Posted on 18 Comments

Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts

WindowsIt was with a little bit of trepidation that I waved goodbye to the majority of my personal quilts I have made.  They were loaded into an SUV to be taken to the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg for their three month exhibit “Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts.” I told my friend, Bunnie Jordon, the exhibit’s curator who was driving them down, “There goes my life’s work.”  No pressure there!

Many of my longtime friends helped to hang the quilts. Since this experience has been something akin to handing over my children, this calmed me…somewhat.

VQM InstallAs you know, I make all of my quilts by hand. People think I am crazy to do everything by hand and they marvel that I do it but wonder why.

Ray of Light
Ray of Light

But to me handwork is a solace. Sitting and stitching by hand and thinking about what is going on in my life spins the events of everyday life into the quilts. It is sort of a meditation – you don’t have to rush, finish, get it done. I can just relax and enjoy the moment. That is what hand stitching is to me.

I can look at each of those quilts and know where I was when I was making it, what was happening in my life at that time and each one brings back memories.

The exhibit will have 18 of my personal quilts including “Ray of Light” and “Windows” as well as 21 quilts from my charm quilt collection.

3 Quilts
Sundance, Day Lilies, and Ode to Vasarely

A quilt where every piece is cut from a different fabric is called a charm quilt.  Charm quilts are usually made with pieces cut from a single shape such as a square, diamond, triangle or hexagon. Tumbling Blocks is one of my favorite designs for a charm quilt and is a great hand-piecing project.  I love these unique quilts and often use their many fabrics as inspiration for my fabric designs.

My exhibit at the museum runs through April 25.  I will be giving a lecture, to be followed by a reception, on February 22.  I would love to have you join me.  For more information, please visit the Virginia Quilt Museum website.


18 thoughts on “Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts

  1. What golden words! The worst thing that can tell me the people – this is why you do not sell their quilts and sell them. But my quilts – my children!

  2. my desires is to come to your studio and take classes of colors I love your quilts I love the color play Talent that you have

  3. What an honor for you! You deserve it. Your babies are in very good hands.

  4. How many quilts have you made in your lifetime by hand.? Are their pictures we can see them too.

    1. We are not sure Jinny has ever counted but she has her very special ones, the ones in the exhibit on the website in the

  5. your quilts are magnificent and your teaching of hand quilting is beautiful !
    I know who ever is able to attend your lecture will have and everlasting memory of there quilt story ..
    Thank you for always sharing with everyone all of your techniques and use of fabric.

  6. What a wonderful show this will be!! I so wish I could be there to enjoy seeing your quilts again and to listen to your lecture. You have influenced so many people is such a positive way. Thank you for sharing your love of quilting with me! You changed my life!! I, too, continue to enjoy hand piecing and quilting, making quilts for pleasure, not for the actual end product….even though, I do LOVE my “babies” when they are done!
    Have a great show !!
    Best Wishes from the Ozarks!

    Judy Spahn

  7. Wish I could visit there, but thats a long way from Oswego!

  8. That will be a gorgeous exhibit, how I wish I could see it and attend your lecture! But I will content myself with your wonderful website and books. I’ve learned so much from you. Thanks for sharing.

  9. oh how I would love to visit and view your lovely quilts, I had no idea you hand stitched them until I read this blog, makes them even more special… I am in Australia and maybe one day I may get the chance to visit. I know the exhibition will be a great success, kind regards Denise

  10. Jinny, the exhibition will be magnificent, will the quilts be coming back to you afterwards. After our disastrous “Black Saturday” fires in Victoria, Australia I gave most of my quilts, apart from the very special ones, to a friend who worked and lived in the areas. He was to give them to people he knew who had lost their homes. I did give him one very special I Spy quilt to a very special child. About three days later my husband came home with this quilt. Our friend knew no child who met my need as his friends with children had managed to save their home, I do miss all those quilts but hope that some are treasured by their new owners.
    Cathie Hodge in South Australia.

  11. Your quilts are stunning and the exhibit simply fabulous! Thank you for sharing your quilts with all who will come to visit them at the Virginia Quilt Museum.

  12. What a thrilling exhibit this must be! Not only do you have beautiful memories to cherish with each of your quilts, but you have so unselfishly wrapped up so many of us with memories that can’t be matched. I count your classes at Hilton Head, your friendship, and your sharing of knowledge as some of the greatest privileges of my life!

  13. Dear Jinny,

    The very first workshop I took was yours and it had have a profound influence in my life.
    I do thank you. You have being an inspirations to the World. Your work is so deserving of having in Museums, Galleries and Special Exhibits!
    A lifetime of work is right! They are like your children!

  14. Wow! Jinny, firstly congratulations on the exhibit ! It must take confidence that the quilts will come home again ? I have to second what you said about having a special time while hand piecing a quilt . Machine piecing or quilting cannot give you this time , at least for the ones who “connect” with hand motion.

    I imagine some could connect through their machines but this peaceful time of meditation while sewing by hand is unique. I made about 25 quilts in the last 24 yrs none of which I have either. I have always given them away or sold them and now have none for us . I have never made one yet for us , my hubby and I. My mom asked me for a quilt and that is what Im currently working on. I began quilting at 24 yrs old now Im 54 and each quilt has had a life of its own it seems..I think its time after I finish moms , to make one for myself. Your hand piecing has kept me busy since I first saw you on Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel back in the 80s until now ..Happy sewing !

  15. Coming in from Kansas City to see the exhibit in mid March. Can’t wait to see them all! I saw a few when you brought them to a class I took from you. Pictures don’t do them justice! I am so looking forward to coming! (Hope my daughter’s baby doesn’t plan to make an early arrival while I am out that way!) Afterwards I will drive up to Great Falls to visit the studio!!!

  16. I was so lucky to share Hilton Head for a couple of years. It was my birthday present from the great guy who joined me. I remember to point that needle straight down to start. I repeat it every stitch. Thanks for you, this exhibit is now history of the best.

  17. What a lovely tribute to your quilts. Many years ago I hand quilted and hand pieced but then about 15 years ago I felt I needed to jump in the quilting world and at least use a sewing machine and rotery cutter

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