Just saw the story on how the Bernina still worked after the guy's accident, and it reminded me of the time I was in a hurry and almost forgot a stop sign that I was VERY familiar with. Anyhow I hit the brakes and my Bernina rolled over in the back seat and ended upside down on the floor. I was on my way to my very first quilting class and I didn't know if my machine would work either. It worked like a charm, but the light bulb did not work. Replaced the bulb and all was fine. It is a 1230 and it still works very good. It is easy to figure out too. I just got a 640 and need a LOT of lessons. I know eventually the knowledge will come, but my workhorse 1230, is my baby.
I had a job that allowed me to sew while I had down time waiting for customers. While gettig to work one day the road and walk ways were Icy, I slipped and my Bernina went straight up in the air over 6 feet and landed on its wheel. I cried not for pain to my body but the thought of my machine not working. After calming down and checking out the machine throughly I found it had a craked the wheel but ran perfectly. I did not even get it fixed till the next service when I could bear to be without it. You see this machine has been dropped off the table lots of times because the dogs and kids get cought in the cord and down it goes. (I sew at the kitchen table and forget to unblug it alot) How can you yell at the dog or the kids for a accident. I am now teaching my grandaughter to sew and she is 9 and already finished a quilt for her cousin. Life is simpler when you can depend on your Bernina. I LOVE MY BERNINA.
We have a group called, The Knotty Quilters, which is a branch of The Cheshire Quilt Guild of Keene NH. We gather every Tuesday, spending the day quilting and sharing. With the support from other guild members’ time and money, our group completed our first emotionally charged project. We completed two quilts and a set of curtains, transforming a room at The Cedarcrest Center. This center is a home for medically fragile children, who cannot live without 24/7 care. Some never leave this facility until they get older and are transferred to a nursing home. This facility also offers families, which never can vacation due to the constant demands these fragile children have. Many people out there don't even realize this place exists. The staff is absolutely marvelous, caring more than words can describe. There is also a teaching staff for the children, which follow the same school curriculum as our children.
This first room makeover was for a young girl. She was so excited to have her own room when she arrived at this center, we can only imagine her glee upon entering this room after our makeover. Included are the before and after pictures. The staff was overwhelmed with our generosity. We look forward to the other rooms we will be completing. They take such wonderful care of these children; they even take the time to fold the quilts each night, and set them aside, making them last for years, for the children have years of visual pleasure. They have some quilts over 10 years old, which have been kept in marvelous condition. We cannot wait to start the next room.
We walked away that day feeling blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference.
On Tuesday May 15, 2007 Don Davidson got in his Toyota Tundra heading to La Veta, Colorado to attend the Ricky Tims’ quilt retreat. He was also anticipating being one of only 4 students for Justin’s pre-retreat dye class. Leaving his home of Marlin, Texas (30 miles SE of Waco, Texas) the truck was loaded with all of the things he felt was needed. The camper had his luggage, fabrics and an ice chest filled with beverages. On the back seat were boxes of assorted threads, cutting mats and his Bernina sewing machine that had been packed in its foam traveling case. He was ready for a relaxing and creative vacation.
The trip to Colorado was without event. The weather was great, traffic wasn’t a problem, and he had the vehicle on cruise control (75 MPH), and was making great time. Sixty miles outside of LaVeta, Don was distracted by the scenery (it is quite breathtaking to see the mountains set so starkly against the open prairie) when suddenly he noticed a truck in front of him pulling a flatbed trailer traveling at a much slower speed. Reality check (or should I say “brake check”)!
Unable to react Don’s truck drove up and onto the flatbed trailer ramp, then rolled over and fell back down onto the driver’s side. It all happened in an instant. There had not been time to get out of the way to avoid the accident. Thank goodness Don was wearing his seatbelt. After the initial realization of what happened he checked to make sure he was ok. Everything seemed in order other than his shoulder was in considerable pain, and the fact that he was unable to get out of the truck.
Within a few minutes the Highway Patrol and EMS team had arrived on the scene. Due to the extensive damage they were not going to be able to have him just get up and out of the vehicle. Don used the cover of his thread box to shield his eyes from the flying glass as they broke the window. He then used his cutting mat to shield his entire body as the team broke out the windshield. Don was then removed from the truck, strapped to a backboard and transported to a nearby hospital in Trinidad, Colorado.
Treated for a broken shoulder and admitted for observation Don knew he would definitely miss the dye class and probably the entire retreat as well. Needless to say the truck was totaled and towed into town. So much for a nice creative vacation!
With no usable vehicle and unable to return home Don decided to make the best of his recovery time by “hanging out” with the retreat quilters. Upon his release from the hospital, friends from Pueblo helped him sort through what was left in the truck that now sat parked at a salvage yard. All of the fabric was wet due to the ice chest falling over. Most of his thread was scattered around and ruined by glass shards. The cutting mats were no longer usable due to glass shards as well. His Bernina looked intact, but it was a mystery at this point as to whether or not it would function.
Don arrived a day into the retreat battered and sore but in good spirits. You can’t keep a Texan down for long. Justin was great and helped set up a table and chair that would allow Don to work while wearing his new arm sling fashion accessory. Talk about challenging yourself when you sew, this man was on a mission. But the question still remained, would his Bernina work after going through that horrific accident?
The machine was plugged in and ---drum roll please---hummed into action. Way to go Bernina! You would have never known that it had withstood such tremendous impact. So, the next time you travel with your machine to a retreat, class, or lecture you can rest easy knowing this piece of equipment will withstand a lot. Pack it well and it will give you many hours of sewing pleasure.
In case you’re wondering Don is recovering quite well, still a bit sore from internal bruising from the seat belt, but otherwise getting back to normal.
Don is a retired Occupational Therapist who enjoys spending his time quilting in his studio (converted former childhood home of his wife) and participating in local town activities. His quilt interests lean mostly towards traditional friendship quilts, but he does enjoy art quilts as well.
McCormick, fellow quilters display work in quilt show
By Kris Winterton
For Midlander Stephanie McCormick, making a quilt is like putting together a puzzle. She particularly enjoys piecing geometric shapes into pleasing designs. A prolific quiltmaker, she’s not afraid to modify patterns or create new ones. McCormick’s handiwork will be featured in an upcoming show of the Midland Quilters Squared Guild.
The quilt show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Carriage House Hall. In addition to McCormick’s quilts, many other quilts made by guild members will be on display.
The Midland Quilters Squared Guild has grown to include more than 40 members. McCormick joined in 1997, not long after she became interested in quilting. "1996 was the year of my grandson’s birth, and my daughter requested a baby quilt as a gift, instead of an afghan, which I’d been making," McCormick recalled. "I joined the guild to learn. The first few years I used patterns, but almost immediately I started adjusting the patterns of others. I use their ideas and go off on my own."
That’s the fun part of quiltmaking, McCormick said. "Some that I’ve made are OK, and some are ‘Wow!’ Construction is fun for me – figuring out how the pieces will go together. I like angles."
She prefers piecing to appliqué work, and about 80 percent of the things she makes are wall hangings.
A visit to McCormick’s home confirmed the fact that she has an artist’s eye for color and design and loves to create beautiful things. "This is my favorite full-sized quilt," she said, indicating a striking bedspread whose batik half-square triangles are set off by black strips and black-and-white fabrics of several different prints. The intricate machine quilting was done by someone else, she said. She machine quilts her own wall hangings but doesn’t have time to do larger items. There are too many new ideas she wants to explore. She constantly has several projects in the works.
There’s a piece whose colorful concentric triangles form an octagon. She calls it Trippin’ Triangles. There’s one with tumbling blocks of several sizes and colors that form a three-dimensional design on a black background. There are photo quilts with photo transfers showing vacations with family members and a trip to Australia. There’s a snowflake motif whose shapes were transferred onto fabric using freezer paper. A large star pattern has jewels hand-sewn onto the fabric. In many of her works, bright colors and jewel tones are set off by black. "Black brings out bright colors so well," she said.
McCormick loves being part of the Midland Quilters Squared Guild. "I get ideas from it," she said. "The group has allowed me to do what I wanted – you don’t have to do what everyone else does. I think our group is very inventive. Everyone seems to not be afraid of putting themselves out there."
Members issue challenges to each other. A recent one that a dozen members took up was to create a Mexican-themed quilt. One woman depicted jumping beans with sombreros; another used fabulous Aztec signs, McCormick said.
Four guild members formed a smaller group called JNKS, which reflects the members’ first names (Jana, Nancy, Kathy, Stephanie). They take an idea and show it in four different quilt styles, and together they present lectures to quilters in various cities in Michigan. McCormick likes to keep busy creating things. She also weaves rugs, using leftover pieces of fabric. She and her friends have a good time expressing themselves through fabric art. "Most of my friends are quilters," she said. "Just being around people who are enthusiastic is fun."
Reprinted by permission from Lori Qualls, Midland Daily News, Midland, MI
In cleaning up afterHurricane Katrina Carla Crane found her quilt top amoung ruble and destruction unharmed along with her Grandmothers Bible. I picked it up from her when we were in Pascagoula, Ms trying to help them drag wet, muddy, ruined parts of their lives out the door and to the street. The blocks in this top were made by her grandmothers, aunts, cousins and friends many years earlier because now so many of them are no longer living. After I got the quilt finished and gave it to her thru tears she said it gave her much comfort thru the troubles and trials of the aftermath of that devestating storm. She said it was if her grannys all had their protective arms wrapped around that quilt top and Bible protecting them.
It was a beautiful spring day, actually summer like as it was 77 degrees outside & all was bustling to get the farm cleaned up for spring. The 1st order of business was to clean out the old hog house which will be burned down so a new and improved building/shop can go in its’ place someday. Yes, we were hit by Tornado Tues 2004 and things on the farm have changed tremendously since then and this is the final clean-up to be done from that scary night.
As I walked over to the hog house, dad (my dear father-in-law) called me to a box that was reeking of mold & mildew. Here’s something for you he said as he pointed to the open box. I looked and on top there was a thread stand with 5 small spools of old thread & then 2 mildew ridden sheets. I pulled them back for further inspection of the contents and to my amazement I found 2 quilts made with love no doubt by a loving grandma somewhere. I gave them a quick once over and there was not a stitch of mold or mildew on them, just some odor that the washing machine took care of after a few runs.
One was a patchwork of various fabrics & the other was a cute little Sun Bonnet Sue & Sunny Jim quilt that surely was happy to be back in the sunshine.
We don’t know when or why the box got put in there as the hog house hasn’t been used for anything but storage since the early 70’s, but I had a mission to do now that the quilts were found & saved from the pending fire.
With no labels on the quilts & the only other immediate quilter in the family that I knew of had passed at the glorious age of 101, I was off to do some investigative work, starting with a closer inspection of the quilts. Grandma’s father had bought this farm in 1893 after coming over from Sweden & she was born here on the farm in 1899. She was a teacher, a farmers’ wife & Pastors’ wife during her lifetime and I was blessed to have many opportunities to learn from her so I could pass down her stories & traditions to our children & grandchildren. The patchwork quilt was the only style quilt I had ever seen her make as she was a thrifty woman who never threw any good piece of material away and always took in others’ scraps that were offered to her, so I am positive that she had made the patchwork quilt. With some reluctance I have to admit that the 1st dead giveaway in it was the old heavy nylon stocking she used to make the brown patch in the bottom left of the quilt bigger so it was the same size as the other squares; 2nd, each square was made of several pieces of the same fabric sewn together and lastly, the backing was an old bedspread that had been pieced in 3 long strips and brought around the front for binding, another trade mark of her quilting. I’ll be giving the seams some attention, but other than that, it will go proudly on display for future generations to see & learn from.
The other quilt is a panel and looked to be made of fairly newer fabric (within the past 20-25 yrs) and is the one I will find myself doing some further investigative work to find the quilter, but if my hunch is right I won’t have to travel far for that either.
So to end this story, the hog house went up in a “Blaze of Glory” and by some Devine intervention as if Grampa Paul & Gramma Esther, previous owners of the farm & a Lutheran Pastor & Pastor’s wife were standing by close to make sure everything went ok, a steeple appeared in the front of the hog house as it burned and I’m sure Gramma was smiling with joy to know that the lovely little forgotten quilts are now happy, safe & sound and catching up on all the love they missed out on when they were left to live in a dark dingy box in the old hog house.
A few years ago, I came across the website www.uglyquilts.org After reading about this group of individuals desiring to help the homeless by making and distributing simple emergency quilts (actually sleeping bags) from recycled fabrics, I was compelled to make one. In my case, I made an UGLY QUILT using old, but clean, discarded blue jeans and khakis. I also swiped and used some of my husband's outdated neckties to secure and carry the sleeping bag when it is rolled up. (The website provides a FREE pattern for making the sleeping bag.)
This was the first quilt that I ever took to my quilt guild for "show & tell". As you can see, it really is ugly. However, I am very proud that I had actually completed it, and that some homeless mother and child might be kept warm by it. I hope that by showing it, others might be inspired to help this worthy project. Also, maybe it would encourage others to be unafraid to show their work regardless of whether it's as beautiful and as well constructed as anyone else's.
I found this wonderful 12 days of Christmas print on dark green and just had to have it. I was thinking of doing a different kind of tree, maybe a topiary but wasn't sure how to go about it. My problem was solved when I came across a 5 piece tree stencil that was a topiary tree.
I used each stencil to cut out the light then dark green leaves. The tree trunk, 2 piece flower pot and pears have all been padded like trupunto before being quilted. I just loved the "pop" of pink/orange/fushia tie dyed border that matches outfits on the characters in the larger border.
This was a slow process but I really liked the result.
The Designing Innovative Vibrant Artistic Sisterhood was formed in 2006 and consists of ten quilters who want to try new ideas and create original quilts. Our first project was a signature piece which was not to exceed 9 x 11 inches. This small piece is my contribution without the floral background fabric which is simply a placemat on which I laid my portrait for the photo. The entire quilt which includes all 10 pieces will be shown in the unjudged display at Minnesota Quilter's "Land of 10,000 Quilts" show from June 14 - 16. Enjoy!