Who we are and what we do

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So who are the people behind Quilter’s Compass? What qualifications do they have? What are their ideals?

We’re hoping to answer some of these questions in our first ever joint blog post between Barb, the owner of Quilter’s Compass, and her daughter, Hilary, the Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator for Quilter’s Compass. We’re hoping that doing this combined post will allow our clients and blog readers to get the answers to the questions posted above.

Barb: I’ve wanted to do this forever. I started planning my first quilt shop in college, and I decline to comment as to how long ago that was. I’ve always loved quilts. My parents had baby quilts and quilts that they’d used as kids and they kept them in the closet and I thought they were beautiful and shouldn’t be in a closet, they should be on a bed.  I wanted to be able to create something that was beautiful and functional too. So, as a teenager I started to tie comforters using printed sheets.  It was a start.

Hilary: Mom taught me how to sew when I was young – maybe 7 or 8 years of age. I made a few throw pillows and a lap quilt for my dad for a gift. Mom also helped my Girl Scout troop make a quilt so we could earn our sewing badges. I just wasn’t as in to sewing and quilting as I think she had hoped I would be, but she never pressured me or pushed me to stick with it. If it wasn’t what I wanted to do, that was fine with her, but she did try! I think I was a like my mom in some ways as a teenager. I did (and still do) love the quilts she made. I was so happy and proud to display them on my bed and “love” them (we don’t say they look “used” or “worn”… they look “loved”!), but I didn’t want to make my own… I just wanted her to make more for me!

Barb: While planning Quilter’s Compass, I was lying awake one morning and thinking “Gee, I’m not sure I want to get up today.” and  just thinking about stuff. Thinking about my parents’ quilts, it occurred to me that women I’d never met, my great-grandmothers, had a huge influence on me and my life. Thinking about my great-grandmothers that way also reinforced the notion that the quilts I’m creating today may have that same kind of impact on my great-grandchildren and I wanted to be able to share the joy of creating that connection with other people.

Hilary: While my great-great-grandmothers didn’t have the same impact on my life as they did on my mothers’,I definitely enjoy looking at the works of art they made so many years ago! I hold my grandfather’s baby quilt and just think to myself, this is what Grandpa curled up with every night starting in 1918, and it amazes me. His quilt is almost 100 years old! We have others from my grandmother that are anywhere from 60 to 80 years old. I just think it’s so cool.

Barb: If you look at statistics and demographics, the largest or most common profile of a quilter today is a woman who is probably in her early- to mid-fifties or older. As someone who nearly became a home economics teacher, I realize that the place that a lot of kids learn to sew is just not available any more (sewing programs in home economics courses in school). As the current primary base of quilters continues to age, if we don’t find a way to help young people discover this traditional art form, we run the risk of losing out. In an effort to making quilting relevant to younger generations, I try to fuse the traditional with contemporary to acknowledge the past and look to the future. I do this by mixing – traditional techniques with more modern fabric colors and prints, contemporary quilt designs done up in more traditional fabrics. I also love helping quilters see that you don’t need to stay within one fabric line. I love showing people how to, and that you can, mix lines. I like to get people to think outside the box. After all, there are no quilt police! If you like something, go for it and have fun!

Hilary: Since opening the shop, my mom has tricked me into quilting a few things. I’ll see fabric or a pattern I like and ask her to make it for me and she has the nerve to tell me to make it myself! She always says something about being busy or something… like she has things to do these days! 😉 Anyway, so I decided to make myself my very first quilt. It’s a more contemporary design, but the fabrics I used are all over the place! I have Civil War Reproductions, fabric from a children’s collection, batiks, basics, as well as other contemporary and traditional lines of fabric. I’m really starting to see just how harmonious contemporary and traditional can be when put together in one quilt. It’s a beautiful thing!


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