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Friday, September 3, 2010

Quartzsite Quilters Sept newletter

Listen. Do you hear that? I'm pretty sure you can actually hear crickets on our blog site right now.

Doh! In case you were wondering, the answer is no. I was not abducted by aliens. I was, however,

abducted by my grandkids, my dog, my flowers and the great summer season. What? People blame

seasons for allergies so why not blame them for our absences?

Greetings to every one!!!

I hear that some of you are already packing for the trip south. Since I absolutely love fall in Minnesota, it is way too early to think of the packing. Remember we do not have rattlesnakes here!!! I am sure they are just laying, waiting for me to come back to Q. so they can get revenge. I am absolutely sure of it.

What have you all been up to?? Have you been thinking of ideas for the Next 2012 raffle quilt??? We will start it as soon as we get enough people to come to an agreement. If you are coming in later....get your ideas to someone.

Let's see where are my notes? Sorry to say I have more bad news then good.

First is that Nancy had a stroke in the hospital when she came out of surgery. I just talked to her and she is recovering well and sounds good. Nancy says a big THANK YOU to all for sending cards and prayers. She is still in physical therapy for her thumb and fingers. She is very eager to get back to quilting in Quartzsite this season. Chuck hopes to be on the pavement mid October. I am enclosing her recipe for bran muffins for those of us that missed it.

One day after talking to Nancy about her Dad has one. He was very luck because it turned out to be a TIA and he came out of it very fast. Thank you Nancy for having talked about this with me. It was still scary, but I knew more about what to expect. My dad is having troubles taking his pills. Mom just got him one of those big pill boxes with 4 rows. I guess we are all getting older. This gives new meaning to "Live every day to the fullest!"

I am so lucky to have a computer to add and delete things as they happen. I have more unhappy news to insert.

Just had a phone call from Abby Wednesday night. She has breast cancer. Sept 10 she will be having a bilateral mastectomy. She will NOT be having radiation or chemo. Abby is eager to be back with her friends this winter.

Alice A. is in Redmond OR staying with her daughter while she awaits news of her biopsy on her eye and lip. Let us add both of them to our prayer list and send them a card to show our support. Their addresses will be at the end of the newsletter.

Old news, I called Abby a month ago but where did I put the note??? Abby's message is the same as last time, but to remind you:

1. Bring one of your first quilts. No she is not asking us to put our first quilt in the show...just bring it to a meeting to share. I did find one of mine and will bring it if there is room.

  1. Remember prizes are needed for the show. I think she is doing some "guy" pillow cases.

  2. Does anyone wish to do a bed turning??? Sorry I had to look this up. You have several quilts on a "bed" and someone talks about each quilt as they turn them over to reveal the one underneath. Hope that is at least close to correct. I plan to see one Sept 11 at a near by quilt show, just so I will know.

  3. Bring your quilt, wall hanging, household and quilted clothing ready for the 21011 show.

Next week end I am going to a small quilt show in the next town from here. It is called "Quilts along the trail". They will hang the quilts outside along the bike trail in their town. So guess I had better check it out. Maybe find a quilt of mine to hang too. No judging, no ribbons, no stress....just show. I don't think there will be any quilt shop vendors, just demonstrations and some flea market type vendors. Of course those are the best kind!

As I said the blog has been silent.

The egroup is doing better. We have 18 members counting someone twice. Hummm do you wish me to delete one of your memberships? Let me know or you can do it yourself too. It is a private group and "I" have to approve you. Talk about a power trip! Actually I will accept any Q.Q. So don't be afraid to sign up. Apply at or just send me an email and I can add your name.

Quilt Fabrics 101

Choosing your fabric is possibly the biggest job when making a quilt. There are so many colors, styles, patterns, fabrics and textures it is hard to know where to begin!

Remember when you are cutting up material for anything, be it for mending a shirt, making a book bag or even designing a pillow case, make sure to keep all the left over scraps as they will make wonderful little feature pieces in any quilt. Whatever you don't use this time can always go into the next quilt!

Tips for choosing quilt fabrics

Should you be making a quilt from scratch and buying all of your fabric or even a portion of your fabric there are a number of things to consider:

  • Is the fabric colorfast? You don't want the color to run when you wash it! If you are not sure then always wash the fabric before you use it (this is advisable with all fabrics). Wash it on its own that way if the color does run, the other fabrics or clothing won't be ruined.

  • Is the weave tight enough? The fabric needs to be strong enough to withstand years of love, washing and use. If you choose a loosely woven fabric this may cause big problems with rips, tears and overall damage. If you are planning on using the quilt in your everday lifestyle it is better to choose a moderately dense/woven fabric. If the fabric is too dense or tightly woven it may prove to be very difficult to quilt.

  • You can't really go wrong with 100% cotton! That is all that needs to be said! If you are an inexperienced quilter I would recommend using this fabric before moving onto other more complex materials.

  • Remember when using patterned fabric to make sure you cut all your pieces the same way up. There is nothing worse than finding out that you have cut the pieces on their side and there is no more material left! Refer to the How to make a quilt section for more details.

  • Remember color theory when choosing fabrics. This sounds easy enough, however there are so many people who don't spend enough time making sure their quilt has the desired depth or balance. Always keep in mind that blues based colors are cold and red and yellow base colors are warmer. Black and White will have very different effects when placed next to the same color, generally black will dim a color whereas white will brighten it.

  • Take into account the responses people have to color and materials. This will be very important if you are giving a quilt to someone as a present or intending to use the quilt in a personal area such as a bedroom. As a general rule warm colors make people more active and excited, where cool colors such as green and blue make people calmer and more relaxed.

  • Remember to purchase backing material that is similar weight and color to the top of the quilt. It is always a good idea to try and use the same types of material for the top of the quilt as it will be difficult to sew through uneven levels of material.

  • Always buy a little more fabric than you think you need! As I said before you will always find somewhere else to use it, however if you run out and can't buy anymore it could throw out the overall balance and feel of your quilt.

  • Synthetics and mixes can be more difficult to deal with than 100% cotton. They have a tendency to pucker along seams, however if you are a more experienced sewer you may choose to use them as there are many more options and the colors are more vibrant and exciting than plain cotton.

  • Try to avoid knits, stretch and crepe as these materials are quite difficult to sew with, so unless you particularly want to use them it is best to steer away.

Quilt Sizes - Bed Sizes

Deciding on what size quilt to make is a first step in planning a new project. Wall quilts can, of course be any size you choose. But, if you are making a quilt which will go on a bed you need to make decisions. 

Will the quilt just fit the top of the bed? Will it hang over and by how much?
Will the quilt have to cover pillows at the top?

Quilt book authors have different opinions on the sizes of quilts for different standard bed sizes. I've gone through a number of quilt books and have collected some of the numbers for you to compare.

First, what size are the standard mattresses:






CAL King

26" x 48"

39"  x 75"

54" x 75"

60" x 80"

78" x 80"

72" x 84"

Note: Crib mattress sizes vary,
check on the new baby's bed size if you can.

Also, don't forget to think about the height of the mattress as well. This will affect how much overhang you choose to add. Standard mattresses are 8-10" thick, but some extra thick ones may be as high as 16-18".

Remember to allow for "shrinkage" when you do your quilting - most quilts lose about 5 percent due to quilting shrinkage. The more densely you place your hand or machine quilting, the more shrinkage you'll see happen.

Donna Poster
from her
Stars Galore book
for finished quilt sizes






50 x 53"

75" x 98"

83 x 106"

90 x 106"

107 x 108"

Hargrave & Craig
from their
Art of Classic Quiltmaking book
1st row sizes - based on commercial comforter sizes
2nd row - bedspread sizes with longer drop





65" x 88"

80" x 88"

86" x 93"

104" x 93"

81" x 107"

96" x 107"

102" x 112"

120" x 112"


Raisin Bran Muffins from Nancy Whitney

Mix together the following and beat for one minute.

1 cup oil

4 eggs

3 cups white or brown sugar

Mix the following together in another bowl

5 cups flour

5 tsp soda

1 ½ tsp salt

then add alternately to the first ingredients with

1 qt. Buttermilk

mix well then add

7 ½ cups raisin bran, mix well

This recipe makes approximately 5 dozen muffins. It may be kept in the

refrigerator for about 6 weeks. Let cold mixture sit in muffin pans about 30 min.

to come to room temperature before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 min.

If you choose to put a tsp of jelly on top of each muffin before baking, it

will end up in the center of the muffin for an added touch.

Abby Weaver                      

6432 S Cedar ST                          

Littleton CO 80120                       



Alice Aichholz

P O Box 4223

Quartzsite AZ 85359