Scrap Bag: Husbands’ Lounge controversy, “Back the Blue” quilts, stash sold for charity, and more

Welcome to this week’s round-up of news and tidbits from around the quilt world!

IMG 3125 Scrap Bag: Husbands Lounge controversy, Back the Blue quilts, stash sold for charity, and more

If you’ve been to Quilt Festival in Houston, you may be familiar with the Husbands’ Lounge, a curtained area of the show floor that has recliners and a TV for the presumed benefit of men who may have accompanied (or even driven) their wives to Festival but aren’t there for the quilts themselves. Blogger Abby Glassenberg recently dug into the intent behind the creation of the lounge as well as issues surrounding designating it for husbands and the potential for exclusion such a choice might create for men and women alike.


Inspired by the heart quilts people were making for survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Modern Quilt Guilds in the Dallas/Fort Worth area spearheaded a similar project after five Dallas police officers were killed in the line of duty during a Black Lives Matter march in July. “One post on Instagram the day after the tragedy with the hashtag #Quiltsforpeace led to more than 100 quilts sewn for families of the Dallas shooting.” Instead of making the blocks in rainbow colors, Quilts for Peace blocks were made in blue on white backgrounds.


What are your plans for your stash after you die? A sale of fabric belonging to Gillian Clarke, the late wife of British Member of Parliament Ken Clarke, has raised £13,000 for charity. Gillian Clarke was an award-winning quilter with not just cotton in her stash but a variety of traditional textiles she purchased while traveling to countries such as Japan, Indonesia and Mexico.

“We all feel that Gillian would be pleased that the stash wasn’t wasted but has been ‘given wings’ and is now being made into quilts, garments and other projects all over the East Midlands and further afield as well as giving a major financial boost to the Maggie’s Centre in Nottingham, helping them to support more people who have been affected by cancer,” said friend Linda Maltman.


The Heart & Hands Night Quilters in Danville, Illinois, holds the distinction of being a group with a significant mix of deaf and hearing members. Hearing group member Janice Elwell and Karen Powell, who is deaf, became friends through their church about 40 years ago, and eventually Janice started teaching Karen how to quilt. Karen, in turn, started teaching her circle of friends. Now there is a group of nine deaf quilters who meet to work together on Mondays and then bring their quilts to share at the larger group’s monthly meetings despite the language barrier. They recently completed 12 quilts that they donated to a local women’s shelter.


Large and even over-sized floral fabrics have been available to quilters for years (although we seem to be seeing fewer of them recently), but they are becoming an interior design trend according to Apartment Therapy, which refers to them as “scary florals.”


Interweave, the knitting/crochet/beading/needlework publisher and content company, just launched its new website. Why does this matter to you? Because Interweave is one of our sister companies in the F+W family, and the quilting community will be getting a similar new website in early 2017. I don’t mind admitting to you that the websites for Quilters Newsletter and our sister titles McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker and others have been due for an upgrade for a while. Now that the new Interweave site has launched and looks as great as it does, we have a working example of what’s to come for the quilting titles, and I for one am really looking forward to it. In addition to offering one place for magazine-related content and associated products and videos, it will be home to QN-style content on the Articles/Blogs pages. We’ll have more specifics after the new year — until then keep checking back with us here on the Inside Quilters Newsletter blog!

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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