Let me introduce myself. I am a retired Home Economics teacher who taught 3 years in Kansas and 23 years in Fairfax County, Virginia. I received my home economics degree from Kansas State University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech. I was very active in the home economics education associations and served as the national president of the Vocational Home Economics Teachers Association. What a great experience it was to meet the top members in your field. I also served on a number of boards such as the Coed-Scholastic Magazine and the Favorite Recipes Press.
When I said I was retiring from teaching, my friend at a neighboring high school said you must learn to quilt; all retirees must know how to quilt and so we took a 15-week course at a quilt shop in 1984. It was a sampler quilt and we used paper templates and it was quilt-as-you- go. I finally did finish it in the late 1990’s or 2000. I learned a lot but what an education I received when I joined the Havasu Stitchers in 1992 and learned the “new” way of doing things with rotary cutters and cutting mats. We were lucky to have great local, state and national teachers that came to Lake Havasu City. I soaked it all up like a sponge. I always said I had sewn just about everything including men’s clothes, and lingerie, even panty hose but quilting is a different story.
I have served as president of Havasu Stitchers and also held several offices as well and now am teaching quilting at Mohave Community College and have a great bunch of students which I flunk all the time so they have to come back for more classes.
My quilting style is very eclectic; I like to try new patterns and techniques and am not very good at repeating the same quilt over and over again. It has to be something new and different. I always dreaded the “a” word, appliqué. I had never done much in the way of hand piecing and hand quilting and now I find that these are the things I enjoy the most. I also found that I enjoy making Scrap Quilts. One project was to make a millennium quilt with 2000 pieces. I used the tumbling block pattern and my collection of charm squares not repeating any fabric. I hand-pieced and hand-quilted it. To get the feel of the antique quilts in olden days, I even quilted two hours by candlelight. I won’t be doing that again. It does give me time to enjoy the process and reflect on the many good things quilting does for you and the neat people you get to meet. I have also through the years enjoyed doing all forms of crafts, but especially enjoyed knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and cross-stitch.
I have also studied quilts and learning to analyze the work and style of quilting, I am not a certified appraiser but I can write letters for insurance companies, etc. I continue to study old quilts and learn as much as I can about the old patterns and how they are constructed and quilted. This is something you are always learning. I enjoyed telling the stories about the quilts and their makers when we do the Bed Turning Exhibit at our quilt show held in November during the odd years.
We moved to Lake Havasu City in 1984 from Northern Virginia after retiring from teaching and the federal government. We had a local business (Mechatronics) for 6 years on McCulloch Blvd selling and repairing office machines; retired again and now I have time to quilt, quilt, quilt. I have many projects to be completed and many more ideas of quilts I would like to make. I have two great-granddaughters who love the quilts “Oma” makes for them.
Phyllis Barton Gallery
2000 At Last 90 x 90. There are 2,133 pieces in my millennium quilt. I used the Tumbling Block pattern and hand-pieced all of the blocks and hand quilted taking over 200 hours. I did quilt 2 hours by candlelight to get the feel of the old time quilt process. It was pinned and basted in quilting class like an old-time quilting bee.
Atlantis 54 x 72 This was a block of the Month in Havasu Stitchers. This was an exercise in making bezel blocks and it was machine quilted by Legacy Quilting, Lake Havasu City.
Hail to the Redskins. The quilt was Hunter’s Star made in the Redskin colors of maroon and gold for my grandson’s Christmas gift. The size is 110 x 110 to fit a California king bed.
Floral Basket: 15 inch square embellished with different flowers made of yo-yo-s and ruching.
Pineapple Hawaiian quilt: 24 inch square, hand-appliqued and hand quilted from a pattern in Jennifer Chiaverini book. The Hawaiian Quilt.
Floral Garden: These embroidered squares were found in my mother’s estate; has to be over 75 years old and I put them together with the quilt-as-you-go and hand quilted the blocks. The quilt is 75 x 75 inches.
Sunflower Fields – blue ribbon winner in the Paint Chip Challenge. The rules were to use color chips that named your first letter of your name matching fabrics as close as possible; the size was 24 x 36 and I did the two color applique of Porcelain Red and Blue Ice and hand quilted it.
Bird of Paradise: 24 x 36 again the two color hand applique and hand quilt.
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