Issue 16: Family

The circumstances surrounding travel during the pandemic (especially in late spring of 2020) prompted us to reimagine Quiltfolk’s latest issue. The result?

Issue 16: Family is the first-ever themed edition of Quiltfolk. And we couldn’t be more excited to share this unique and powerful issue with our readers.

Quiltmakers know that families are a lot like quilts: They come in many colors, patterns, and sizes —and as beautiful as they may be, at some point in the process, someone’s going to cry. In fact, specific quilts can describe families. Some families are wholecloth quilts: strong and stable, with few seams and no skipped stitches —until you look closely.There are “kitchen sink” scrap-quilt families, where wildly different patches come together, hopefully harmoniously (though we know that with scrap quilts, anything could happen.) There are old quilts and old families. There are young families, new as quilts made with the latest fabric and a fresh sewing machine. Then there are the tattered-quilt families, the ones that look like they could fall apart at any second. Don’t despair: Any quiltmaker will tell you there’s always a way to mend just about anything. What kind of quilt is your family? Perhaps it’s one made of memories, like Asake Denise Foy Jones’s Land of My Hands or Shiloh Holley’s quilt for her late father. Maybe your family’s got a new lease on life, like the quilts coming out of Brittany Young’s studio. Maybe, like Erick Wolfmeyer, your family quilt isn’t finished, yet. It takes luck, faith, and a lot of work to create a family quilt that endures. Even so, those who help sew it all together will tell you that nothing matters more.

164 pages, offset printed and perfect bound, full color on uncoated paper. Printed in the USA.

Previews from Issue 16

“‘Puff’ the Magic Quilt” by Carmen Schell

When Brittany Lloyd was a little girl in North Carolina, “Granny Grunt” — aka her doting grandmother — always had an endless list of craft projects to delight in over the summer. Out of those countless hours of creativity came Brittany’s love of making and, later, a devotion to quiltmaking. Brittany has embarked on a project of remaking Granny’s quilts in a modern style, including one very special “puff” quilt that holds memories of the woman who loved and looked after her.

“Laura’s Wooden Blocks” by Kestrel Michaud

What is left when a family home is destroyed? The artist Laura Petrovich-Cheney makes most of her “wood quilts” using reclaimed materials from natural disasters. When her family’s house was flattened in Hurricane Sandy several years ago, Laura took wood from the wreckage to reclaim “home”. Laura’s work is colorful and bright, proving there’s room for light and restoration after tragedy.

“Aunt Mae and the Patchwork Time Capsule” by Heather Kinion

While visiting Washington state for a wedding, Heather Kinion’s aunt shared some interesting news. She had come across a box of loose patchwork: Sunbonnet Sue blocks made decades ago by Heather’s rather mysterious, late Aunt Mae. Heather, an award-winning quiltmaker, decided to finish the job her great aunt had started and learn a bit about her family in the process. 

“Q&A With the Calvillo Family” by the Calvillo Family

Growing up, Valerie Calvillo’s grandmother (“BB”) taught her how to see beauty in the everyday. Today, Valerie’s quilts are inspired by BB’s love and her desire to share with others. When Valerie mentioned in her story submission that she had six children, we decided to give the Calvillo kids the chance to interview their mom about BB, who passed away before they were born. The family joined us via Zoom for the event — and brought along a family quilt they’re working on during the pandemic.

“One Hundred Good Wishes” by Carol Goss

Every adoptive parent hopes for their child’s good fortune and safety — especially when their child is coming from a world away. Carol Goss is the proud mom of two girls from China. To welcome them home, she created a “One Hundred Good Wishes” quilt with other adoptive parents she met in a Facebook group. The story is sweet and hopefully inspiring to any person who wants to wrap a China-adopted child in love and good wishes. 

“Surrounded By Love” by Teri Green

Just over a year ago, the unthinkable occurred: Two young, first-time parents gave birth to an “angel baby” — a baby who is stillborn. In this heart-wrenching story, Teri Green tells us about the baby quilt she and her mother had planned to give their dear friends Felicia Gangloff-Bailey and husband, Karega Bailey, when they brought their bundle of joy home from the hospital. Teri’s story is one of tragedy, hope, and the power of a quilt to memorialize and surround all of us in love.

“Susan Salser & Mary Gasperik” by Meg Cox

One of the most accomplished quiltmakers in American history may have been a Hungarian immigrant living in the Midwest in the first half of the 20th century. Staff writer Meg Cox heard the story of Mary Gasperik from granddaughter Susan Salser, who shares the story of her quiet but extraordinarily talented family member. Susan has dedicated much of her life to documenting and promoting the work of her grandmother. Though she didn’t spend much time with Mary while she was alive, Susan has grown to know and love this exceptional woman through her quilt legacy.

“Love, Bonnie” by Mary Fons

Before she passed away, Bonnie Oyler Griffiths made a quilt for each of her two grandsons. Sewn into each quilt were Bonnie’s personalized blessings for Ben and Sam, with the hopes her two precious grandsons would remember her when she was gone. How could they forget? Bonnie also wrote two heartfelt letters to be given with the quilts. The letters, reprinted in full in Issue 16, are testaments in paper to the love of a grandmother; the quilts, testaments in fabric.

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