Monday, March 29, 2010

Speaker at a local quilt guild

Last Wednesday, I attended the regular monthly meeting (or at least part of it) of Piecemakers, the Middletown, PA quilt guild. They were hosting a speaker, that I'd heard was a published author, and had some beautiful quilts. I'd heard right.

The quilts Gyleen Fitzgerald brought with her for her trunk show were almost entirely from one of her latest books, Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings. In essence, she discussed how many quilts go unfinished for one reason or another, and she chose to focus on quilts from the 30s for this book. She talked about being given or purchasing finished quilt tops, unfinished quilt tops, quilt blocks, etc and making the decision to finish them. She emphasized the importance of not getting bogged down with issues that might keep you from finishing--a fabric that you may be anguishing over that you don't feel is quite perfect; imperfectly stitched seams; the possibility of cutting off the tips of points to make the quilt fit; and so on. She pointed out that an imperfectly finished quilt is better than an unfinished one. But, to look at her quilts, you would not suspect that she had done any compromising when finishing them; they are beautiful. I bought the book; let me tell you, it is worth it. Great, full color pictures of the quilts; patterns; stories.

She briefly discussed a couple of other books/quilts. She wrote a book (and displayed her beautiful quilt) about house quilts--In This House: If Walls Could Talk. She also published a house quilt pattern. I bought three of these little books; one for me, and one for each of my daughters. She signed these, as well as my Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings book.

She also discussed her latest project, pineapple quilts. She has written (or is in the process of writing it) a book about it, and she also created a tool/ruler for making them. She said that she could not find the right tool for making the quilt, so she simply designed it herself. She has an engineering background, so this was a no-brainer for her.

I enjoyed her presentation. You can contact her, to see if she is available for coming to your quilt guild meeting. It will be well worth it!


  1. Wish I had been there - the unfinished quilts book looks beautiful from the sneak peeks on amazon.

  2. Truer words were never spoken, and unfinished quilt is just a rag, no matter how lovely, while a finished quilt will be treasured at least to keep warm on a cold night.

  3. Sounds like she was so inspiring! I like the preview on her book. I like the hexagon quilt the best! I would love to see what she meant by a pineapple quilt. Is that like the Hawaiian quilts?


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