Saturday, October 7, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Johnny Pfaff

Today Johnny Pfaff - age 12 - is in the spot-light.  Johnny is a third-generation quilter. His Grandma, Sue Harmon, recently shared her story with me.  Johnny has also been mentioned over at Tu-Na Quilts by Karen. Karen met Sue Harmon and her grandchildren while participating in the Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop in August. 

Have you ever made a quilt?    
Yes, my maternal grandma, Sue Harmon, taught me to sew.  

Sue  shared these photos with me  of Johnny from 2011 as he worked on the layout of a wall hanging.

I helped my grandma make the animal quilt I have on my bed as my bed topper, a whale quilt.  (shown here)

So far, I have made two quilts and have another one in the works.  My bed topper is my favorite, because it was the first one I worked on by myself.  I picked the fabrics and did most of the work.

My favorite part of quilting is piecing the final blocks and seeing the finished top.  I get a sense of accomplishment.  Quilting is fun and a good break from electronics.  It’s like meditation when I’m using my hands and my mind.

Does your mother quilt? 
My mom, Deb Pfaff, has made a couple of quilts, the first one when she was in 6th grade. 

It is a pink and blue Rail Fence and tied, like the one his Uncle, Mark Harmon, made, as shown in Julia's story.

Do you have a favorite block?  
Yes, it is the friendship star.  

^^This is Johnny's latest project... 

Grandma Sue shared with Tu-Na Quilts that He did everything himself from cutting strips to squares, marking the 1/2 square triangles, sewing, and pressing to arranging on the design wall. His introductory photo is from the day he was picking out the fabric for this, his latest quilt.

Where do you get your inspiration from?  
My inspiration comes from my passions in life - animals and nature.

I feel that his inspirations speak loudly through his fabric choices that feature animals (in the wall hanging and the whales in his bed topper), as well as the rich blues that he chose for his latest quilt - they remind me of the waters that surround the Caribbean islands... 

And isn't it just magnificent that Johnny enjoys quilting and that his Grandma Sue has taken the time to teach him.  

But I think the best thing is that he uses it as meditation!  This young man seems wise beyond his 12 years!  Be sure to leave some words of encouragement for Johnny in the comments... 

And, be sure to come back next week to meet another of Sue's Quilting Grands... 

If you need me I will be found meditating in my sewing room. 

Happy Quilting!
Photos courtesy of Tu-Na Quilts and Sue Harmon


  1. I really enjoyed getting to read and know more about you, Johnny. I agree that seeing a quilt top pieced together is a lot of fun and satisfying!

  2. Go, Johnny, go!! I agree, quilting is a good break from electronics for all of us! with Grandma Sue heading the cheering section, I suspect this young man will go onto making several more quilts. Interesting story, Melva.

  3. What fun to have Johnny interviews, courtesy of Karen. I really enjoyed his story, Melva. Thanks for thinking of a young quilter for your series.