Why I Joined Rebecca’s Reel Quilters

by Regina Hyatt

In my fifties, I became so sick that my doctor refused to allow me to return to work.  Suddenly I was at home, all day, alone, years before my planned retirement of 70.   In the beginning, I was too ill to think of anything more than getting better. Thankfully, slowly, I improved, and I began to miss the interactions of others.  In other words, I found myself lonely.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t have a husband and family and friends, because I do.  But no one shared my love of sewing.  While raising a family and working, I had forgotten how much I loved sewing. Now my thoughts were filled with fabric and colors and patterns.  In my dreams, I was that little girl again, envisioning the doll clothes I would make for my Barbie.  My friends and family patiently listened to me talk about fabric. They would even interject words to show they hadn’t died of boredom.  It is said that when a student is ready, a teacher will appear. Fortuitously, I found Rebecca’s Reel Quilters.

Suddenly, I had 80 new friends who loved fabric and colors and patterns as much as me.  Attending a meeting, I heard interesting topics from the speakers and was inspired by other members’ work at Show and Tell.  I came to an Open Sew on Wednesday and was met with smiling faces that greeted and welcomed me.

There is a core group of ladies, ranging in age from 40’s to 80’s, at Open Sew, and newcomers come in and are always welcomed. In this wonderful group, there is a generous sharing of quilting knowledge.  It reminds me of the old TV show “Cheers” where everybody knows your name, and they’re awfully glad you came.




Stashbuster Hero Among Us!

by Ellen Mortimer

I’m at that point in my life where busting my substantial fabric stash has become a mission.  I’ve bought very little new fabric this year, determined to use all the wonderful fabrics I’ve collected over many years.  I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and patterns to make the piles grow smaller.

It’s a curious trait of quilters that we buy fabric and are then reluctant to cut it. We hang on to so many fabrics waiting for just the right pattern to turn up that makes it worthwhile to slice and dice it into a masterpiece.

As a chronic collector, I’ve realized that I need to lower the magazines piles, too. So, after getting my hair cut every six weeks, one of my current favorite pastimes is to stop in Barnes & Noble for a cup of tea and to peruse the quilt magazines for inspiration. Flipping through the magazines in the store, I can be more particular about which issues I buy. Even with the subscriptions I have, once I go through it, that magazine gets donated to the Guild or given to a fellow quilter.

I’m always on the lookout for patterns that tackle the many precuts I’ve collected, especially my basket full of jelly rolls. 

Recently, I received McCall’s Quilting for January/February 2020.  I immediately saw an intriguing quilt on the cover that would make a perfect stashbuster.  Glancing through the issue, there were several patterns that made this one a keeper. 

One quilt really caught my eye in the Table of Contents.  It was bright, colorful and reminded me of the delicate, intricate rainbows of stained glass I remember from my childhood church.   I flipped open to page 32 to take a look at it and started to read about this beautiful quilt called “Color Catcher.”   It was exactly what I needed for all the many colorful batiks and jelly rolls that are waiting for just the right inspiration.  Then I glanced up at the author and recognized the picture!

Turns out this new pattern is by none other than our own RRQ member, Jennifer Strauser! 

The “Color Catcher” quilt pattern is perfect for any fabric. I could immediately see it used for my many Asian leftover strips, but my batiks will be particularly happy in this pattern.

I was so surprised and pleased that chance lead me to this one quilt pattern made by someone I actually know. So, thank you, Jen, and keep on creating more patterns for us!

Facing the Ribbon Challenge

Maryann Devine, RRQ Member writes:

For those of you participating in the Ribbon Challenge, the quilts need to have a facing rather than a binding.  Collette Morris was kind enough to demonstrate how this is done at the August meeting with samples at each step shown at the right.


Step 1 is to make a normal 2 ½ binding strip long enough for the two sides.  Iron and fold in half and sew on two opposite sides as you would for a normal binding.

Ribbon Challenge

Step 2 is to use matching thread to topstitch the facing down.  The picture shows the topstitching in a darker color for visibility.

Ribbon Challenge

Step 3 is to fold the entire binding to the back.  In the picture the pins show how it will be positioned.  Note the topstitching line rolls to the back side.

Ribbon Challenge

Step 4 is to hand stitch the binding to the back (again shown in darker thread).

Ribbon Challenge

Step 5 is to make binding for the remaining two sides – 1 ½ inches longer than the side.  Again, sew it on and topstitch as before.  Tuck in ¾ inch at each edge (sorry this is not shown well in the picture). 

Ribbon Challenge

Step 6 is to make a sleeve for hanging.  Cut fabric 8 ½ to 9 inches wide.    Finish edges and fold in half.  Position on back so it will catch under top binding when it is folded down.

Step  7 is to fold the top binding down and hand stitch in place.

Step 8 is to stitch side edges of sleeve down.

When finished there should be no binding visible on the front, only the facing on the back. Happy sewing!