Hot Topics


Now that I no longer own a mid-arm quilter, all of the quilting I do will have to be on my home sewing machine. I’m okay with that, since essentially that’s what I’ve been doing anyway and it works just fine for small quilts. But what to do with my accumulation of larger quilt tops, the ones that I had imagined quilting on the mid-arm (when I got “good enough”)?

Well, in a flurry of activity this week I contacted three quilters, two of them local and one from out of state – and the quilts are getting done! It feels liberating to take steps toward getting unfinished quilts completed. UFOs, even when out of sight, are somehow never really out of mind, and I know my creative mind works best in an uncluttered state 🙂

The three quilters I’ve contacted are all very different in their approaches. Debbie Bunch, at Bunches of Quilts, has had a long-arm business for years, and specializes in edge to edge and computerized custom designs. Kelli Ruthruff, of Moon House Quilting, does all free motion work. Amy Johnson, author of Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures, is an impressive quilter with a successful blog that highlights her techniques and process.

I was photobombed 🙂

Opening the door to working collaboratively with another quilter on my older, traditional tops got me thinking about my art quilts. I feel quite possessive of them and initially was resistant to the very idea of someone else quilting on, say, The Princess, but once I started to consider it, I could imagine the awesome designs that someone like Amy could bring to the work. Hmm, two artists collaborating? Maybe…

I’ve seen this before at shows, where both artists are credited for their contribution to a piece. In broaching the idea with Amy, other friends, and SAQA’s online forum, I found it to be something of a  hot topic. Collaboration vs. work for hire – not everyone feels or thinks the same. Even among national shows the criteria for what is acceptable varies.

So while I take some time to mull over the idea and it’s ramifications, I’ll be looking to brush up my own skills in the quilting design arena. I just registered for a class on this very topic, taught by Hollis Chatelain, in Houston come this October.

Uh huh, oh yeah! … going to Houston for the International Quilt Festival there this fall with Candy and Brenda! We have big plans for fun and frolic in Texas later this year – and I hear it’s hot there 😉