grandparent, she tried to be all of my grandparents, all of the time.  She lived an hour away, but she often came to important school assemblies and birthday celebrations.  We spent every holiday together.  And I spent lots of time with her, at her old farmhouse.  We gardened, read, exercised, played piano, sang, danced, listened to opera, cooked, quilted, and crossworded together.  As she approached 70, she set her heart on finishing her bachelor’s degree.  She went back to school at an HBCU, where she connected with people from very different backgrounds and took down challenging advanced algebra classes.  She did well until she slipped on ice, broke her hip, and was never quite the same afterward.

January 29, 2022

Improving an Improved 9-Patch

Do you wish you knew more about repairing and caring for your quilts?  There's another session of my Preserving Our Quilt Legacy virtual workshop coming up in a few weeks.  Learn about techniques, supplies, fabric dating, etc., etc., and bring a quilt of your own for assessment for repair and future care.  Full information on content and registration is on my website.

I recently did some minimal repair work on this lovely Improved 9-Patch quilt. Well, it was just a few small places, but there was lots of thought and several important decisions.  It makes a good story of how my process works.

There were two pointy pieces that needed patching, and a few other places with some small tears. 

January 19, 2022

New Skills!

subtitle:  When the Living Room Becomes a Video Studio

sub-subtitle:  You're all invited to my Preserving Our Quilt Legacy Virtual Workshop.  We'll be discussing vintage and antique quilt repair and care.  The full description and registration on my website.  

So.  Running a virtual workshop requires the acquisition of a few new skills.  Well, more than a few. 

January 6, 2022

Preserving Our Quilt Legacy - Virtual Workshop - Winter 2022


You're invited to join me this winter as I share my nearly 40 years of experience with quilt restoration and conservation.

Techniques (includes access to demonstration videos)
Supplies (includes a packet of supply samples)
Fabric history and quilt dating
Storage, display, and cleaning (with guest lecturer Martha Spark)
Triage sessions to assess a quilt for each participant
Culminating in an on-going community of workshop alums


All the content and registration details can be found on my website.

5 Saturdays
3 1/4 hours each day
February 19 - March 19, 2022
via Zoom

Session recordings will be available for make-up and review.



December 13, 2021

1897 Wool Crazy Quilt

This family heirloom quilt has some unique embroideries and provides a glimpse into the quiltmaker's personality.  (And no, I did not leave my scissors on the quilt by mistake.  They are embroidered with a variegated wool thread, giving them a wonderful metallic appearance!)

Here's what the quilt owner told me about the quilt:
I believe it was made by my great-grandmother, Johanna Gerbracht (born: 1865).  She was married to Henry Gerbracht (born: 1863).  They lived in Chatsworth, IL.  The best record I have online says that she married Henry in 1888.  That would make the quilt (dated: 1897) around their 10 year anniversary.  Online records show that she had three children, one of whom was born in 1898/1897.  You would know better than I, but that quilt doesn't scream baby quilt to me.  So I'm assuming that she made it for her and her husband. 

There are plenty of photos below, and you can see some other views of the quilt and listen to more descriptive information in a short video.