Saturday, March 3, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Monica King

Today Monica King joins us.  Monica and I met several years ago at a Women's "retreat weekend" and have had to opportunity to get to know each other quite well.  Monica has a sense of humor and has the ability to make anyone give a good chuckle, or at least a good groan when she tells a joke or a story.  She has a generous heart and a kind spirit and she just shines when she talks of her mother, Norma Quinn, and how she assisted her mom with her quilts...

Have YOU ever made a quilt?
I have never made a quilt myself, but I helped my mother – my job was cutting out the pieces for whatever quilt she was making at the time. Mom started making quilts when she was in her thirties. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I started helping her with cutting out the pieces.

My mother, Norma Quinn made her first quilt which was a patchwork quilt using material from dresses she made for my sisters and I. At the time, she was knotting the quilts together with yarn and did teach me how to do that. I got pretty good at that! Later on, mom started making more intricate designs, using applique, even designing her own applique Indian quilt, like the one shown. 

Norma made this appliqued Indian quilt for her grandson, Keith.  Sadly it was lost in a house fire in 2002.

Though Mom would machine-stitch most of her pieces together (except the applique), she always hand-stitched every quilt she made. She started out using a small round quilting hoop, but as she got more “into” quilting, Dad made her a large quilting frame that would fit the width of the quilt that she would roll up as she finished a row. Mom learned how to do the stitching on a trip to Pennsylvania where the Dutch ladies showed her how to do the stitches – one stitch at a time (not a running stitch). 

Here you can see the detail of the hand-stiching in the border and sashing strips.

My mother gave away just about every quilt she made – to family and friends or anyone who expressed a desire to have one of her quilts. I don’t think she ever took payment for any quilt she made. Mom quilted most days – until the last few months of her life. She passed away in 1997 at the age of 68.

Below is a quilt that Norma had given to her friend, Jane.  
Jane's sister, Elaine gave it to Monica's sister Nancy after Norma passed away.  How special is that?


Here is a photo of Norma with one of her quilts...

Monica shared that she still has a few of her mother’s handmade quilts. 

They are so well used that major repair work is needed on just about all of them. Below is one of Mom's quilts that I still use.

My mother taught me and my sisters (Nancy & Julie) how to sew – however, only one of my sisters picked up the quilting bug (Julie). Below is the quilt my sister Julie made for me when she got married.

Julie has made numerous quilts, include these below that were Christmas gifts for family members in 2007.

Here are a few more of Julie's quilts...

Julie made these Memory Quilts for a friend after the loss of her mother.  The one to the left is one of six that Julie made for her friend and the surviving grand-children.  The one below was for the widower.  

Here is a t-shirt quilt made for her brother Steven... he gave her 49 Harley t-shirts and she made a king-sized quilt, three pillows and two valances with them.

And a sweet little baby quilt... (I love the curved ends)

What ever happened to your Mom's first quilt?

My sister, Julie, has the first quilt my mother ever made for me.  She had used left over fabric from dresses and other clothing she made for me and my sisters.  The “knots” came undone (I got the quilt when I was about 10) and the backing came off. Julie was going to put a new back on it.

Monica, do you have a favorite block? 

The Double Wedding Ring is my favorite block but really any quilt made by my mother is a favorite. 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

Any crafting inspirations came from my mother.  The closest I have come to completing a quilt is this cross-stitch that I had given to my mother.  It was returned to me after she passed.

I think that anytime a quilt (or any gift - like the cross-stitch) given with love and returned to the maker, becomes it even more special - Doubly blessed!  

Have you ever been Doubly Blessed?  

I'd love to hear your Doubly Blessed story... leave a comment.

Quilt Happy...



  1. What awesome memories and family history in those quilts!

  2. I made a quilt for my mom's sister, with a theme of their Iowa childhood, and after she passed, her daughter-in-law was really careful to go through all of her things and make sure that the quilt was returned to me. I was so happy to see that it was worn, which showed me that my aunt had used it--which was exactly what I'd hoped. I wanted it to be loved, to be part of her daily life. That quilt is now a treasured possession, meaning far more to me than if I had never given it to her but had just kept it for myself when I'd first made it.

  3. I made my husband a Route 66 quilt for our anniversary 3 years ago that everyone loved. We grew up along Route 66 and my family traveled it from Illinois to California many times. It brings back many memories.

    1. I have had some Route 66 fabric and hope to find more for the t-shirt quilt for my husband. At least something road related, anyway. Thanks for visiting. I hope you will visit again soon. Blessings, Melva

  4. My mother made one quilt using clothes. She didn't like it and when I moved away she gave it to me. I carted it around the county till this last move when I noticed the packers didn't treat it well. I know packers treat pictures gently wrapping them so carefully in many layers, so I had my husband build a frame and now it hangs on the wall waiting for the next move.

    1. What a wonderful idea for your quilt. You still get to enjoy it AND it will be well treated if it needs to be moved again. Thanks for visiting MLS. I hope you will visit again soon. Blessings, Melva

  5. Thanks for sharing all the great photos!

    1. You're very welcome. They are great quilts, aren't they? Thank you for visiting MLS. I hope that you will visit again soon. Blessings...