Issue 1: The Joyful and Merry Quilting Newsletter

Jun 07, 2024

Your go-to source for quilting camaraderie, tips, and insights, as well as upcoming Joyful and Merry Quilting events and courses!


1. Patchwork Puzzlers!

How much quilting trivia do you know? Today's questions are on quilting history. Answers at the end of the newsletter!

Which wife of a colonial president was an avid quilter?
a) Martha Washington
b) Dolley Madison
c) Abigail Adams
d) Elizabeth Monroe

2. What was the name of the quilt-making social gatherings popular in the United States during the 19th century?
a) Stitch Circles
b) Quilting Bees
c) Patchwork Parties
d) Fabric Galas

3. Although historically unsubstantiated, what role do some believe quilts played in the Underground Railroad?
a) They were used as camouflage for escape routes.
b) They served as signals or markers for safe houses.
c) They were auctioned to raise funds for abolitionist groups.
d) They were used to provide warmth to fleeing individuals.

4. What was the significance of Crazy Quilts during the Victorian era?
a) They symbolized social status and wealth.
b) They were believed to bring good luck to the household.
c) They were used as protest art against societal norms.
d)They served as practical bedding for large families  

5. In the 1970s, what quilting innovation was introduced that revolutionized the quilting process? 
a) The computerized sewing machine
b) Digital/downloadable quilting patterns
c) Rotary cutters
d) The acrylic ruler

: Merry Moment

A dear friend of mine gave me a chalkboard sign that brings me joy each and every day. It's displayed next to my sewing machine with a quote that says: "Good friends are like quilts. They age with you, yet never lose their warmth."

As I think about all the quilts that I have made over the years, each one was made for a particular purpose. Some were made for family, some for friends, some to celebrate a milestone, while others were created to offer comfort following a loss. The patterns, fabrics, and colors I incorporate into my quilts are always symbolic, chosen specifically for the individual recipient.

I will always remember the advice another quilter shared with me when it comes to gifting a quilt. She said that she and her children always hug each quilt she makes before it is gifted. The purpose of this ritual is to fill the fabric and fibers of the quilt with their love. Then, when the recipient wraps the quilt around their shoulders, the warm hug of comfort they feel is the love the family sent with their handmade gift. Isn't that a beautiful sentiment?

So, once my quilts are pieced, quilted, bound, and labeled, I give them a big hug as I transfer MY love through the fabric and the fibers of the quilt.  The entire process makes me very joyful and merry.  Maybe you’d like to do the same? 

…I am ALWAYS trying to be joyful, but I will always be Mary!

3: Quilting Secrets, Fixes and Tips

 Today's quilting tip can be found on our Joyful and Merry Quilting YouTube Channel.  Have you ever made a Snowball Quilt block?  Basically, it’s a square with triangles in the corners and can be used in a variety of ways when incorporated into a quilt. There are two basic ways to create a Snowball Block and I explore both ways, with some helpful tips on how to create this simple block, which includes a formula to help improve the accuracy as you’re creating the block.

CLICK HERE and you can work right along with me as we create the Snowball Block together.

SECTION 4: Product Picks

 I can't say enough good things about Grippy Non-Slip Coating! If you missed it, click here for my unbiased review and demonstration of this product - I had read great reviews, and I was thrilled to see that it lived it up to the hype after I bought it! The link to purchase is in the YouTube description and in the comments.

SECTION 5: Merry Musings Mailbag

 This section of our newsletter is a comment to a YouTube video made by one of our subscribers.  Thank you to @gretoman8235 for her insight on the subject of our video “I Just Can’t Cut It!” 

“Fear of Cutting fabric is a real syndrome and quite common among quilters, in my opinion. I was never the fabric shopper who purchased exacting the amount of fabric for a pattern and completed one project before starting another. I know I am not alone. The variety of fabric colors, patterns, and projects are endless. Why can I stick to a shopping list for everything like grocery or clothes shopping but always bring home unplanned fabric? Fear that it will no longer be available? I do feel great using the perfect fabric from my stash like cooking only from my pantry staples, especially during past years forced time at home. Many people have hobbies and large collections of bits and pieces no one else would understand. I am proud to be a fabric collector. I just need to be a more productive quilt finisher.“

Here’s the link to the video:

SECTION 6: Ask the Quilter

 This section of our newsletter is dedicated to the questions asked by our subscribers.  If you have any additional positive suggestions to add to the conversation, please comment!  We’d love to have your insight. 

Thank you to @gwenrowe2721 for her question concerning our video on “5 Tips to Stop Fraying Fabric”.

QUESTION:  “If I have already cut my pieces will it help if I use the starch products you mentioned?”

ANSWER:  I wouldn't spray them if the pieces are already cut unless you have cut them "oversized". Spraying pieces that are cut-to-size could easily cause distortion or shrinkage when pressing. You can always press your block with pressing solution when you're finished, however spraying fabrics with a pressing solution really works best if you spray them before cutting.

Here’s the link to the video:

: Night Owl and Daytime Quilting Hangouts

 Changes for May Night Owl Quilting and Daytime Quilting due to the Memorial Day Holiday.

Night Owl Quilting Schedule: 
Monday, May 20 at 10pmCDT
Monday, June 10 at 10pmCDT
Monday, June 24 at 10pmCDT

Daytime Quilting Schedule: 

Wednesday, May 15 at 11amCDT
Wednesday, June 5 at 11amCDT
Wednesday, June 19 at 11amCDT


SECTION 8: Joyful and Merry Community Quilt Guild Corner

The Joyful and Merry Community Quilt Guild will open registration again soon - stay tuned! Here's what we're working on...

Join us half an hour early for our Guild's Community Chat sessions: 6:30pm CDT for evenings and 10:30am CDT for daytime meetings. Please note that entering before the designated time strains our recording time allotment, so we kindly ask everyone interested joining the Chat Session to join our Waiting Room at 6:30pm CDT to avoid any inconvenience. 


We will draw for the block at each guild meeting.  Our training session (on the second Thursday of the Month) will be a pre-recorded video which will walk you through the construction of the two blocks previously revealed.  For our May Training on May 9, there will only be training for our first block.  Beginning June 13th the training will include two blocks. 



Congratulations to all of our members who have been exploring the Community Chat Room!  Here’s how you get there, if you haven’t given it a try yet:

  1. Go to the joyfulandmerryquilting.comwebsite
  2. Click on your “LIBRARY”
  4. Click on “FEED” and you will be taken to the Chat.  You can post pictures, questions, comments, etc.  It’s a great place to get to know our Founding Members and share our love of quilting!



*NEW COURSE!*  “Aim for the Stars” Skill Level:  Confident Beginner 

Join the Waiting List Here
Course Description: 
In this course we will explore the benefits of mastering the Half Square Triangle, the Split Quarter Square Triangle, color value, accuracy when cutting, pressing, and sewing seams, as well as sashing for beginners.  You will walk through the process of constructing the Aim for the Stars quilt with written and video instruction as well as LIVE Zoom Chats. You will finish the course with a beautiful throw-sized quilt.  If you would like to be added to the waiting list, CLICK HERE. The course will begin in June. 


The Ultimate Quilting Foundation  [From Novice to Confident Beginner] Group 3 Starts May 27th!
Join the Waiting List Here

Course Description:
This comprehensive online quilting course is designed for beginners who want to dive into the world of quilting with confidence.  After you’ve gathered your essential quilting tools, you will learn how to select the perfect fabrics, followed by a step-by-step course of instruction that will teach you the skills you will need to embark on your joyful and merry quilting journey, with 4 live Zoom chats with me along the way. By the end of the course, you will have the ability and the self-confidence to create beautiful quilts with a basic and solid understanding of quilting techniques, tools, fabrics, materials, and terminology.

 Our next group begins May 27th.  CLICK HERE and scroll down to add your name to the waiting list!

That's it for this week - I'll talk to you soon! Happy Quilting!



  1.   a) Martha Washington  (Martha Washington was an avid quilter and three of her quilts are in Mount Vernon's collection today!)  We’ll give more details at the Joyful and Merry Quilt Guild Meeting in May.  
  2.   b) Quilting Bees  (For generations, quilters have gathered for hours at quilting bees. While “quilting the quilts”, they would share quilting techniques, family stories, and offer advice.)
  3.   b) They served as signals or markers for safe houses.  (Quilt historians believe this is actually a myth.)
  4.   a) They symbolized social status and wealth.  (Only women who did not have to work and had leisure time, something unheard of in the working class, had time to make a crazy quilt
  5. c) Rotary Cutters


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