Scrap Bag: Quilt-on-a-stick, Amish quilts and more

Consider this blog post the equivalent of the little snips and scraps of fabric you end up with after a session spent cutting and piecing, the ones you sort through to find those worth saving and those you know you won’t do anything with. This blog post is a collection of little quilt- or handcraft-related news items and oddities that aren’t big enough for me to use on their own but that I still find interesting enough to share.


First up, an oddity: It’s state fair season here in the U.S., which as we all know, means deep-fried (*ahem*) delicacies of all kinds, such as Snickers bars and even pats of butter, with bonus points if they’re served on a stick. Well, the Kansas State Fair has taken the “on-a-stick” thing one better by hosting a Fried ‘N Joy Quilt on a Stick contest this summer. “Fairgoers are encouraged to follow the ‘Fried ‘N Joy’ theme this year in creating a quilt on a stick. All quilt squares are 8 inches wide by 9 inches high and allow any construction method, whether by hand or machine quilting. Entries are displayed using a paint stick.” All I know is that I really want to see the winners of this judged contest. In the meantime, if you have a photo of one that you’d like to share, send it to — we’d love to see it.


Title Scrap Bag: Quilt on a stick, Amish quilts and moreHere’s one more quilt exhibit that I didn’t know about in time to add to either the “What’s New” section of the August/September 2015 issue of QN or to include in my recent blog post listing other quilt exhibits to visit this summer. The Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is exhibiting Quilts 20/20: Traditional Works, Contemporary Art through August 30. This exhibition of contemporary and historic quilts honors the traditional roots of the quilt, shown side by side with the art quilts by today’s cutting edge fiber artists. The exhibit includes Amish quilts from Lancaster County as well as quilts by contemporary quilters such as Nancy Crow, Michael James and many more.


This touching story caught my eye even though it’s not really about quilts, although in a way, maybe it is. Poet John Ogden’s wife, Dorothy, was an avid quilter before she died in 2014. Her tree of life wall hanging, shown in a photo accompanying the article, was used as the cover for a self-published book of John’s poetry by the same name. The article includes a couple of John’s very lovely poems that he wrote for and about Dorothy. Like I said, it’s not really about quilts per se, but I thought it was worth sharing.


DISCLAIMER: The following item is not intended to support or promote any candidate or political party. It is only shared as an example of how quilts are used and the connotations they bring.

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Hillary Clinton joined Instagram last month, and the picture above was the first one her team posted. While it’s clear that the caption of “Hard choices” was a joke at her own expense about her penchant for monochromatic pantsuits, that quilt on the right side of the image didn’t sneak in there by itself. Its placement surely has a lot to do with the homey American qualities many of us attribute to traditional bed quilts, and to see it used at the beginning of a social media campaign by a woman candidate — like I said, I find it noteworthy. (Please, no political comments on this blog post — the Internet is full of partisan politics enough as it is. Let’s keep any discussions focused on quilts.)


And then there are a few items regarding handmade, non-quilted items that I couldn’t resist:

  • A woman made a tatted lace collar for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and received a handwritten thank you note in response.
  • Slate published an article about why TV production designers like to use granny square crocheted afghans as set decor on so many different TV shows, from “Roseanne” to “The Big Bang Theory” to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Hint: it has to do with nostalgia.
  • What do you do with funky fabric, or even clothing, that seemed like a good idea at the time but that you can’t bring yourself to discard? I like how this woman fussy cut the massive pineapples from a pair of workout leggings and appliqued them to an apron, preserving their fun qualities while toning down the craziness.
    Apartment Therapy Before & After


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QN’s August/September 2015 issue

Be sure to keep your eyes out for the August/September 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter, arriving at subscribers’ homes soon and on sale July 21. In the “What’s New” section alone, we have images of top award-winning quilts from MQX Quilt Festival New England; information on community textile art projects in Mumbai, India; details on an exhibit from the American Folk Art Museum touring the U.S. as well as one at the American Museum in Bath, England; and more.



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Four Buds free quilt block pattern on

And if you’re looking for a project to tide you over until your copy arrives, check out the free quilt block pattern for Four Buds that goes with the issue. This pattern goes back at least to the 1940s but you don’t see it very often, and we think it’s due for a comeback. This version was made with Art Gallery Fabrics’ Maker collection, and would look great made with more traditional fabrics, too. Download your pattern today!

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on and classes, courses and workshops on Craft and

About Mary Kate Karr-Petras

Mary Kate is an associate editor at Quilters Newsletter. If you ask her what type of quilter she considers herself, she'll answer, "Slow." Favorite techniques include hand quilting, both traditional and big stitch, but she also loves her walking foot and keeps meaning to get better acquainted with her open-toe embroidery foot.
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2 Responses to Scrap Bag: Quilt-on-a-stick, Amish quilts and more

  1. Kathy Carman says:

    Just back from a trip to Harrisburg to see Quilts 20/20. It’s a great show, and well worth a trip!

  2. Debbie Howell says:

    Can’t wait to see the Quilts on a Stick. I think I’ll try one myself. Might be able to bring to trend to Idaho.

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