Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How did the Quilting Frogs get started?

When we moved to Texas, I was still a lone quilter, but I was looking for some companions to join me in my endeavors. One day when I was walking down the hall, one of my now dear friends asked me if I would teach her to quilt. Thus, the Quilting Frogs were born. (The school mascot was the bullfrog.)

I was more than willing to share what I knew and hoped to learn more as time went on. We met at my house on a regular basis. I lived on a military base, so getting us all together required me driving up to the front gate and bringing the ladies back to the house. We shared meals, laughter and tears, and also quilted. As we worked together, word spread and we added more teachers. Many days during the summer, my husband would come home for lunch and be greeted by all the ladies. I am certain more than a few threads made it back to his office each day, but he never registered a single complaint. When he returned for supper, he was again greeted by many of them. The dinning room was an unofficial quilting studio with several sewing machines humming along happily each day. The center island in the kitchen was just the right height for a cutting table. The ironing board seemed to move from room to room depending on how many of us were "working." He even skipper the pontoon to take us out to "unwind" after all the "hard" work we had done all day. (He is truly an officer and a gentleman, and the better half of our relationship!!!)

In the beginning we shopped at Joann's for all our fabric and many of our tools. It was part of the whole package. Sometimes we would meet there before coming to my house, and other times we would take a break and just go fill our eyes with color and eat out. The whole time we were also building friendships that have grown stronger over the years. When school started up after our first summer of quilting together, we decided to do some quilting on a weekly basis at school. We added a few more teachers at that point. We even made a blue and yellow sampler quilt to help raise money for something at school.

As part of that friendship we have made blocks for four quilts. The first one is the blue and white one. We were still a very small group at that point.

Then we decided to do one for Christmas. We were then a group of five, plus my daughter who was quilting away in Iowa. I made my block as the corner blocks so that I could make a larger quilt and used a quilt as you go method.

Near the end of the second year of quilting together we made our
pink, green, and black quilt. The fabrics for it were gathered while
we were doing a shop hop. We had lots of discussions about what
colors we wanted to call pink and green, but the black was easy. I
do not know if everyone actually pieced their tops, but I did quilt a few on my longarm.

Our latest friendship quilt included 8 friends, including one that I picked up after my move to Tennessee. Those blocks took us longer to finish and share, but I have mine together and will be sharing it with all my friends when we have our first annual quilt camp this summer. The quilt label for this one says "Blocks by Quilting Frogs, Friends, and a Tadpole" This summer the tadpole will move up in the ranks to a full -blown honorary member of the Frogs. (She did not teach with us, but she is my daughter and a wonderful quilter.)

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