#Swatch: Quilting Masters in the Family

One of Geri’s “tree skirts” that no one has the heart to cut into!

I was blown away by the talent of my cousins Kathy Fitzgerald and Geri Pieper. Geri has entered her quilts in the Iowa State Fair and won third overall! These cousins live walking distance from each other in the countryside outside of Stuart, Iowa. They both love to select the designs and fabrics, piece the quilts and add the backing. But then they both send their quilts to be quilted by someone who loves machine quilting. This allows them to piece more quilts!

Another of Geri’s amazing tree skirts.

I enjoyed going through Kathy’s quilts with her. She is hand quilting one of her pieced quilts. It is going to take a long time, compared to machine quilting, but this particular quilt turned out too thick for machine quilting. Kathy is going to yell at me for including this photo of her since I dropped in and she wasn’t expecting to be on camera!

The quilting on the left is done by machine. And it is very impressive. But look at the quilting below. Kathy and my great/grandma Mildred quilted this one by hand. And it is far more intricate. We just shook our heads with full respect for how much time and talent that takes!


Swatch: World Wide Knit in Public Day

Vicky Content was the first to arrive and got started knitting in public on the bench outside.

I knit in public all the time when I travel and I enjoy the curious comments I get from flight crews, and others. Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA sponsored a 4 hour event to celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day. They were prepared to provide supplies and instructions for the curious. Those couple of dozen of us who gathered at 10 a.m. were experienced knitters and mostly interested in enjoying the company of other knitters.

Someone started mentioning our favorite instructional videos on YouTube and that led to a lively sharing of all of our favorites–Stitches West, Vogue Knitting, and other resources. Some people drove over from the Bay Area. We shared our projects, whether we’d tried continental knitting, and where we shop in Northern California for yarn.

I had made plans for noon, so I had to leave a little after an hour to cycle home. Next year I’ll plan to stay longer.  I’m a member of Crocker Art Museum but knitters could enter for free to participate. The cafe was open for coffee and tea, lunch and other good things to eat.

There were 440 KIPs (Knitting in Public events) held in 33 countries around the world.  Better Living Through Stitching Together is the motto and all of the events are organized by volunteer knitters.