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Decorating With Quilts and a Designer Show-and-Tell Part 2

2020 was definitely the year for staying at home. We relied on the internet for a lot of our entertainment. This also applied to quilt shows and seeing what other quilters have been doing. Quilters are very generous people and often share tips and ideas for using quilts to decorate their homes.

Hi, it's Carolyn Beam here again; I'm the editor of Quilter's World magazine and the person who writes this update. Thanks for joining me as I share my thoughts about quilting with you. As always, I'd love to hear ideas and suggestions from you as well.

With each update, I will select a book or pattern to accompany it that I think will be of interest to you. With this update, I'm suggesting the Scrapbook Quilt Pattern. The new year always inspires me to go through and organize my fabric stash, and I'm always looking for new scrap-busting quilt patterns to help me "de-stash." This is the perfect pattern for taking a bite out of your stash. I think it would look great in any color choices.

When I asked our designers to share ways that they use quilts in their homes, the response was overwhelming. In the previous Quilter's World update, I shared ways I've used quilts in my home as well as how some of our designers decorate with quilts. Here's another quilt show for you to enjoy from more of our designers who have shared some wonderful ideas. I'd love to hear from you if these ideas have inspired you to try some in your own home.

Carolyn McCormick, creator of the Add-A-Quarter ruler and author of many books, has quilts throughout her house.

Carolyn McCormick fireplace -- Click here for larger image Carolyn McCormick quilts -- Click here for larger image
Carolyn McCormick's fireplace. Carolyn McCormick's quilts.

But the quilt that really caught my eye was the one folded at the bottom of her guest bed.

Carolyn McCormick guest bed -- Click here for larger image
Carolyn McCormick's guest bed.

This quilt looked fascinating, so I asked her for more information.

Return of the Swallows 1 -- Click here for larger image Return of the Swallows 2 -- Click here for larger image
Return of the Swallows 1. Return of the Swallows 2.

Carolyn told me that the original quilt, Return of the Swallows, was made by Grace Snyder of North Platte, Nebraska in 1944 at the end of World War II when yard goods could not be bought in stores, and Grace had to rely on her scraps to make the original quilt. Carolyn made her quilt over the course of 5 1/2 months in early 2020 during the pandemic. There are 30 blocks with 11,160 pieces in the blocks, 5,364 pieces in the sashing and cornerstones, and 3,746 pieces in the borders for a total of 20,270 pieces! It was quilted by Carol Willey. Carolyn said this was the longest period of time that she has ever worked on a quilt. While she used her Add-A-Quarter ruler and foundation paper piecing to make this quilt, can you imagine how long it took Grace to make hers without the advantage of the modern conveniences we have today?

If you're not familiar with Grace Snyder, she was a fascinating quilter definitely worth learning more about. You can read more about her in the book No Time on My Hands by Grace Snyder as told to Nellie Snyder Yost.

Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream, lives in a townhouse with very few large walls, but she does have an open staircase where she displays a quilt. She changes the quilt to coordinate with the season. Notice her cat at the top of the stairs checking things out!

Kate Colleran open staircase -- Click here for larger image
Kate Colleran's open staircase.

She likes to drape one over the back of her sofa and makes sure the one displayed for winter is also cozy enough to cuddle up under on cold winter nights. She also has a few pieces of furniture where she tucks in folded quilts. Quilted table runners and place mats add the finishing touches.

Kate Colleran winter quilts -- Click here for larger image Kate Colleran folded quilts -- Click here for larger image
Kate Colleran's winter quilts. Kate Colleran's folded quilts.
Kate Colleran table runner -- Click here for larger image
Kate Colleran's table runner.

Kathleen Berlew makes smaller projects using a lot of felted wool. Here are some of her holiday creations.

Kathleen Berlew Folk Floral -- Click here for larger image Kathleen Berlew Holly Wreath -- Click here for larger image
Kathleen Berlew's Folk Floral. Kathleen Berlew's Holly Wreath.
Kathleen Berlew Home for the Holidays Pillow -- Click here for larger image
Kathleen Berlew's Home for the Holidays Pillow.

Here's what Karen DuMont said about using her quilts:

"My husband and I not only sleep under a quilt each night but we also eat our daily meals on one that covers our table and we wrap up in others while watching TV in the evenings. Quilting has been a major part of my everyday life for the past 25 years. I have made quilts for all members of our family and friends from new births to aging mothers. My grandkids have a plethora of quilts that they each cherish in their own way. Quilts add a warm dimension to any room and tell a lot about the people who live there. They reflect the personality of the designer and inhabitants."

Here are some of Karen's quilts.

Karen Dumont kitchen table -- Click here for larger image Karen Dumont Braid quilt -- Click here for larger image
Karen Dumont's kitchen table. Karen Dumont's Braid quilt.
Karen Dumont pumpkin quilt -- Click here for larger image Karen Dumont living room -- Click here for larger image
Karen Dumont's pumpkin quilt. Karen Dumont's living room.

I love looking at quilts and how our designers use them in their homes. It's definitely inspired me. I don't think I have enough seasonal quilted table runners, so now I plan to add more to my decorating. I like the pop of color they add to my table. And quilted pillows work up fast. Do you have any extra quilt blocks that didn't quite fit into a quilt or one you made as a test block? It's easy to turn one into a pillow for a quick decorating addition to a sofa or chair. So many ideas ... where to start first? Please feel free to email me with your ideas and suggestions at Editor@QuiltersWorld.com.

Stay safe and healthy and enjoy the new year!

Take care,


Carolyn Beam

Carolyn Beam
Editor, Quilter's World magazine

Carolyn has been quilting for over 40 years. She took her first class when her oldest son was a baby and hasn't stopped since. She has traveled the country teaching and lecturing and has had many designs published in books and magazines. Besides making quilts for family and friends, she also makes quilts to donate to the fire department her youngest son works for. Carolyn is married with three grown sons and one adorable grandson.

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