March 24, 2009

The Bayside Quilters – Easton, “Delmarva”

Ever since I read James Michener’s book Chesapeake, I wanted to visit this area. A couple of years ago, Sherry Burke called and extended the invitation on behalf of the Bayside Quilters of Easton, Maryland, on the “Eastern shore”. It is on the Delmarva Peninsula that is shared by parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland. For many years, that long peninsula was not connected by bridges to either Maryland or Virginia.

Sherry and her husband Terry had been my hosts when I taught in Nashville, Tennessee in 1991, and would be my hosts again. I was not disappointed; it was a beautiful area, not to mention a beautiful home on the water! Sherry says they feel like their blood pressure drops 15 points when they cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Cathy Morin picked me up in Baltimore and gave me a great tour of Annapolis on the way to Easton. It is a charming and historic town. If I knew, I did not remember that Annapolis was also the temporary capital of the United States during 1783 and ’84 and was said to have been George Washington’s choice for the permanent capital. The guild was great and very nice, and I had two great days.

I’m Afraid to Cut this Fabric!
In the Kaleidoscope class with the Bayside Quilters, Janie Kelting showed up with a fabulous 1974 Indonesian fabric. It had major family attachment. She was thinking of making a special project with it and thought it perfect for the Kaleidoscope block.

Isn't this a great fabric? It's going to make a great Kaleidoscope quilt!

Because of the very limited quantity, I recommended that Janie make multiple photocopies of the fabric from selvage to selvage and cut paper pieces to see if she liked the newly created designs before ever cutting fabric. This is a good idea any time you want to "try out" a special fabric, especially if the quantity is limited.

Another way to audition blocks before cutting fabric is by working with mirrors, as discussed and shown in our book Kaleidoscope ABCs. For one of the quilts in the book, I previewed a Jinny Beyer border stripe to see how the blocks would look:

Then I couldn't wait to cut up the fabric! All the blocks in my "Stunning Stripes" quilt came from that one border stripe.

The more I thought about Janie's fabric, and the more she and I talked about it, we both wondered if it is a textile that should not be cut, but treated as a whole cloth quilt instead. How do you feel about it?


  1. No way can you cut this beautiful fabric! What a treasure! Photocopy it on transfer fabric, but no way can you cut it up!

  2. What a treasure! There is no way I could cut that fabric! I'm trying to tell myself that you would still have the fabric just in a different format, that fabric is meant to be used, yada-yada, but...yikes! From Indonesia in 1974? I couldn't do it!