Have You Added to Your Quilt Library Lately?

The number of books focused on African American quilting has exploded in recent years.  Because I grew up in Arkansas, one of my personal favorites is A Piece of My Soul — Quilts By Black Arkansans.

If you are in the market for some inspiration, a how-to book, or just some plain beauty, check out these books about African American quilting. A quilt book also makes an excellent gift for the quilter in your life. Like fabric, quilters never have enough books.

Enjoy!

What Are Your 2011 Quilt Goals?

Even though quilting is a hobby for most people, it is still important to set goals. Now that you have organized your sewing room and made a gift to a worthy quilter, you are ready to set goals.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a class to learn a new skill.
  • Exhibit in a quilt show.
  • Join a quilt guild.
  • Finish what you start.
  • Design an original quilt pattern
  • Teach a class
  • Sell a quilt

What are your 2011 goals? With a little planning and fortitude, 2011 will be the best year ever.

Share With a New Quilter

If you are organizing your sewing room this month, you will definitely run across things you no longer need. One thing is universal about quilters is that we love to shop. Sometimes we forget we already bought something and end up with two of the same thing. Sometimes that fabric we loved in the store looks hideous in our sewing room.

Don’t horde. Give it away! Although non-quilters believe quilters make everything from scraps, in reality, quilting is a very expensive hobby. A new quilter is always grateful for anything that helps her with her new hobby. If you don’t know a new quilter, make  a gift to a quilt guild or a school.

Start the new year by sharing with a fellow quilter. Your uncluttered sewing room will make you more productive, and you will have helped spread the art of quilting!

Get Organized

The new year is a great time to organize your sewing room. After all, before you can accomplish those 2011 quilting goals, you need to assess what you have and what you need. There are many books and magazines that feature great sewing places. Most of  us may never have a dream sewing space, but there are always one or two ideas you can incorporate into your sewing life.

One such book is Dream Sewing Spaces which is available on Amazon. Organization is key if you want to realize your quilting goals.

Did You Attend Your Quilt Guild Meeting this Month?

Desert Queen, by Anita Crosby, 2009. Photo by India Brantley.

Quilting can be a very solitary endeavor, or it can be a fun group activity. I always come away inspired when I attend my quilt guild meeting and I recommend strongly that all quilters join a guild. Show and tell is always fun, and just the sheer creativity in the room is worth the trip to the meeting.

Anita Crosby

This month,  at the Brown Sugar Stitchers meeting,  we were treated to a workshop by Anita Crosby. She taught us how to make photo  quilts. Everyone left inspired, and learned many new quilting tips throughout her presentation.

Find a quilt guild and become an active member. You will become a better quilter.

Shown here is Desert Queen, Anita’s fabulous photo quilt of her daughter Thea.

Store Your Quilts Properly

If you own one of your grandmother’s quilts,  you should treat it like a priceless treasure. Storing it properly is a must if you want it to last for the next generation to enjoy.

When it comes to quilts, sunlight is evil! So the most important rule is to keep your quilt away from  sunlight.

Experts also recommend that you fold your quilt with archival tissue paper between the folds. Place it in a cotton pillowcase, and then place the pillowcase in an archival box. Re-fold your quilt at least one a year to avoid creases.

Storing your quilt properly will ensure that it lasts for many decades.

Block of the Month Programs Build Skills

Martin's Dream, 74 x 87 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2002.

Now is a great time to enroll in a block of the month program. Most quilt stores and some online sites sponsor them. In a block of the month program, you complete a block each month. At the end of the year, you assemble the blocks into a quilt. For beginning quilters, this is a great way to build your skills because working on one block is not as overwhelming as trying to finish an entire quilt. 

O.V. Brantley

Martin’s Dream by O.V. Brantley was the result of a  block of the month program sponsored by the Quilts and Fixins Quilt Shop in Jonesboro, GA. She added her own border of children holding hands to make this quilt uniquely hers.

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