Let me tell you a little bit about Lynn Storer. She cuts fresh flowers from her garden and displays them on her kitchen table.
She started hand quilting, hand appliqueing, and doing all things tiny and meticulous with thread and needle in her young adulthood. She was one of those moms who, while raising 5 kids, always had her quilt frames up. She has quilted her way through life, told countless stories through quilts, and created beautiful works of art with her hands.
She changes which quilts to display on her bed periodically. This one tells of her ancestors who crossed over the Atlantic to settle in America. These appliques were all lovingly stitched, piece by piece, by hand.
A wedding scene of two of her ancestors
The ship that brought them to America
Lynn loves the fact that every quilt tells a story. She has shared a few of her stories with me since I've been quilting with her.
This was a project she oversaw for a young women's group in her church. It commemorated and honored the pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS, or Mormons). She spent a good many years raising her family in Wyoming, which is a state rich with pioneer history. Each of the young women was able to work on a block of the small quilt and learn some techniques of hand quilting. Lynn catalogs her work, photographs, and inspiration in her quilt journals.
She remarked to me how my blog is like the modern version of her quilt journals. I love this tradition! I am a strong proponent of keeping record of significant happenings in life, and my quilting has been and will continue to be a significant thread of my life story. I love how she ties the stories into her designs, like in the patriotic quilt she made for her daughter, Carol.
I hit up Lynn recently to become my Jedi Quilting Master; I wanted her to train me in her amazing craft. She LOVES teaching, so she invited me to bring a quilt top to her home and we would hand quilt it together. It sits on frames at her house between our quilting sessions. I go over there and we quilt, chat, laugh, cry, and do the macarena. Jk.
I feel blessed to hear her stories and appreciate her artistry. One of my favorite things about quilting is the sense of community it fosters, and my friendship with Lynn is a perfect example of that. I just love this lady!
I was at her house recently getting the last feather flourish done on my first border so we could finally roll the quilt -- a process a couple of months in the making! I started off being REALLY slow at hand quilting. I'm still quite slow, but my stitches are getting more uniform and tiny. This is the section I was working on on Monday. I love how the spiral feather quilting mimics the large round blooms printed on the fabric.
Here is a sample of Lynn's work on my quilt. Something for me to work toward, for sure!
And this is my very first attempt on the feathers. You can see my stitches are a little wider-spaced. I chose this ambitious design to learn on so I could practice changing the direction of my needle, stopping and starting, and the basics of hand quilting. After practicing so many of these, I am thinking when I get to the simpler patterns on the inside of the quilt, it will be a breeze!
Here is a sneak peek at the whole quilt top. It is a traditional log cabin pattern with a modern yellow and gray palette. This quilt is for my daughter Ginny, who appeared in the photo bomb. By the time I finish it, I hope she's not too big for a twin size quilt. I bring my kids with me to Lynn's house while we quilt and they play with the toys in the closet under her stairs. Sometimes they run amok and scream at each other. Sometimes they play under the quilt like it's a fort. Ginny comes to look at and touch the quilt and says, "Is this MY quilt? This one's for me, huh mama?" I just love that she can watch me creating this gift of love for her, and hope she cherishes it as much as I do when she snuggles with it.