North Carolina is brimming with amazingly talented makers who love their craft and their communities—from the Appalachian Mountains, with the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River, to the coasts of Beaufort, where it’s said the pirate Blackbeard ran his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, aground near the present day inlet. And from the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the first public university in the United States, to the state’s historic tobacco farms with an interesting and unexpected quilt history, this state is jam-packed with talented and passionate quilters. Come along as we explore the history and people of North Carolina.
Issue 22: Texas Hill Country
Pioneers in Texas Hill Country could look north, south, east, and west and see for miles. The sky was an endless blue, and the open range held limitless possibilities. For these folks, quilts were literally a means of survival. They kept their children warm on cold nights and were used in place of doors for families who lived in dugouts.
Join us as we explore the people, places, and stories nestled against the beautiful landscape of Hill Country!
There is nothing small about the hearts of the Maryland quilt folks we met. We visited the historic Dentzel Carousel in Glen Echo Park with Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci, the owners of Brimfield Awakening, a quilting store built on their friendship. We spent time on the Eastern shore with Victoria McConnell, president of the Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore, and popped into a UFO meeting with its members. And most readers will be familiar with Baltimore Album quilts, whose out-sized legacy is stewarded by the Baltimore Appliqué Society. Once you take a trip with us through beautiful Maryland, we think you’ll understand why three different regions of America want to call it their own.
When you think of Idaho and all you see is a sack of potatoes, it’s time to put that sack aside. Imagine instead a treasure chest full of sapphires, rubies, diamonds, and pure gold. Yes, Idaho is abundant in potatoes (though its dairy and wheat exports are actually larger). But it’s also so rich in precious and semiprecious stones that it has been dubbed “The Gem State.” But if the best things in life are free, Idaho’s got you covered there too. Her epic lakes, waterfalls, and geothermal wonderland of hot springs that dot the mountains will cost you nothing (or, at most, the price of park admission).
Roughly 1,000 people move to Florida every day, and you can bet some of them are quilters. In Northern Florida, Valerie Goodwin and Carolyn Friedlander make quilts that combine their love of art and architecture; Kathy Metelica Cray and Teddy Pruett keep the nation’s quilt traditions alive; and from her homestead, quilt superstar Vanessa Vargas Wilson has built a global empire with tomato plants, family ties, and a passion for quilts. Watch for gators and grab a slice of Key lime pie; it’s time for some “Northern Florida” sweetness!
Which state is the nation’s leading producer of corn, soybeans, and pumpkins? If you guessed “Illinois,” you’re right — and if you knew the answer, you might be a Midwesterner. Often referred to as “The Prairie State,” Illinois’s 57,000 square miles are carpeted with lush farmlands, quiet forests, and rolling hills. And there are so many talented quilters to meet in “The Prairie State.” We hope you’ll join us in meeting a few of them as we take you on a wonderful, wintry tour of Illinois within the pages of Issue 18.
Connecticut is one of the oldest states in America, and this distinction shows up in early quilts made in the region, some dating back to the early days of the Republic. If you’ve pieced Star blocks, strips, Flying Geese, or other traditional patchwork components, Connecticut quiltmakers deserve a debt of gratitude. We suspect that by the time you finish reading Quiltfolk, Issue 17: Connecticut, you’ll feel like you’ve spent a few enjoyable days getting to know some new quilty friends from “The Nutmeg State.”
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. Get a sneak peek at all the wonderful family stories (and quilts) by clicking below.
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Quiltfolk knows that wherever we roam, we’ll find surprises and uncover a state’s best-kept secrets. But in Virginia City, Nevada, one quiltmaker told us that the whole state of Nevada is “America’s best-kept secret” — and she might be right. Every day of our Nevada trip held surprise and delight. You’ll meet a young woman who wears her patchwork on her sleeve; you’ll get to know a group of big kids making quilts for little ones; and you’ll attend the first-ever Quiltfolk show-and-tell.
South Carolina charmed us completely, and now it’s your turn to be delighted. In Issue 14, you’ll “paint the town” with new friends on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, you’ll peek into vaults of textile history, you’ll see how grand views of the Atlantic inspire more than patchwork, and you’ll meet a lean, mean longarming “machine”… who just started kindergarten. If you’re a quilter who wants to have her boiled peanuts and eat them too, the Palmetto State has its hand up, waving for you to come on over and stay awhile.
Beyond being a place of casseroles and hockey, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is also home to many talented quilters living their own version of the good life. For Rose Marie Werner, this means studying her favorite topic: vintage quilt kits; for longarm quilter Karen McTavish, it’s sharing what she knows; for immigrant Suzanne Thao, the good life means passing on an important appliqué tradition. What’s your idea of the good life? Picture it in your mind — but first, let’s see how they do things in Minnesota.
Issue 12: Kentucky
It’s the land of folk music, award-winning bourbon, a world-famous horse race, and quilts that could stack as high as the Appalachian Mountains. It’s Kentucky, of course! In each issue, Quiltfolk takes you on a roadtrip to see incredible quilts and meet remarkable quilters and quilt lovers, always against a different, gorgeous American backdrop. Well, “gorgeous” might be an understatement when you’re talking about Kentucky. The hills, valleys, and pretty red-brick houses in the city of Louisville paint a picture of the truly triple-crown state.
Issue 11: Southern California
Grab your sunglasses. Grab some avocados. Grab that Map of the Stars and hop into the nearest convertible because we’re going to Southern California! In Issue 11 you’re going to meet remarkable people who live, work, and sew in sunny “SoCal,” the land of orange groves, naval bases, and year-round sunshine. (Southern Californians are so nice, it’s actually hard to be jealous about that last thing.) See you on the beach!
Issue 10: Vermont
In Issue 10, Quiltfolk is taking you to see quilts in the green mountains and exquisite forests of Vermont.People want what Vermont’s got. And what it’s got is world-famous fall foliage, buckets of New England charm (and maple syrup), more than a few Jersey cows, and enough peace and quiet for a quilter to sit and sew awhile. There’s so much quilted beauty to discover in the Green Mountain State. We’re proud to bring you the best of it in our 10th issue
Issue 09: Utah
We can’t wait for you to come on the road with us to this beautiful state and meet all the phenomenal people who live and quilt there. You’ll see quilts in the great outdoors; enjoy tales of hardy pioneers; meet modern-day quilters with family sewing traditions — and so much more.
Issue 08: Michigan
A living legend. A notable writer-quilter with a new, groundbreaking book. A fine artist, a barn block painter, a quilter in transition. These stories and so many more are abound in Quiltfolk Issue 08: Michigan.
Issue 07: Louisiana
What extraordinary place could be beautiful, strong, and proud enough to serve as the grand finale for the mighty Mississippi River? Louisiana, of course. Only Louisiana with her impossibly gorgeous mix of people, language, nature, and history — and quilting traditions — could fulfill such a task.
Issue 06: Arizona
It took two crews to collect stories from the great state of Arizona – a first for Quiltfolk. The sheer size of Arizona was only part of the challenge. As the largest geographical area we’ve featured thus far and the sixth largest state in the US overall, there was a lot of (literal) ground to cover. But the landscape was met with an equally vast and beautiful quilting community, and all of the Quiltfolk crew left Arizona inspired and refreshed by what we’d found.
Issue 05: Eastern Massachusetts
Mark Twain once wrote, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” At Quiltfolk we can now echo that advice, since we arrived in Massachusetts on the heels of a hurricane, just in time for the impending tropical storm that followed. Gratefully, we were able to weather the (literal) storms in pursuit of some of the most fascinating quilters, designers, shops, and guilds that the eastern half of the state has to offer.
Issue 04: Tennessee
Tennessee is all those things you see in the movies. It’s fireflies and sweet tea. It’s old Hollywood gone country. It’s driving down the country roads in the bed of a beat-up pickup truck. Tennessee is amber waves of grain, and it is good ol’ southern charm. Above all, Tennessee is a place worth going and coming back to. Join us as we explore the quilting community full of places, faces, and quilts that are sure to draw you into this historic state.
Issue 03: Hawaii
For Issue 03, we decided to shake things up a bit and to explore a quilting community with a very different look and feel from the first two issues. We came home appreciating both Hawaii’s uniqueness and the commonalities it shares with other quilting communities we’ve explored.
Issue 02: Iowa
For Issue 02, the Quiltfolk team explored an integral piece of America’s quilting culture. Iowa has more quilt shops per capita than any place on earth and a reputation for being rich with quilting history. The people were friendly, the places were picturesque, and the quilts were bold and incredibly beautiful.
Issue 01: Oregon
For the first ever issue of Quiltfolk, we crisscrossed our home state of Oregon, a wildly diverse piece of the American landscape known for its natural beauty and pioneering spirit. We hit the road with notebooks and cameras in hand, documenting the first leg of our long and glorious journey ahead.