Episode 151: Borderline

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mosaic topThe mosaic quilt in full.

mosaic border1Close-ups of the 2nd border fabric so you can advise me about binding.

mosaic border 2

fd and debbie

Me and my new best buddy, Debbie! She listens to the podcast, so when she and husband Bob came to town, we got together and talked quilty talk.

potholdersThe beautiful pot holders Debbie made me. How can I bear to use them?


mosaic cornerBad idea.

Question: Did your mother quilt? If she did, did she teach you to quilt?


Art quilter Susan Brubaker Knapp’s website:


Juki machine: https://www.juki.com/jus.html

Jonathon Holstein lecture: http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IQSC/JonathanHolstein-08.mp4


Look! A neat quilt!



Lecture on Ernest B. Haight at IQSC:



Ernest B. Haight exhibit at International Quilt Study Center:



I’m enjoying this book podcast a lot: http://booksonthenightstand.com/podcasts

Interesting article about bookish podcasts: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443991704577577524043521172

Have a great week!

27 Replies to “Episode 151: Borderline”

  1. I would go with a lighter binding because I am a rebel. lol
    Yes my mother quilts. She started quilting later in life but I didn’t decide to learn to quilt from her until I was thirty. She had been sewing all her life. Even worked in a sewing factory when we actually made products to be sold in this country.

  2. It’s beautiful!!! I love the borders. LOVE them. Excellent choice. I think it adds pizazz and polish, if those two things are even compatible. I am in the same color binding camp I think, to keep the impact of the big border framing it all.
    Question response:
    My mom’s sewing was a skill, but not really a passion. At least that’s how I see it in my memory. She made us costumes and shorts and dresses. She helped me when I was learning to sew in middle school sewing class, but my interest level was fairly low. She quilts now, but did not, that I know of, when I was young.
    My Mother in Law taught me the beginnings, how to use a rotary cutter, ¼ inch seams and even provided the fabric for my first quilt. She gifted me my mat, ruler and cutter for my birthday a few months after I purchased my first quilt pattern. To be fair, my mom and sister also were quilters by this point and the 3 of them all told me I would love it and just try it and so on. They even ganged up on me at the quilt shop and convinced me to buy my first pattern, even though I had nothing to make it with.
    My great-grandmother quilted, which I had forgotten until I unearthed my quilt she made me when I was young. And a great or great-great grandmother on the other side of the family also quilted and I have one of her quilts as well.
    So to sum up, my mom did not teach me to quilt.

  3. The quilt is wonderful. Job well done. My mother could not sew a button on. Thus my DaddyO fixed a Singer with only a straight stitch and a knee pusher to make it run. The machine was left in a house we bought and moved into. Then Mom had Lisa a lovely lady teach me to sew. I was 7. shelly beth

  4. It’s a beautiful quilt. But I’d have to swing it 180 so that the heavier bits of the triangles were at the bottom – that’s just my sensibilities. And no, my Mum had a small baby patchwork quilt, I think it was just squares and I remember a red border, but I don’t know if she made it. I was self taught and then took a beginners class.

  5. Listening to the podcast …. Yes I contributed fabrics for the blocks… I think some 2.5 inch stripes … I also sent some of EDYTA SITARS triangle paper for you to try but I do not think you ever mentioned how you liked using them… YOU might not have used them.

    I vote for the same blue fabric for your binding… I like bindings of a dark color that does not show dirt when it gets dragged off the bed. If you want it to be DIFFERENT … try bias cut stripe fabrics in blue and white …The stripes will then be on the diagonal and that is a nice look for a binding.

    As to who taught me to quilt…. MY mom was from Italy where she learned to sew and taught me to sew. I grew up making simple clothing. When I started junior high she got her first job outside of the home where she learned to make FANCY DRAPES and VALANCES. I earned pin money by hand sewing hems and sides on the drapes she made. After I left home I sewed home dec as I could not afford to buy coordinated anything… getting sheets on sale resulted in a bedspread and curtains that matched. It was pretty if I do say myself.. YOU might call it my first quilt but the quilting was about 12 inches apart and the batting was an old white blanket…. It worked for 8 years then I got a new bedroom set in my first house.

    I really learned to quilt when a local quilt shop organized a sewing group in 2005. I spent the next 6 years with a group of lovely ladies quilting. We organized a small local quilt show with no rules … one prize … VIEWERS CHOICE. We made donation quilt for local organizations. It was a lot of fun while the group held up…. They later moved to the local town hall but they had day time meetings and since I work full time I was not able to attend but I still manage to see them on occasion.

    My other source of quilting education has been books and the internet… I own a HUGE library of quilt books but the internet was a better source since I am a visual learner.

    That is the short version of my quilting history.


    Congratulation on 151 quilting podcast… we started at the same time but I am never consistent … and I tend to disappear for long intervals… Maybe when I retire ….at least that is my plans…

  6. QUILTING ARTS is a PBS show but the LOCAL station has to sign up in order to present it… I can see the show if I get up at 0500 on Saturday or Sunday am… I dislike how they shunt woman’s programs to unreasonable times.

    I get QUILTING ARTS DVDs from JoAnn Fabrics with my coupons. I enjoy what they show even knowing I will never make them.

  7. I agree with Nonnie about the dark binding. Since this quilt will be used on a bed, it makes sense to me to use a dark color that won’t show dirt. I use medium/dark backings on my bed quilts for the same reason. Have you ever seen an old, white quilt that is yellow just on one end? That’s what body oil can do. Disgusting but true!

    I am going to be in Raleigh in mid-December. While the rest of the world is at the mall Christmas shopping, I will be freezing on a soccer field. My youngest has a tournament on Dec. 13-14. I don’t think I can get away to meet you, but I’d much rather go to a quilt shop than to a soccer game. I’ve been watching my kids play soccer for 19 years.

    My mom was not a quilter, but she taught me to sew. She made all our clothes when I was little. I had 4 sisters, so she did a lot of sewing, and I did all her stay-stitching for her. I learned to sew by trial and error. I’d sew something, show it to her, and she would usually tell me to rip it out and try again. She wasn’t a perfectionist, but she wanted the clothes we sewed to look like they were ready-made. My mom also did ceramics, crocheted, knitted and taught me to embroider.

  8. To answer your question, I was one of those who discovered quilting in the late 70’s. Mom was a knitter and rarely sewed. I have her machine now. I don’t use it though. I have too many machines to pick from! hahaha btw, I do not knit either. I DO crochet and that skill was taught to me by my Mom’s older sister, my aunt Marie.

    Regarding the Juki. I own a Juki TL98e. This is a similar model to what you referred to in the podcast. There is a Juki TL98Q that came in between. It is a workhorse! I quilt 99% of my quilts on that machine. The used ones hold their value at $350-$450. I bought mine used, over ten years ago. I have replaced the motor on it and the throat plate because I abuse it so much!. Since it is so simple in design, repairs are easy to do by yourself, or by handy husbands like mine. 😀

    I have a speed regulator on my machine and have never used it at its’ top speed. It will sew through almost anything. The throat is a little larger than traditional machines. What I would replace it with would be the Sweet16 type machines. They have huge throats, but are sit-down machines vs those on frames. As expensive as they are though, I think I will do just fine with my Juki….or make smaller quilts. hahaha

  9. Okay, I seem to remember you cleaning out your Lazy Susan last year about this time. So can we infer that this particular task is a pre-Thanksgiving task? I actually cleaned out my pantry yesterday. Found 23 cans of canned corn. WHO needs 23 cans of canned corn, particularly when we tend to eat fresh more than canned? So most of those cans will be gifted to my company’s food drive.

    Organization idea for you. Check out Wunderlist! It’s fantastic. It is made for the iPhone, Android and Window cell phones. It can also be downloaded to your mac or PC. So what’s so awesome here? You can have several different lists. So you can share grocery list, keep your to-do list private, Put do-by dates for tasks, set reminders, make a special list for Thanksgiving dinner and assign tasks to others (share the list with them first). The possibilities are endless. I LOVE this app. Best part? If it’s not on the grocery list and I don’t buy it, it’s not my fault.

  10. I’m answering your question – who taught me to quilt – did my Mum teach me? So my Mum taught me to sew. I never wore a store-made garment until I was in college (true story). I started making most of my clothes in Junior High, got a job making display garments for the local fabric store in High School. Now I wear mostly store bought but I have to alter many of my garments because I am too short.

    I learned to quilt from the mother of my Mum’s friend. Mrs Loomis needed to be in a nursing home but she and her daughter were not ready to make that happen. The daughter cared for her Mom but needed one day a week to do errands. Mrs. Loomis needed someone to stay with her because she would forget to turn off the stove or take her medication twice. I was that Saturday girl. Mrs Loomis taught me to make quilts with cardboard templates. We sat together for eight hours every Saturday. It was the best eight hours of my week. She and I talked while we sewed. What an amazing gift.

    I got my Mother interested in quilting when I was out of college. She was extremely prolific for about 20 years but has slowed down a bit. I think her eyes are the barrier, although she says she is just too busy with other community activities. She plays piano for the local Senior Citizen theater group which is just amazing. She is also a CASA volunteer and helps with her local food pantry.

    So there ya go – my quilting history in about three paragraphs. $90.00 worth?

    1. I love it. You Have such an interesting story. I’m impressed by the value you saw in Mrs. Loomis. When I was that age i was far too self-involved.
      Tami in Denver

  11. Ooooo! It has come together so well. I Hope you just love it. See now, I have to comment in the middle of the episode so I don’t forget. You don’t mind if I do separate comments for each of my thoughts….,
    It seems that there’s a direct correlation between the number of comments you get and the number of episodes WE get!!

  12. I am glad to see that you added the last border without fussing over how the corners of the triangle border ended up. Life is too short when the muggles (nor most quilters) will never know. More later…..

  13. I just teared up at Terje’s comment!
    My mom taught me to sew when I was 8. I made a lot of my clothes, then, as I acquired a house and had children, did home dec sewing and made clothes for them. I kept wandering into the local quilt shop looking for things like zippers and Simplicity patterns (and not finding them), but admiring the quilts on the walls. Finally, I worked up the nerve to ask if they had classes and signed up. I haven’t sewn an item of clothing for myself since!
    I agree with Nonnie about the binding – match the outer border or use a blue and white stripe.

  14. Yes, I’m finally commenting. I enjoyed listening to you talk about our visit. I almost feel like a celebrity. I vote to bind the quilt with dark binding, matching the last border. I learned to quilt in the late 70’s from classes at a quilt shop. My mom doesn’t quilt.

  15. Very nice job on the mosaic quilt. I do like the blue borders and I would probably do as you suggested and make the binding of the same blue fabric.

    No quilters on my side of the family. I come from a heritage of handcrafters – my grandmother did beautiful crochet and embroidery and my mother was accomplished at making clothing and knitting. I started quilting int he early 80’s and am self-taught.

    Nice stories here. Thanks for the question to start the memories.

  16. You have probably already decided on the binding (I am in a perpetual state of behindness, BTW), but I would go with dark. The dark border looks great, provides an excellent frame and you don’t want to start your viewers wondering why the quilt is starting over in the binding. You want to keep their eyeballs on the center and the fabulous border.

    My mother did not teach me to quilt. I don’t know of anyone in my family who quilted before me. I sort of taught my mother (marysartmusings.blogspot.com) to quilt, but I come from a LONG line of needlewomen including my mother who sewed and did a lot of other crafts. You can read more about it: http://www.artquiltmaker.com/blog/about/

  17. The mosaic quilt looks fabulous! Congratulations! I vote with the dark blue binding.

    My Mom did not quilt but she sewed many of our clothes and taught me to sew. My best friend’s Mom taught us to appliqué Sunbonnet Sue blocks when we were twelve or thirteen. I finished my first quilt before I moved to college by adding a sashing to my Sunbonnet Sue blocks: 5″ squares of scrap garment fabric in a patchwork sewn with 5/8″ seam allowances. I put in a two inch thick polyester bat and machine quilted along the seam lines on my Mom’s solid steel Kenmore machine. The scrap fabric came from both families, and I still remember the original dresses, and I still have some of the scrap fabric in my stash. And I still love scrap quilting the best!

    My Mom was a Family Circle/Women’s Day reader. One of her treasures was a big stack of McCalls Needlework magazines from the sixties/early seventies. My sisters and I would pull them out and paw throughout them whenever we got the urge to make something.

  18. Hi Frances. I have not commented in a while, but I’ve been meaning to. (I haven’t posted regularly to my blog either, but I know how much comments mean to me when I get them, so every once in a while I know I should comment on my favorite blogs/podcasts.)

    Love the mosaic quilt. Whatever you do will be good. Trust yourself.

    As for quilting…My mom didn’t like to sew, so I pretty much taught myself when I was little, but in the 70s, she picked up the quilting trend and started quilted by hand. I was away at school at that time, so I don’t think I realised that she quilted until I had already started myself. I learned mostly out of books and TV and then the Internet (but I was pretty experienced by the time I started cruising the Internet for info.)

    Unbeknownst to either of us, my older sister also started quilting around then.

    For a while, we each did different stuff. I pieced by machine (but never finished anything unless I tied it.) My sister quilted. (I would give her my tops… funny though, I never got a completed one back!) And Mom was really, really into applique (Baltimore Album style) She was awesome (I hope she goes back to it soon!)

    Nowadays, I do everything: piecing, quilting. Mom mostly hand quilts although she’s slowly getting back into applique (folk art style), and my sister is on the road for business all the time, so she doesn’t quilt anymore. (She keeps trying to give me her fabric.)

    –A.G. Lindsay

  19. The Mosaic Quilt is gorgeous! I love how all the different fabrics make it appear to shimmer. It was well worth all the time you have put into it.

    I’m going to agree with Nonnie, et al, about either matching the binding to that last border or a stripe cut on the bias.

    My mom and grandmother sewed, but neither of them grew up making quilts. My mom learned to quilt around the same time as I did, in the mid ’90s. I know I’ve told the story before about how we made our first quilts together. We do have an antique quilt in the family that was made by – we think! – a great-aunt on my dad’s side. It is all cross stitched on whole cloth and hand quilted. Amazing! That would be a good #TBT post now that I think of it. You know, if I can ever get back to blogging again!!

  20. The mosaic quilt top looks fabulous!

    Normally I like to bind with a contrasting color to frame the quilt I am in the same camp as our fellow quilters who have commented before me – use the same color as the border. You already have the frame with the border and you don’t want to take away from it.

    Btw Borderline is a Madonna song that I’ve not been singing in my head since I finished your podcast about an hour ago. I’m such an 80’s MTV kid at heart…. Lol

    Your question: No my mother did not teach me to quilt. My mother sewed when I was younger, she became disabled just before I had children so I then started to make my children Halloween costumes etc. I took up quilting in 2010 when I needed a hobby per a history teacher who told our class we needed a diversion during this particular difficult subject. (The Holocaust) I feel that Ive been taught with a combination of myself, bloggers and podcasters.
    Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Hope you had a lovely day with family.

  21. Hi Frances, I’m not done listening yet, but… Mosaic top looks fantastic! I like the HST border! And no, my Mom is not a quilter. She is a seamstress/taylor by trade, but never worked as a seamstress. She used to work at an office, then sewed heavy duty working gloves part time and had an industrial sewing machine, as well as a singer treadle. I watched her sewing all the time, and thought myself when I was about 12. I grew up in Hungary, and did embroidery as a traditional hungarian craft. We didn’t know what quilting/patchwork was. I thought myself to quilt in 2002, after watching Simply Quilts on HGTV for almost a year.
    I have a question about your Christmas cookie making. You mentioned you had to clean out your freezer before making the cookies. Do you bake, and then freeze them, or you freeze the cookie dough? I want to make cookies for Christmas every year, but I usually bake them 1-2 days before Christmas. I would love to get rid of that stress by starting making them now. I baked my fruit cakes already, and they’re soaking in rum :)))) back to the podcast!

  22. Oh Francis-
    I feel like I’ve let you down by not commenting over the last few weeks. Then I finally get around to listening and you mentioned me by name! Please accept my apologies. I love listening to everything you podcast about so I will try to be more regular about commenting. If feels like more of a conversation that way!

    I grew up from a family of makers. Both of my grandmothers were quite active in the kitchen. One of them knitted, the other sewed clothing, curtains, crocheted and reupholstered furniture (now there is a skill I wish I had!). I remember my mother making a lot of my clothes as a child and she also sewed Barbie clothes, bless her heart! My mother also painted ceramics and did macrame in the 70s.

    I learned to sew from my home-ec teacher as it didn’t work well to learn from my mom. A bit of a personality clash. When I was in college, I began counted cross stitch and after getting married, I made my first quilt using instructions from a book I received from the craft book of the month club. I was definitely hooked! I do some paper crafting as well, but quilting is my passion!

    Thanks for mentioning me in your podcast. I go all “fan girl” when I hear you mention me by name!

    Brenda F

  23. I forgot to mention that I did teach my mom to quilt so now we can share that love. We go on retreats together annually and have also participated in a block of the month together. Her memory is begin to challenge her with processing information, so following a pattern is a bit difficult, but she is still sewing blocks together!

  24. Congratulations on finishing the Mosaic quilt! It must be so satisfying to finish such a big project. Love the HST border. I’m sure I’m way too late, but I say match the binding to your outer border.

    You asked how we learned to quilt. My grandmother (dad’s mom) had made me a couple of quilts – one which had literally fallen to pieces when I was little and another which I still have but I had never once discussed quilts with her when she was alive. Now I wish I had. My mom taught me to sew when I was about 10. I made stuffed animals by hand and machine. When I was in high school I took Sewing and made some lovely early 1980s clothing.

    As a young married thing, I inherited my mom’s old Viking sewing machine when she remarried, and I sewed mostly curtains, baby room stuff and some clothes for me.

    Just after my daughter was born, my girlfriend invited a few of us over to have tea because her mom was going to teach us to quilt. I didn’t drink tea, had no time or energy (one month old baby), and quilting had never crossed my mind. I planned to go back to work within a year as a primary teacher and would have no time for a new hobby.
    So of course I said “yes, I’ll come for tea”.

    That was January 1995. The rest of course is history. Thanks for asking.

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