300 Words about Quilting: Quilts and Travel

Quilts and Travel

QN invites you to share your quilt stories with other QN readers–in 300 words or less. If you have a quilt story that fits the topics listed at below–be it funny, sad, poignant, or anything in between–we want to hear from you. Send your story, its title, and your complete contact information to submissions@qnm.com. Write “300 Words” in the subject line.

Upcoming topics and deadlines are:

Quilts and military service–July 15, 2011

Quilts and family–September 15, 2011

How I got hooked on quilting–November 15, 2011



Almost Up in Flames

By Joan Dresser

When my husband and I decided to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary with a three-month motor-home trip across the United States, I decided to leave my sewing machine at home and take an applique project. I have always been a traditional piecer, so this was a stretch. While on the trip, we visited many quilt museums. The applique quilts were spectacular and made me think my attempts were not so great. Maybe I am just a piecer. By the end of the trip all the blocks were finished and, I must admit, I had improved my skills.

I didn’t get back to the quilt until the following summer. We took the motor home to the coast where my husband likes to fish. Over two months, I added garden-trellis sashing and started the applique borders. The day we returned home was over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. My husband was driving the motor home, and I was driving the pickup pulling the boat. At the traffic signal in town, I saw my husband jump out of the motor home with a fire extinguisher. A fireman, who was in the area by chance, helped my husband extinguish the fire, but the inside of the motor home was totally melted. The fireman asked if there was something important I needed. I asked for my quilt. He kept bringing out quilts: the dog’s, one from the back of the couch, and one from the bed. Then he found the basket with my applique quilt. He even rescued my sewing machine. I forgot my purse! All this took place in sight of the local quilt store.

I am debating what to name the quilt. I’m thinking about a name that reflects the adventures of this quilt. But who knows. It’s not done yet.

Houston Worth Every Penny

By Maria Laura Gamaleri

I live in Italy where quilting is an unknown word, yet the first time I saw a double wedding ring quilt in a magazine, I fell in love with it. It became my first UFO–unfinished object. Thanks to web, I became more confident with my quilting. Thanks to credit cards, I can obtain fabrics, thread, and other things I need to quilt.

At some point, I learned there is a place where the word quilt is written in all capital letters–Houston, Texas, every fall. So I started to dream about attending this festival. Last November, I managed it. It was worth all the money I paid to attend, and it was worth the almost 24 hours it took to fly from my town to Houston. It was even worth the jet lag. It was a wonderful experience: fantastic classes, incredible people, beautiful quilt exhibits, and endless booths where it was possible to buy things I didn’t even know existed. Then came that moving moment when the voice on the loudspeaker said, “All beautiful things come to an end.” I had to leave the festival because it was closing, but I’ll be back. Next time, perhaps, with the ribbon “finalist” or maybe “winner” hanging on my nametag.

Vacation Memories

By Linda Gaines

Vacations offer opportunities to collect things that inspire quilts. I purchase fabric, posters, T-shirts, buttons, postcards, books with photographs, and all types of paraphernalia. I return home with warm and wonderful memories. Then, life begins anew: work, husband, grandchildren, home, and chores. The days, then the weeks, and finally, the years roll by. My sewing room becomes cluttered and messy, and I get fed up with my disorganization. I decide to clean my sewing room and get things in order so I can find time to quilt. I come across that box where I put all my vacation treasures that were supposed to inspire me. I take a few minutes to dig through the box and relive those memories.

Maybe one day I will take the time to turn those memories into quilts; maybe not. I have allowed myself to let go of the pressure of not getting everything in life completed as planned. I enjoyed the vacation, I enjoyed collecting the inspirational items, I loved the places, and I loved the time to visit our beautiful world. I have all those images in my head.

I should stop collecting things on vacation, but I cannot stop myself. I am an optimist. Maybe I will have time to make this one. It’s just like all the fabric, patterns, books, and kits I buy at quilt shows. Just having all those treasures waiting for me makes me feel rich and happy.

Happy Ending to Quilt’s Journey

By Kate Dorsey

During the Christmas season last year, my mother and I did something terrifying. We sent a quilt traveling across the country alone. After spending a large amount of time making the quilt, we put its safe delivery into someone else’s hands. We took great care in packing. As it was a gift, we folded the quilt into a gift bag, then put it into the shipping box. The packing did not stop there. We were also sending a jar of soap. This was enclosed in a zippered plastic bag and wrapped in bubble wrap. Then we filled the empty space. Once there was zero shifting room, the box was sealed and taken to the post office.

Of course we purchased a tracking number. Despite this, we did not rest easy until we received a phone call that the box had arrived safe and sound. This, however, was not the end of the quilt’s trip. We emailed instructions on how to open the box. It would have been horrible to have the quilt travel so far and be ruined by a box knife.

Everything turned out well. The quilt arrived in one piece. The recipient was very happy with the gift. That is one of the biggest benefits of quilting, isn’t it? No matter how far the quilt has to travel, what truly matters is the joy it brings.

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