Saturday, August 18, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Georgia Wirth

Today's featured quilter is Georgia Wirth.  She happens to occupy a leaf in my family tree since she is married to my cousin, Marvin  They were married in 1966 and have always been a fun couple and family to be around.  They both love to tell jokes and "tall tales".  Some of their stories are a bit difficult to tell whether they are true or not since some facts get a little stretched.  But rest assured, the more far fetched the story may seem, the more true it probably is!

I recall as a young girl that my parents would load up my brother and I to go visit when Marvin and Georgia would visit Marvin's parents.  They were among my favorites to get to see because they were so entertaining... Georgia had a magic trick that she would do and pull out a quarter from someone's ear.  We were always laughing about something that one of them would share.

So, without further delay, here is Georgia...

Have you ever made a quilt?

Yes, I have made several... more than I can count.  They vary in size - bed quilts, wall hangings and table runners.  Most of the quilts have been for family and friends.

Who got you started with quilting?

I watched my mother and grandmothers sewing and crocheting as a young child.  I started making doll clothes around age 5 or 6.  My mom would let me use the Singer sewing machine.  There were several older women on our block and they would on their front porch and I'd go over and show them what I had made.  They would encourage me to keep on sewing.

Tell me a story about your first quilt.

My first quilt was a star pattern.  My friend who had taught me how to quilt was with me when I got the pattern and fabric.  She said "that is a little more advanced... are you sure you want to try that?"  Well, of course I did!  Well, when I started to sew it I was not getting good pints at all on my blocks.  I set it aside for a few months and then decided that I needed to finish it as I had all that fabric.

I did finish it and still have it.  I named the quilt "I Don't Get the Point."

Does your Mother or Grandmother quilt?

My Mother, Barbara Nordell, did made a couple of quilts, but crocheting was her favorite thing to do.

My Father's mother, Frances Holloway, quilted all of the time.  She pieced by hand and used old clothes for fabric.  I have a couple of her quilts. 

This quilt was just the top when I got it. I hand quilted it and named it my forgiveness quilt.

Unfortunately most of my memories of this grandmother where not good. When I finally decided to finish it I prayed every time I worked on it to forgive her. I did and the quilt is finished.

She hand pieced this quilt and it has pieces of fabric from clothes I wore as well as my father and brothers clothes. For that reason it is precious to me.

This star quilt is one she hand pieced and quilted herself on her homemade long arm frame.

She used to do machine quilting for people all over the United States.  She had a long room built on the back of her house.  My Grandfather put pulleys in the ceiling.  She had a rack that held the quilt, batting and back together, the sewing machine stayed still while she moved the rack back and forth on the pulleys.  She had a good business going.

Have you taught someone to quilt?

I have helped people with the, but not from start to finish.

Do you have a favorite block or quilt?

I like to work on quilts that have hand work in them.  I embroider and do needle turn applique.  

This is the most recent quilt that I finished.  I worked on it for 7 years.  It was a fun quilt to make and parts of it traveled all over the place with me.

Do you participate in any quilt groups?

Yes, I belong to one. We call ourselves the "Pin Pricks". It is the group that I learned quilting with. There are six of us, including my friend that helped me select my first quilt pattern and fabric. We meet once a month and work on some projects together and by ourselves. We just finished making some Quilts of Valor that will be given to Veterans.

Have you ever entered any quilt competitions?

I haven't entered any quilts in competitions or for judging, but I may enter one next year in the fair.

Have you sold any quilts?  

If I started selling them, then it would be a business and no longer fun for me.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from my mother and both of my Grandmothers.  I also get a lot of inspiration from my friends.  I love to have my hands busy and sewing gives me peace.

I enjoy most all of the quilting steps.  I love thinking of the person I'm making the quilt for and creating something they will like.  I love bad weather days when I can be in my sewing room all day and not feel guilty.

I am like Georgia.  I enjoy the entire process of quilting... selecting the pattern and fabrics, piecing it, quilting it, binding it... all while thinking of and praying for the person/people that will receive the quilt.  And don't forget the label!  Each quilt given as a gift has a label that states "Blessed from above, Made with love for....  by Melva Nolan and a date.

Do you label your quilts?  
Do you make your own labels?  
Or do you have purchased labels?

Leave a comment... I love to hear from my readers. :)

Quilt happy!


Melva Loves Scraps - home of the Quilters Through The Generations series


  1. Bad weather days are the best for being inside and quilting. I really love this series and getting to meet quilters. Thanks so much for sharing, Melva!

  2. What a great story! I made quilts for my brother's twin grandchildren - a boy and a girl. I used the same fabrics and the same pattern and just put the fabrics in different locations. I put a label on the back of each with as many personal facts as I knew since they live half way across the US from me and I've never seen them. For example, I put on the label that the boy was partially named after his paternal grandfather who served in WWII. I put red and blue simple embroidery around the border for both of the paternal grandfathers who served in that war. I mentioned for the girl that part of her name was for her paternal grandmother and put daisies in the border of her label since that is that grandmother's favorite flower. I looked up the meaning of their names (Finnish and English - their mother is from Finland) and put that on each label, etc. When my nephew showed the quilts to my brother, his dad, the first thing he showed him were the labels. My brother, being his usually fault finding self, told me that I was going to have to make a new label since I had misspelled one of the names. Well, I had used the birth announcements from my nephew and I was correct for once in my life. I took the quilts to show and tell at guild just before I had the binding sewn down since they would be in the mail before the next meeting. I was thrilled when one of the prize winning members came up and complimented me on the way I had not put a border on the quilts. It wasn't my idea - I got it from the internet. Yet it meant a lot to me - she is a nice lady. I dread the label because I do put lots of thought into a label if it is for someone I know. I find it difficult to label a charity quilt since I don't know the person. Thanks for the great story.

  3. Melva, what a great idea to interview your own family members. Too late for me to do that, but I really like the idea. Georgia sounds like a wonderful person and quilter. Thanks for sharing this. I always MEAN to label my quilts, but often wind up using a permanent pen on the binding to write the information!