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handstitcher/IL's Page

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About Me
I've been a quilter for over 25 years, but still haven't decided what kind of quilter I want to be when I grow up. I enjoy hand quilting and hand applique, and do both machine and hand piecing. I make large quilts, but also many wall-hangings and doll quilts (easier to work on at appointments and while waiting for my children). My longest-standing WIP is my crazy quilt, now that I've finally finished my Baltimore Album Quilt. I also enjoy reading, embroidery, needle tatting, and genealogy. I'm married with two school-aged daughters.
Hobbies and Interests
quilting, applique, hand quilting, embroidery, crazy quilting
My pets are awesome!
Adopted mix dog Sadie

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Handstitcher/IL's Blog

18 Mountain Road

Posted on January 10, 2016 at 6:55pm 11 Comments

In the early 1920s, my grandmother Virginia bought the house on 18 Mountain Road, with her mother and sister. She was teaching nearby while the others cared for the house. In 1924, Virginia married a widower named Benjamin. He moved into the house, along with his young son and his father. Virginia and…


The Taylor Children

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 6:01pm 9 Comments

I made this small crazy quilt to honor the memory of my grandmother and her siblings. Their mother died in Dec. 1904, and their father immediately took the children to his family’s farm in New York, before leaving them and returning to Wisconsin a month later. The children were split up and taken in by…


Return of the International Quilt Festival to the Chicago area!

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 1:04pm 2 Comments

For all of you in the Chicagoland area, the International Quilt Festival will be returning to Rosemont next June. The dates are June 21-23, 2013, with a preview night of June 20th. This show will be in addition to the one in Ohio. Here's the link with the details. Welcome back, IQF! We've missed you!!

Dilemma solved -- old block, new block

Posted on August 22, 2010 at 4:35pm 16 Comments

Last month, I posted a picture of one of 11 blocks I'd bought at a flea market. None would lay flat since they all flared out, measuring over an inch longer at the outer edges than across the middle. I was looking for suggestions on how to make the blocks workable. I ended up carefully handwashing two of the blocks, unsewing them from the pieced (and very filthy) background, and hand appliqueing them to a new background. I'm not sure how large I'll want the final blocks to be, so I left lots of… Continue

Suggestions welcome!

Posted on July 11, 2010 at 4:05pm 11 Comments

Hello ladies,

I know how you all love to help. I bought 11 blocks at a fund-raising white elephant sale today. They are hand pieced tulips, vintage 1930s. When I got them home, however, I discovered that not a single block would lie flat. I got out my trusty ruler and found they measured 15" across at the center, but 16-16.25" at the edges. Any ideas as to how to fix this problem? Since the background fabric has spots on some of the blocks, I am thinking of unsewing the background… Continue

Comment Wall (153 comments)

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At 2:50pm on August 8, 2016, Marianne said…

Hello, I love your story of your childhood together with your memories, sounds wonderful

At 2:59pm on January 15, 2016, Carol Ann Hinton said…

Yes, they do!  DH wisely bought one of the models designed for getting up pet hair, and with a HEPA filter ('cause I'm asthmatic).  Once you pick up the shoes and other miscellaneous clutter and define the area where you want it to work; it just chugs along by itself and turns itself off when it is done.  I just don't hang around in the same room.

At 7:16am on January 13, 2016, Pam/NY said…

I think that is one advantage of quilting...we can express our feelings of loss or success of life through fabric!

At 5:01am on January 13, 2016, Prairie Quilter Jan/NE said…

We are headed to Omaha today for a liver biopsy and a repeat pancreas biopsy.  There are two types of pancreatic cancer, and they need to know which type he has so they know how to treat it.  Each one has its own treatment regimen.  

He is doing well.  Still rides when the men move cattle.  (DS saddles his horse for him because he has lost some strength.)  Still gets out and about and does what he wants.  I am hoping he'll continue to do so for as long as he feels up to it.  

Thank you for asking.  And how is your daughter?  

At 3:57pm on January 10, 2016, Prairie Quilter Jan/NE said…

I'm sorry to hear it, handstitcher.  Hopefully the red tape will be resolved soon and she'll be able to get treatment.  

We've had some frustrating setbacks with my dad's cancer diagnosis and treatment as well.  But interestingly enough, each one of those setbacks has resulted in a blessing that we could not have seen beforehand.  I hope you'll be able to see some silver linings in the midst of disappointment and frustration.  

At 7:01am on December 31, 2015, Prairie Quilter Jan/NE said…

Prayers sent for your daughter, her doctors and for you.  

At 5:08am on June 11, 2015, Prairie Quilter Jan/NE said…

I wish you could see the wool quilts close up - the pictures don't do them justice in showing all of the various random  piecework from small, oddly shaped pieces.  No rhyme or reason at all, and not "crazy quilt" style either.  I was a little hesitant to suggest that they reminded me of the Gees Bend quilts, because I hoped that wouldn't be disrespectful.  I just found it very interesting that two similar styles of quilts made in the same general time frame would be found so far apart geographically, especially since the Gees Bend quilts were in a pretty closed community.  

The quiltmaker's crazy quilts were definitely different than these wool quilts.  Also, the wool quilts have no fancy stitching on them, but the crazy quilts were heavily embroidered.  

As for letting them go, I didn't feel they ever really belonged to me.  I felt from the beginning that they belonged to family somewhere, I just didn't know where to start.  I was surprised but very excited when I found out that my friend was a descendant.  I mostly rescued them because I couldn't bear to have them burned or sent to a dumpster.  He'd already burned some, which makes me cringe.  

I was delighted with the little cotton quilts and wouldn't have minded keeping them - the quilting on those were very fine.  But again, they weren't really ever mine to begin with, so I haven't felt badly about letting them go.  They wouldn't mean anything to my kids, since no one in our family made them, and they will mean something to hers.  

At 9:40pm on February 15, 2015, betweens said…

Thanks so much on your comment Handstitcher, the heart is from a pattern called Affairs from the heart. they are small blocks to work up and are alot of fun, not so easy for the beginner appliquer though..LOL

At 3:58pm on December 30, 2014, Prairie Quilter Jan/NE said…

We've found no hide or hair of her since that day.  No carcass, no crows (which would indicate something dead), nothing turned up at local shelters or vet clinics.  All the neighbors know he's missing a dog.  Most of them have spent time looking through their pastures for her, but of course, this country is just too big to make a thorough search.  I think Tell has resigned himself to the fact that she is dead.  She wouldn't get in anyone else'e vehicle, so he doesn't think someone else has her.  It's a mystery.  He sure misses her.  She was as good a help with the cattle as another cowboy.  Todd's dog died earlier this fall, so for the first time since we've been married, we have no dog on the place.  Thanks for thinking of Tell and asking.  

At 5:19am on December 8, 2014, Prairie Quilter Jan/NE said…

Thanks, handstitcher.  I was disappointed in my hair that day, but guess that's the way it goes.  We sure hope Tell's dog shows up, but he thinks she must be dead.  She sticks to him like glue, so he thinks if she could get home, she'd have shown up by now.  We've spent a lot of time looking and getting the word out to neighbors and such.  Thanks for caring.  Hope all is well with your and yours this holiday season.  I think I'm off to make a mug rug or two to see if I can't get some creative juices going.


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