Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Mae Weller

Today I introduce to you a cousin, Mae Weller. Technically she and I are first cousins, once removed.  Or is it second cousin?? But does that really matter??? No.  The fact is we have a branch in our family trees that bear the same names.  I often refer to Mae as "my Quilting Cousin".

Have you ever made a quilt? - Yes, I have made quite a few quilts.

If so, who got you started quilting? My friend, Kerrie, has been on this journey with me from the beginning, (2009).  I met Kerrie and her husband, Jake at church where we were in Bible studies together.  We got to talking about quilting and I told her that I had tried to do one on my own, but it didn’t quite turn out because I really didn’t know what I was doing.  (shown below)  

She encouraged me to take a class at Great American Quilt Factory in Denver. (They have since closed)  I made this purple/green/gray sampler quilt in class.  It hangs on the wall above my bed.

Did my mother/father quilt? My mother (Yvonne Weller) and father (Richard Weller) made a quilt for me when I was a child.  It was a very simple quilt with 4” or 5” squares.  My mother did the sewing and my father helped her tie it with yarn.  I am sad that I don’t know what ever happened to it.

My Paternal Grandmother, Luna Weller, was an avid quilter.  I have one of her quilts.  I believe this Wedding Ring Quilt was one that she made before she got married.  

My dad has told me the story of the times that they traveled from Wray, Colorado to Trinidad, Colorado when he was a small child.  They were visiting my great-grand parents, William and Atchafalya (Lala) Teegarden. (This is where our family tree/branches converge - we have the same Great-Grandmother) The women would sit around a quilting frame set up in the living room and quilt while they visited. Since my dad was so young, he was not allowed to go play with the bigger kids and had to sit with the ladies.  From his comments, I don’t think he was too happy about that!

Have you taught someone to quilt? Yes, I have been teaching my daughter, Amanda, to quilt.  We made this pink quilt for her best friend’s new baby girl.  

We also made this Hazel the Hedgehog quilt for her cousin (my niece), Erin for her wedding. She has made several rag quilts for her friends and is currently working on one all by herself and I couldn’t be more proud!  She does not sew as much as she would like as she is a working mom of 4 boys, (5 if you count her hubby!)

My mom, Yvonne, taught me to sew when I was probably 7 or 8, and I would make doll clothes, and some simple things.  I was in 4-H with my best friend, Colleen Kelley and her mom, Shirley was our leader.  This must have been during Junior High.  My mom, or myself made all of my clothes, including prom dresses and my mom even made my wedding dress.

My mother-in-law, Georgia Ramion, also sewed and we would do projects together.  I can remember going camping together with my parents and my in-laws at Reudi Reservoir.  The guys would go fishing and the girls would have hand sewing projects that we would pull out and do while we enjoyed the mountains.  Mike, my older brother’s first wife, Kathy, sewed as well and she fit right in with the rest of us when they would join us on our camping trips.

How many quilts have I made? I lost track after 20 – I have tried to keep a quilt journal to keep track of my quilts and who they were made for and a little about each one, but it is a little out of date.  A good project for retirement in a couple of years. 

I don’t have a favorite block.  I like to try different ones with each new project.

Do you participate in any quilt groups? Yes, I was a member of the Arapahoe County Quilt Guild when I lived in Denver, now I belong to the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild. 
The Arapahoe guild had speakers that would come and do a program on a topic, such as the use of colors, how to work with curves, etc. They were involved with some of the quilt shows in town.
The Tucson Guild is a smaller guild and we have a show and tell where you can bring in your projects to show, or get help with something you are having trouble with. We sometimes have someone speak, often times, a member of the guild. They will show us a technique one month and then the next month we bring in a project using that technique. Tucson also has "sew days" where we get together on a Saturday and work on projects, either our own or a charity quilt. Last year we made a paper pieced quilt of a modified Arizona Star block that we sent to Quilt Con in Atlanta, just for show, we did not submit it for judging. That was fun! Tonight we are having our Ice Cream social! A great group of ladies!

Have you entered any competitions? No and I really don’t have any desire to enter any. I have not sold any quilts either.

Where do you get your inspiration from? People’s interests that I am making quilts for.  I am in the process of finishing up a book-shelf quilt for my sister-in-law, Toni Weller, as she is a teacher-librarian at a high school and she loves books.  Also, I love bright colors and the fabrics call to me every time I visit a fabric/quilt shop.

What is your favorite part of quilting? I love trying to do my own designs (well they are usually just a version of something I have seen and I put my own twist on them).  I have access to a drafting program, Autocad, and have used it to help me design a couple of quilts.  I have since heard of a program called “Sketch Up” and have downloaded it, but have not played with it too much yet.  I will use it more after I retire and no longer have access to Autocad. I also love the piecing of the tops.  I am not too skilled in the actual quilting, but I recently purchased a small long-arm machine and have been practicing on it.

Why do I quilt? It is my happy place.  I can totally lose myself in my sewing room for hours.  I love the fabrics, I love the sewing and it helps me satisfy the tiny bit of creativity that I have. Most of what I do for my job is very rigid, very geometric.  Quilting helps me take the rigidness out, but helps me keep the geometry in, and sometimes, helps me see outside of the box.

What do you do with your quilts? Well, I have given away quite a few, but there are those that I want to do just for me.  So it is a pretty good mix of one for someone else, one for me. I have them hanging on my walls, or I use them for table toppers, or use them to curl up with.  There have been some that I have helped with that have gone to different charities.  


  1. I've loved reading your posts. The double wedding ring quilt is beautiful. Seeing one of these quilts was what really enticed me into patchwork and yet I have never made one myself - not yet anyway.

  2. Mae is a friend from the Emmaus Community in the Denver area. It's so fun to read about something I didn't know about her! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. So many of us have many facets of life, and it is always good to discover a new one.