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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ARE YOU A BAG LADY?

Whether you are a bag lady or not, you are going to love these bags. Above are samples for Cindy’s upcoming classes at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. You will be able to see the dates and times when the next newsletter is published. The teachers have been diligently working on getting their classes prepared for the next session. I’ll let you know when you can download it off the sidebar when we have it completed.

Cindy also made this billfold. Inside there are lots of pockets for credit cards and a zippered area for your money. This is a fun project to make and would make a lovely gift. You can purchase the pattern at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.
NOTICE: Julie says she has lots of notions for those making the patriotic doll that was pictured in the last post. Supplies are on a first come basis so if you are interested, sign up for that class now by calling the shop.
Homeberries has the cutest Whimsical free hand embroidery designs. Check it out.
Until next time: Happy quilting!
Caroll


Sunday, June 28, 2009

PATRIOTIC PINCUSHION DOLL

This is Julie’s Patriotic Pincushion Doll. She’s holding all kinds of cute little (and I mean little) notions. There is a link on Julie’s blog to where you can buy the tiny buttons. You can purchase the fabrics at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Check the calendar for Julie’s next doll class. This class comes is just in time for the July fabric sale at the shop. During the month of July there is a 20% discount on all fabrics. Be sure and stop by and take advantage of this great sale.

Quilt with your inner geek. Do you know a little boy or girl who are into robots? Quilting On A Budget has a cute pattern for a robot.

Until next time: Happy Quilting
Caroll


Friday, June 26, 2009

LESSON FIVE


Why Every Woman Needs a Needle

Lesson 5: My mother was a strong woman, running my childhood home with a stern hand. For some reason I did not grow up to be like her. I had no confidence. I’ll never forget the time when I was a grown woman with children of my own and standing in Mom’s kitchen stirring a pan of gravy. As we were preparing Sunday dinner, she said to me that she didn’t understand women who had no self confidence. She then took the spoon from my hand and told me to stir the gravy “like this.” It was after years of being on my own, and attending quilting classes and socializing with my quilting friends that I realized I had gained confidence.

It’s funny how your mind works sometimes. I put orphan blocks onto my design wall because I was afraid that out of sight out of mind, and my intention is to do something with them someday. When you go into my sewing room the design wall is the first thing you see. One day it dawned on me that two dissimilar blocks on the design wall went together nicely. I started fiddling around and darn if the bright fabrics and the 30’s fabrics didn’t look okay together. So I took the plunge and made a quilt of my own design. What confidence it gave me. What did I learn from this: to paraphrase a cartoon character: “It’s okay to be me!”
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford

I hope you’ve liked my Why Every Woman Needs a Needle lessons. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you.
Until next time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Thursday, June 25, 2009

LESSON FOUR


Why Every Woman Needs a Needle
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Lesson 4: A woman with a needle needs patience.

Like mother like child, they say. I think my mother invented the prayer for God to give her patience RIGHT NOW. Like her, I’ve never been a very patient person. Before I was married I was a reporter for our local daily newspaper. I think that’s when I got the writing bug. After marriage, I wrote short stories while raising my family and managed to sell a couple to national magazines. As the children grew older and I had more free time, I decided I would write the great American novel. After several years of trying to wrap my mind around such a large project (I thought I could just sit at the typewriter and bang out a novel from beginning to end with no effort at all), I finally decided that I just didn’t have the patience for that sort of thing. What I really think the problem was, is that I didn't understand the process. As the saying goes, age gives you wisdom. It was when I started quilting in my later years that I realized how much writing a novel is like making a quilt. Quilts (like novels) are made up of one block (chapter) at a time. Sometimes you throw in a little sashing (secondary plot line), and maybe a color that makes your quilt really pop (could be a secondary quirky character), and then you wrap it all up with the border (the ending). Quilting has given me the understanding and the patience to do that. Now, in this chapter of my life I’ve decided I’d rather be quilting than sitting at the computer typing that great American novel. However, the facts don’t change. Quilting, like life, is made up of one block at a time. Make your life beautiful by adding thought, color, and a little quirkiness, so that in the end it will be wrapped in something beautiful, something you are proud of so you can say it was a beautiful trip.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. - Marcel Proust, French novelist

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LESSON THREE


Why Every Woman Needs a Needle


I’ve heard it said (and believe) that tools make a man sexy. I was wondering the aisles of Home Depot with my list from Karen’s Tool Time Tuesday blog. My 90 year old mother was by my side. I like to take her on outings with me. She gets along quite well (no walker, no cane) and she enjoys the outings.

We were in one of the aisles looking for the first item on the list when I noticed a man standing there with an orange bucket in one hand and pawing through some long plastic tubes. He looked like he’d trained with Special Forces. Biceps bulged from beneath his white tee shirt. Strong tanned legs sprung beneath his khaki Bermuda shorts. A tool belt hung from his narrow waist. Even took my breath away there for a minute. My mother, the biggest flirt of all time, sashayed right up to him, placed her hand on his broad shoulder and said, “Could you tell me where you got that bucket? My daughter is looking for one.”
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He flashed my mother a million watt smile and said, “Follow me.” (Smile at me like that and I’ll follow you anywhere.) He turned a corner and then handed me an orange bucket. “Like this? “
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“Where’s the insert?” My mother I asked. “She needs the insert too.”
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He gave me a questioning look. “Insert?”
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“I…uh…” Imagine that, me tongue tied. “Uh..you know; the canvas kind with all those pockets.”
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“Oh, for your cleaning products.”
“Now there, young man,” my mother said as she inched herself closer to him. “Let’s not get
hasty with our thinking. It’s for quilting.”
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“Quilting?” He gave me a questioning look.
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I was on known territory here and said, “Those pockets are great for holding my rotary cutter, scissors, iron, templates, ruler, etc.”
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Amusement danced in big brown eyes. He then reached over my head and grabbed a small cellophane package. “Blue all right?”
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“She needs an eyeball too,” my mother said.
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“Uh, she mans eye bolt,” I explained. “Would you happen to know where they are?”
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“Just one?” he asked.
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I nodded.
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“It’s for holding her bobbins,” my mother announced.
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He rubbed his hand over his mouth as if trying to hide his grin, nodded and lead us down the aisle to a lot of bins holding all kinds of interesting things.
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After he handed me the eye bolt, I scanned the bins. “Are there any washers here?”
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He pointed to a bunch of boxes to the left. “Which size?”
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“One of each,” I said.
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The corners of his mouth twitched. “One of each size?”
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“They are for making circles for appliqué.” I looked around. “And I need a little hookie thing to keep them on. I think it’s called an eye ring…or is it an o ring. I don’t know. It’s like a key ring.“
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He scratched his head and thought for a minute. “How about we get a package of shower curtain pins.” he said, and headed for another aisle with us in tow.
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After scanning a wall holding another bunch of interesting things, he snatched a package and handed it to me. “Anything else?”
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My mother was standing off to one side clearly giving Mr. I-Know-Where-Things-Are the once over. Before she could say anything else, I said, “Thank you so much for all your help. I think we need to go to the paint department now. It’s over that way isn’t it?”
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He shook his head. “I gotta ask. What are you using the paint for?”
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“Oh, I just want to pick up a couple of those free paint sticks,” I said and almost added that they make my quilts lay flatter, but decided to withhold that information. “Thanks again for all your help.”
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His flashed a big grin, as though his perspective of me had changed. Maybe he wasn’t used to being thanked. “No problem,” he said. “I really should be thanking you. You taught me a lot today.”
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My mother stood and stared at him as he walked away. I took her by the arm and turned her toward the paint department. “He has a cute butt,” she said. “He caught me staring.” She giggled. “He has nice legs too.”
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After nearly choking on my surprise I nodded in agreement. I smiled at my mother, thinking about the things I have learned from her and all the things I had learned that day. Most importantly I learned that people are nice and helpful and that I felt empowered. Home Depot isn’t just a man’s world. It’s a great place for women too. (I wonder if a man thinks a woman with a needle is sexy.)
“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery”. - Mark Van Doren, poet

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LESSON TWO


Why Every Woman Needs a Needle

Lesson 2: Quilting is a group sport (we already knew that). Around the world quilters gather to socialize and sew. Books are written about them. Movies are made. The world is full of wonderful quilters who are eager to share their knowledge. If there is something you need to know how to accomplish a quilter will eagerly help you whether it is quilting, child rearing, recipes, etc. They are there in sickness and in health. When my 90 year old mother moved in with me, my quilting friends were emotionally supportive. They helped me to laugh about things I might otherwise cry about. Sometimes my conversation with my mother could be depressing. Like the day I came home from work and our conversation went like this:

Mom: That man said he'd be here for breakfast in the morning.
Me: What man?
Mom: I don't know. The man on the phone.
Me: You answered the phone? (she’s hard of hearing and usually doesn’t even hear the phone ring, much less answer it)
Mom: Yes
Me: Who did you talk to?
Mom: That man.
Me: Who was it?
Mom: I don't know.
Me: I thought you didn't answer the phone.
Mom: Well I did and he said he'd be here for breakfast in the morning.
Me: I wish when you answered the phone you would find out who you are talking to.
Mom: Well, I'll just stay in bed in the morning and you can entertain your men friend on your own.

Later when I shared the experience with my quilting friends they laughed. And I found I could laugh too. Not at her, but at me for being so impatient, so wanting my mother to be the strong, capable woman I remembered her to be when I was a child. They helped me to look at things differently and love my mother for who she is now.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude to what happens to you.” Brian Tracy
Tomorrow: Men with tools are sexy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

LESSON ONE




The other day when I opened my e-mail from Oprah’s Home and Decorating Newsletter, an article caught my eye. Why Every Woman Needs a Hammer. Well and good. Hammers are nice. But this got me to thinking. What every woman really needs is a needle. So I’ve created my 5 lessons on life as to Why Every Woman Needs a Needle. Each time I post I will add the next lesson. Here is Lesson One.
A needle is the constant that carries the thread through life. I’ve been sewing since I was a young child, so young I don’t remember running the treadle sewing machine needle through my finger but my mother tells me I did. I used to sew doll clothes and as I grew older, graduated into making my own school clothes. When I took Home Ec class I made a blue corduroy dress and wore it for my class picture. I still remember how the collar flared up in a way I thought so sophisticated (I was in the 7th grade). Then when I had children of my own I made their clothes. Mothers didn’t work back then. I even sewed my husband a suit once. Only once. I think that once was probably how many times he wore it too. I sewed later in life when I went into the work world, hurrying home to sew up a seam or two during lunch hour. Then the time finally came when I could afford to buy my clothes, but the need for a needle continued. That’s when I took up quilting and happily sewed small patches together to create works of art. Even after retirement and when my 91 year old mother came to live with me, my needle continues to be my friend. The steady rocking motion of sewing helps me remain calm, maintain my sanity, and see the beauty in the world.

As a wise man (Aristotle) once said, “Happiness belongs to the self sufficient. “ Are you a self sufficient needler?
Tomorrow: Quilting is a Group Sport

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SPOOKTACULAR QUILT

I stopped in at the Attic Window Quilt Shop Saturday and this was what Colleen’s Seasonal Sampler BOM class was working on. Colleen said I should have waited to take the picture until after she’d cut the witches’ bangs. I still think she’s cute. I bet this would be a perfect block for Jane’s Fabrics Swap Spooktacular. Unfortunately, the swap is closed. However, Pam at Mama Spark’s World is trying to get a group together. If you are interested check out her blog and let her know.
With Heart and Hands has a tutorial for a shopping bag that’s made like a “quillow.” Really cute and easy to tote around.
Until next time: Happy Quilting!
Caroll

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FRESH SQUEEZED & POTC

This pattern is called Fresh Squeezed and is from Moda University. Making all those pie slices and circles kept me from eating chocolate, so it was worth the time and effort put into this quilt. I love these fabrics and you can find them at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Check them out.


Lately when blog hopping I’ve seen so many of the POTC (Patchwork of the Crosses) blocks and I’ve been admiring them. I’ve particularly enjoyed Cathi’s at Quilt Obsession. She’s made 19 of these blocks. They are so inviting that I just had to try one for myself. I made my own template and this is what I came up with. Since I like handwork I’ll probably do more of these blocks. However, next time I think I’m going to use the English Paper Piecing method to make them.
Connecting Threads has a cute sewing caddy pattern.
Until next time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FLIP-FLOP AND PINEAPPLES

Isn’t this cute? I saw it at the Attic Window Quilt Shop last week. Chris was using it for e-mail sign up papers during the Skip, but she said she’s going to put candy in it this week. Yumm. Well, probably not a pleasing thought – candy from a shoe – but the candy is wrapped and the flip-flop is so cute. I think she said she got it at Hobby Lobby but I don’t know what year. You know, I was just thinking, wouldn't it be great if someone made up with a pattern for a flip-flop like this so we could make our own out of fabric. Hint. Hint.


Don’t you just love this Pineapple piece? I’ve heard someone say if you dream it you can achieve it. I’m dreaming of making sharp points like this. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to make something so precise. My piecework is usually askew, which is why I always make everything bigger so I can cut it down. Measure once, cut twice – I think that must be my motto. That explains why I’d rather do appliqué. But I keep trying. I keep taking those classes at the Attic Window and someday I’ll be a better piecer.

The Stitchin Chicken has a nice tutorial for those fabric baskets that you often see today. This one is a little different. Check it out.
Until next time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Sunday, June 14, 2009

MUST HAVE ITEMS TO ADD TO YOUR LIST

Colleen made this up-to-date table runner as a sample for the Attic Window Quilt Shop. These lovely fabrics are from the Benartex Gotham line. You can find the pattern and the fabrics at the shop, so add "pick up Gotham fabrics and new pattern" to your to-do list.

The Attic Window Quilt Shop now has Aurifil quilting thread and I highly recommend it. I used it yesterday and my temperamental little Pfaff just loved it. There was not one break or snafu and very little lint. This thread may cost a little more than what you are used to, but it’s like buying a Castle instead of a hut. And, remember, you're worth it. These are just some of the lovely colors in the shop. They come in two different spool sizes. Chris said that she hopes to be getting in some variegated colors soon. Add these must-have items to your to-do list. I bet you’ll like it.

Do you like cupcakes? Quick Quilts has some cute fabric cupcakes for you to make (not taste). I'm going to make some. What a great way to stick to your diet! Check out this fun project.
Until Next Time: Happy Quilting!
Caroll

Friday, June 12, 2009

STEP 'N OUT WITH NEW SHOES


This is Carolyn E.’s new pattern called Step ‘N Out. Make it as a wall hanging or pillow. These whimsical shoes remind me of how much fun life can be. Pick the amusing fabrics of your choice and have fun with this project. Whether you are making them for a child, teenager or adult – use your imagination. Look for an upcoming class at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. If you are not in the area and are interested in the pattern give the shop a call.

This is Maria’s quilt waiting to be quilted. Don’t you just love these lovely batiks? You can find them at the Attic Window as we have a wide selection of batiks.
Bake and Sew has a tutorial for the cutest chicken doorstop.
Until Next Time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

QUILTER'S SKIP AND ATWQB

The Quilter’s Skip is going on this week and the Attic Window Quilt Shop is one of the participating shops. Above is a picture of the shop’s quilt made for the Skip. Each participating shop created one block, which you may purchase during the Skip and then make up the quilt as you choose. You may purchase the finishing kit for this store’s sample at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. The top and the next row of three blocks was designed by Chris, owner of the shop. It is such a pretty quilt. Stop in and take a look if you can.

This is my next block for the Around the World Quilting Bee and has been forwarded on its trip around the world. The pink on the side is not part of my block. The person who started this block asked that the blocks be sewn together as it travels around the world, so what you see is from the previous block made and where I attached my block.
Are you a bloghopper? Quilt Qua is another place to find blogs in one area. There is also a button on the sidebar of this blog for your convenience. Check it out.

The Quilter’s Paradise Newsletter has a nice tutorial for a Soft Box Pincushion.
Until next time: Happy Quilting!
Caroll

Monday, June 8, 2009

CLASSES, KITS, ATWQB BLOCK

This is a jewelry roll and is an original design by JD. She will be teaching a class in the fall at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. It can be made up with a crazy pieced center or you can use a pretty fabric for the center if you are eager to get your project finished. What a lovely gift for that someone getting ready to travel. She will also have a circular pattern in the fall that can be made into a needle holder for knitters.

This black, red, and white quilt is hanging at the shop. Kits are available for this adorable quilt.

This is my next block for the Around The World Quilting Bee. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked for a 7 ½ inch block so I decided to appliqué this one. I hope she likes it.

Have you been to Julie’s blog lately? She tells you what is up next in her classes and has lots of pictures of the dolls you can make.
Until Next Time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Saturday, June 6, 2009

QUILTING BEE SHOW AND TELL

There was so much going on at the Attic Window Quilting Bee this morning that I wanted to share some things with you. This is another of LeeAnn’s wonderful bags. Doesn’t she do a beautiful job? She has inspired me to purchase my first purse pattern. If mine turn out half as beautiful as hers I’ll be pleased.

Vickie has been busy making this lovely quilt. Don’t you just love the bright colors and beautiful fabrics? I think it’s another version of the BQ pattern. Apparently someone else liked some of those fabrics too, because all that lovely yellow border fabric is gone and I couldn't get any. Boo Hoo.

Marcie is our hand quilter. She does such fantastic work that several people were gathered around her today watching her stitch in the hopes of picking up pointers. Can’t wait to see what the finished quilt looks like. Love those fabrics.
JCasa Handmade has a pattern for a chic wrist cuff. Make lots of them for that teenager in your life. Or maybe give this pattern to her for a fun summer project. She could get started early on making Christmas gifts for all her school friends.
Until Next Time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Thursday, June 4, 2009

MORE SMALL BLOCK SISTERS

As promised here are more pictures of what the women from the Small Block Sisters Quilting Bee were working on when I recently stopped by the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Above Mary Ellen Dunneback is working on her Dear Nancy blocks. Each block is 5 inches square. Some are foundation pieced. One of the things that impressed me about these blocks, along with how expertly they are done, is that Mary Ellen is very organized and has all her materials neatly together in a binder. What a great idea.

Above Nancee M. uses freezer paper to make her Dear Jane Ann’s Folly blocks. She sews them by hand. She said the freezer paper helps to keep the fabric stable and there is less stretching during the sewing process.

Marie McDonald is working on this block from Christmas Spirit In The Country book by Indygo Junction. It will make a beautiful quilt.

Don’t forget the free June redwork pattern posted on the sidebar of blog.

Burda has lots of free patterns to download. Check out the carpet bag and cell phone bag.
Until Next Time: Happy Quilting
Caroll



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

SMALL BLOCK SISTERS MEET


Monday I happened to stop in at the Attic Window Quilt Shop and found a group of women stitching away. They are members of the Small Block Sisters Quilting Bee from the West Michigan Quilter’s Guild. They said that they thank the Attic Window for letting them meet there the first Monday of every month. They sew all day and enjoy a pot luck for lunch. Most of the women were working on different small block projects.

Above are the blocks that Cindy Petersen is working on. They are called Dutch Treat. She makes these in reverse appliqué. Each block is 5 ½ inches square. There are 196 blocks in the pattern and she is going to try to make them all.

This is a close up of one of the blocks. Sorry about the fuzzy picture, but I wanted you to get a look at the small pieces she has to work with. Remember these blocks are only 5 1/2 inches square. I’ll show more pictures of what some of the other women are working on at next post but speaking of WMQG reminds me that I have to tell you that ----

Carol Taylor, Quilt Artist, recently gave a presentation at the West Michigan Quilter’s Guild. She makes art quilts and has made over 500 quilts since she started quilting in1993. She said that she finishes everything she starts (Oh, so that's what you're supposed to do...finish one before you start something else.) Her studio is the envy of every stitcher. She added 1500 sq feet to her house and now has a quilting area (bigger than my house) with lots of big windows letting in the natural light. She has large design walls (yes, more than one) and a built in light table. She said that she uses Aurifil thread (which you can now purchase at the Attic Window) as it makes her seams lay flatter and there is much less lint. She said she used to sort her fabrics by color but now sorts by value. She has an interesting way of doing her binding, too. Get one of her books and see how she does that. You can see some of her quilts displayed that evening by going to the West Michigan Quilter’s Guild or to Carol Taylor’s website. You will be awed by her beautiful quilts. You can see pictures of her new quilting room too.
Until Next Time: Happy Quilting
Caroll


Monday, June 1, 2009

MAKE THIS ORIGINAL

This fat quarter ID coin purse was designed and made by our newest teacher at the Attic Window Quilt Shop Ruth DeVries. This purse is the greatest. You can hang it around your neck to allow you to be hands free (the better for feeling fabric or carrying bolts). It is a great place to put your keys, driver’s license, passport, phone, iPod, etc. My teenage granddaughters have already asked for one. You can purchase one at the shop, or you can come take a class with Ruth and make one of your own. She has two classes coming up: Thursday, June 25th from 1-4; and Tuesday, July 21st from 6-9. Call the Attic Window and make a reservation now as this class is sure to fill up quick. Or for you who are too far away to attend the class, call the shop and see how you can purchase this original pattern.

Susie’s Country Garden has tutorials for small projects. Check on the sidebar

Until Next Time: Happy Quilting
Caroll

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.