Last Updated: 05/03/03


Vol. I, No. II, Sept. 2001


I believe I speak for all the quilting community when I offer
our prayers for the victims and their families on this day of mourning, September 11, 2001.

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9 NIV




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    Eden Mennonite Sewing Society:  This was taken in l993 of a portion of the ladies who are dear to my heart.  L to R:  Linda (Enns) Froese, Veatrice Nickel, Hannah Rempel, Elizabeth (Rempel) Kroeker, and Mary (Enns) Penner.  Some are still with us, and some not.  On average, we usually have around l0 active members, and I mean active.  We get together almost every Thursday, for all day.  Some of us just half a day.  There's always work to do and if you sit still too long, we'll find work for you.  
    Currently the group just finished a red and white "Hearts & Arrows" quilt for the annual state disaster relief sale in November.  More on that in a minute.  The current President is Dorothy Griffin, Vice President Lorena Jantz, Secretary Dorothy Janz, Treasurer Phyllis Hiebert.  When I came to this group back around '85, I think, I was an outsider and they took me in as a little sister.  Sometimes I wonder why they tolerated me at first, but they were all very patient with me.  They were usually careful to explain what they said when German was used, and I picked up a little of it myself along the way.  Back then, they averaged 22 per meeting day (or "nefraim") and their numbers have dwindled a little since then.  They still manage to get at least 12 quilts a year done for one benefit or another.  In real time, that's about 4 days per quilt.  Don't you wish you could get a quilt done by hand in 4 days?

    This was taken this morning (Thursday, 8/30/2001) of some of us in our little quilting room (which doubles as a Sunday school room on Sundays, but the quilt stays on the frame).  Left to right clockwise:  Dorothy Griffin, Shirley Froese, Veatrice Nickel, and Phyllis Hiebert.  They are busy little bees right now preparing for the bi-annual Country Festival to be held at the church on September 29.  It's a big affair with 50% of the funds for Mennonite Relief.  They have an auction of crafts, quilts, donated items.  All kinds of activities and foods such as:  tractor pulls, homemade ice cream, horseshoe pitching, demonstrations on making apple butter, beekeeping, quilting bee, peppernuts, homemade noodles, a pancake breakfast, and lots of ethnic foods.  Here's a picture of some of the items to be sold (the quilt in the background was my contribution--the pieced top anyway--it's called Grandfather's Flower Garden, from an issue of Quiltmaker a year or two ago).  If anyone needs information about this event, call Liz at (9l8)-543-2453.

    About the Oklahoma disaster relief sale:  Check out the Oklahoma M.C.C. web site at:  This event is held in Enid, Oklahoma, the first weekend of November each year.  This year it falls on November 2 & 3.  It is held at the Chisholm Trail Pavilion, Garfield County Fairgrounds in Enid.  I've been fortunate enough to attend several of these sales, and highly recommend it for any and all quilt enthusiasts and/or people who enjoy traditional German food.  Each Oklahoma Mennonite church contributes all sorts of items for the sale--quilts, peppernuts, zwieback, sausage, bierocks, veranika, new year's cookies (my personal favorite) as well as many other items to be auctioned.  
    I'll try to take some photos to share with you on December's newsletter, just in case some of you can't make it this year.

    What's New On This Site:  Well, we finally got the credit card thing done.  Now, everybody order something using their credit card, ok?  You can mail it, fax it, phone it--whatever.  Next on that agenda will be a secure server ordering system.  But not today.....
    We have a new project starting this month.  Everyone who is a basket fanatic can appreciate this one.  "Basket Beauties" is a block sampler of 12 - 12" blocks, all different baskets.  Two color examples are given, print & solid.  It begins with the Fancy Basket block.  An easy block using half-square triangle units.  
    The September block for "Simply Amish" is the King's Crown block.  A very easy block. Here's my finished top.   I haven't had it quilted yet.   I'm going to go and take it off the wall now, mark the quilting design, and take it next door to the quilters.  (That's an advantage I have, living in an Amish community, aren't you jealous?)
    I'll post a picture of it, (a "before" and "after") on the gallery when it comes back.  Well, 3 hours later, I'm back.  Got carried away marking the quilting lines.  Haven't got to the quilter's yet.  I put an ornate fleur-de-lis design in each of the large purple triangles, and also in the 4 black corners, and designed one for the center block.  Behind all that, I marked a 1-inch cross-hatching grid.  Also put some little fleurs in the center of one basket and in the center squares of the corner blocks.  When my Amish friend next door sees it, she's going to go "EEEEK!"  And I'll reassure her that it will be beautiful when she's finished with it. .....And it will be!


    I hope that you, out there in the real world, pay your quilter well if you don't do them yourself.  After years of quilting for people, I always felt overworked and underpaid.  And I was.  We once figured out that your normal quilter gets paid the equivalent of about $l.00 per hour if you stop and think about it.  You know it takes anywhere from 10 to 20 days to quilt a regular quilt, working 8 hrs a day.  That is from 80 - 160 hours plus time to set it up, mark it, and finish it.  I always appreciated it when a customer would pay me extra.  It's just like if you used to wait tables, you become a good tipper, I guess.  Have you hugged your quilter today?  Oh, sorry, I'm suppose to be talking about what's new on the site, not lecturing, right?
    NEW PATTERN-------House Hunting is here!!!  8SleepyHouse.jpg (88444 bytes)   This is another block of the month series with 9 - 12" blocks, eight theme blocks and 1 Log Cabin border block.  All use the "no template" methods so popular today.  You use 2 of each block for the center and surround them with log cabin blocks.  Go to the pattern page to see the quilt.  This pic is the "Sleepy House" block.  There's even an outhouse block.  This will be a free block of the month project, probably starting next month, but I haven't decided yet.  But you can BUY the pattern now, instead of waiting on me.
    Also new this month (actually I added it a couple of weeks ago) is a new pattern for sale:  Ozark Mountain Night--on the pattern page.  A gorgeous queen size quilt top that is surprisingly quick to make.  It has TONS of half-square triangle units to piece.  You can use your own preferred way to do that.  Personally, I like to draw as many on one layout (like a fat quarter size) as I possibly can and keep the lines continuous so that I can sew both sides of the diagonal as quickly as possible. Everyone has their own way of doing things.  You can do it one square unit at a time, or Nancy Martin's Bias Square technique, or buy some half-square triangle paper, and on and on...Anyway, this quilt is gorgeous in different color combinations.  We include a blank worksheet for you to copy and color pencil in to experiment with the colors yourself.

    WE NEED TO START A GUEST GALLERY SOON----So all you gals send in your pics of your block of the month projects and quilts using our patterns.  Since we are so new, we'll wait a month or two, to give you time to finish something for "Show & Tell".
    Another project to watch for is the "Unknown Star".  We plan to feature the works of someone known to us who should be famous, but isn't.  Maybe we can help a "wallflower" quilter bloom.  A lot of these quilters we know can create beautiful quilt masterpieces, but have heretofore remained anonymous.  We think their works should be shared amongst people who appreciate quilt artists.

    Well, that's enough text to read this month, don't want to bore you.

    Be thinking about the guest gallery.  And don't forget to ASK GRANNY  anything you've been afraid to ask about quilting.  She's been very lonely lately since no one has written her for her advice. OK?



August, 2001- Premiere Issue:  Explanation of Website Categories, Picture of Author

(Copyright 2001 Claudia E. Plett, all rights reserved)

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