A Nice Surprise at Quilt Guild
My favorite night of the quilt guild’s year is the garage sale, hands down. There are always things to be shared and treasures to be found. My small guild in Holdrege, Nebraska had a garage sale in January. I tried hard to find interesting things in my studio that I no longer needed to benefit the group in a small way.
I recreated this image and it doesn’t do justice to the hundreds of 1-1/2″ strips I had on hand. The strips were passed to me from a co-worker (I think) at Quiltmaker quite a few years ago. They were of every persuasion and they weren’t terribly appealing. I knew they wouldn’t do well just stuffed in a bag but I had an idea.
I sorted them into groups.
I divided them into categories like Country, 30s, Brights and Batik. All of a sudden, they didn’t look so bad! Moda Fabrics coined the term Honey Buns for precut strips 1-1/2″ wide, so I rolled my strips up into bun-size bundles and tagged them “Homemade Honey Buns” with a price of $2. They all sold. 😊
Fast forward to the February meeting of the same quilt guild.
There was a bumblebee quilt by my friend LeeAnn.
My friend Barb, who is president, always has a funny story to go with her quilts.
And this quilter used the Cheese and Crackers pattern from Atkinson Designs for a veteran’s quilt.
But then there was this one.
The maker, Mary Kay Warner from Arapahoe, wasn’t able to attend but she sent it with a friend along with this note:
Mary Kay had taken those long-forgotten strips, passed to me by someone years ago, stuffed in a bag, stored in my closet and finally resurrected, and turned them into a comfort quilt.
And she enjoyed playing with them, because they were somebody else’s fabric! Isn’t that the truth? It’s always way more fun to sew with someone else’s treasures! I loved the sets of three diagonal lines she quilted. Easy and effective!
When I called her to chat about this post, she was able to locate the magazine and pattern which had inspired her. Designer Kathie Holland was featured for “Weaving the Rails” in the August 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. Mary Kay received her copy as a gift on a bus trip several years ago.
Her finish is beautifully labeled, too. I like her abbreviations: mp for machine pieced, mq for machine quilted, with ♥︎ for love! I will borrow that idea for future labels. (I blurred the recipient’s name for privacy.)
If you look at the prints closely, you can see Nebraska Shop Hop fabric from years past! I like to think that each log tells a story. For the original quilter, some prints could be attached to memories. Isn’t fabric a miraculous thing?
So that’s the story of how someone’s giveaway strips, my closet, a garage sale, a bus trip, a magazine, a cousin, two quilters and a guild meeting all converged into one big happy ending.
Thank you, Mary Kay, for bringing this quilt to life. I’m sure it will give comfort to your loved one.
Tags: bus trips, comfort quilts, fabric, garage sale, honey buns, quilt guild, strips, UFOs
I loved, loved, loved this story of your homemade honey buns. Our fabrics, our quilts, our quilting sisters…. we live in different places but we all have that common thread that binds us. Thank you for sharing this!
It is a wonderful story and a great idea. A quick and easy way to use up scraps and since I’m a scrapaholic I can always use those. Sorting them into themes really makes sense and I’m going to try that with some of my scraps of other sizes as well.
I also loved reading your post. You are a great storyteller. Thanks for including a photo of Mary Kay’s beautifully written note (a lost art). My favorite part of your delightful story was the last sentence. Thank you for sharing!