Issue 5: 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 cover various quilting traditions and history. The history is not provided with the answers - so I'd recommend doing a little research to learn more about these interesting facts! Answers are listed at the end of the newsletter!

1. Which vintage quilt is believed to have been sold for the high price?
a. Courthouse Steps Gee’s Bend Quilt (1945) by Jennie Pettway
b. The Reconciliation Quilt (1867) Lucinda Ward Honstein
c. The Jane Stickle “Dear Jane” Quilt (1863)
d. Alabama Gunboat Quilt by Marth Hatter Bullock (circa 1862)

2. What is the origin of the word "quilt"?
a. It comes from the Greek word "kline," meaning bed
b. It derives from the French word "couverture," meaning blanket.
c. The word quilt comes from the Latin word "culcita," which means mattress or cushion. The English word was first used around 1250.
d. It originates from the German word "decken," meaning cover.

3. Which of the following statements is true about the world’s largest quilt, the AIDS Memorial Quilt?
a. It weighs 25 tons and spans 500,000 square feet.
b. It was created in 1990 and initially contained 5,000 panels.
c. The quilt's blocks are mostly squares measuring 4 feet by 4 feet.
d. It weighs 54 tons and spans 1.2 million square feet. In 1987 it contained 1,920 panels commemorating people who died of AIDS. Now there are 48,000 panels. Most blocks are rectangles measuring 6 feet by 3 feet or roughly the size of a grave.

4. What do the following have in common: Charm Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Postage Stamp Quilts?
a. They are all types of quilts made using a variety of different fabric pieces.
b. They are all quilt patterns featuring star designs.
c. They are all made using only solid color fabrics.
d. They are all traditional quilt patterns originating from China.

5. The first practical sewing machine for quilters was invented by Elias Howe in 1846. This invention significantly improved the efficiency of quilt-making. Which of the following features was unique to Howe's sewing machine design?
a. A double-needle system that allowed for simultaneous stitching
b. A lockstitch mechanism that interlocked the upper and lower threads
c. An automatic bobbin winder integrated into the machine
d. A foot pedal (treadle) that enabled hands-free operation 

: Merry Moment

My dog Jovie had a neck injury a while back and needs special care when it comes to her grooming. We found an amazing groomer who is very experienced in this area and does a beautiful and careful job with our little dog. The downside is that she is located about 50 minutes from our home, which means I cannot drop Jovie off, go home, and then pick her up when she’s ready. But the upside is my merry moment for this week. 

The groomer lives in the heart of Illinois Amish Country. Those of you who have traveled to my area know what that means! QUILTS, QUILTING FABRIC, QUILTING NOTIONS, QUILTERS!!! Yesterday was one of those joyful and merry days! I had 2 hours to wander the streets of Arthur, IL. The horses and buggies reminded me to slow down and gather my thoughts, allowing me to make the most perfect purchases. I was thoughtful and direct—no need to rush—I just enjoyed the experience, minute by minute. The Pennsylvania Dutch language spoken by several of the customers reminded me to be respectful of the members of this community and their traditions. The rows and rows of fabrics at Stitch and Sew Fabrics on Vine Street reminded me of why I love to quilt! I couldn’t have been more rejuvenated as I browsed the merchandise and selected my fabrics. 

As I waited in line behind a man who was being measured for suspenders, I felt my spirit soar and my creative heart explode while discussing my next project with two other quilters in the shop! Yes, I love to quilt. But even more, I love to be among quilters who share my passion. It truly was a joyful and merry moment, and I look forward to Jovie’s next appointment in 8 weeks!

…I’m always trying to be joyful, but I will always be Mary!

3: Quilting Secrets, Fixes and Tips

(If you have a quilting tip you would like me to share in our newsletter, please email it to

The following tip was sent to my by Laura M. concerning hand strain while free-motion quilting:

“While at a quilting retreat I was introduced to using a drop of glycerin rubbed into my fingertips as a way of reducing hand strain. I was doing some machine appliqué of a large piece when my table mate saw me struggling [and offered this remedy]. My quilting gloves were at home of course."

Thank you for sharing, Laura!


4: Product Picks

We’re always looking for a way to flatten out those seams, making it easier to piece our blocks accurately. This week’s Quilting Tips Video does just that. It’s a way to press those seams using a unique tool that works LIKE A CHARM! Here’s the YouTube link if you haven’t seen it already:
Flat Seams Tip Video

5: Merry Musings Mailbag

This section of our newsletter is a comment to a YouTube video made by one of our subscribers.

We’re always concerned with the price of the items we purchase…and I ALWAYS love a good deal or a way to save a dollar! The following was a comment to our “Best Pressing Tip Ever” YouTube Video:

From Diane: “My Menards stores carry the trigger spray size Best Press for just under $5.

Compare that price to the Amazon price of $12.87 and we have a GREAT deal here! Check out your local Menards!

6: Ask the Quilter

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

Comment by Ashley: How do I know if my cutting mat is a self-healing mat? Does it matter if it is not? Mine is a green mat and all that is printed on the board is Clover Japan. I got it from a fabric/craft store.

My response: The Clover Japan mat is advertised as self-healing. A self-healing mat is made of materials that allow the grooves left by your rotary cutting blade to automatically close up, leaving no visible marks. If the mat isn't self-healing, you will see the cuts and scratches in the mat, the more you use it for cutting. Self-healing mats can also show the cutting marks, after repeated use, especially if you continually cut in the same spot over and over again. For example, if you're cutting 1/2 yard pieces and continually make a cut on the 18" line you can eventually damage the mat in that area, but if you simply adjust your fabric and cut in different spots, your mat can last for years.

: 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, June 10 at 10pmCDT
Monday, June 24 at 10pmCDT

Daytime Quilting Schedule:
Wednesday, June 5 at 11amCDT
Wednesday, June 19 at 11amCDT


8: Joyful and Merry Community Quilt Guild Corner

If you have a local shop hop, quilt show, or another quilting-related event that you would like to share, please email [email protected] one month prior to the event and we will include it in this section of our newsletter.

9: 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...

You may have noticed that we now have a downloadable Guild Calendar available on our Guild Resource Page.There is a June calendar download with all of the upcoming guild-related dates, zoom links for meetings through the first guild meeting in July, training videos links, our Free Outdoor Oasis Picnic and Beach Quilt pattern, etc. These are a few of the many perks for being a Joyful and Merry Community Quilt Guild member! Enjoy!

Please note that our July 4th Guild meeting will be moved to Wednesday July 3rd at 7pmCT to accommodate for the US Independence Day Holiday. The registration link is available on the Guild Resource Page. Register now and you won’t have to think about it later! Of course, it will be recorded in case you are unable to attend.

Please keep in mind that our recorded meetings will only be available for 3 months or until we run out of room on our Zoom Account, whichever comes first. So, if you missed a meeting, be sure to watch the recorded version ASAP, so you don’t miss out.

Once we move into a new month, we will have a tab that will take you to the archived files from previous months…just in case there’s something you want to review. Depending on how often our members access this feature will decide the length of time the previous months will be available. We hope you enjoy this feature!

We want to make sure you take note of this information. We are still having members access the meetings at the wrong time, and accidentally missing out on the guild and quilting fun.

TIME ZONES: Please keep in mind that our Guild Meeting Times are listed in CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME. If you live in another time zone, make sure you double check (and triple check) the guild time and then adjust it to accommodate for your time zone. We continue to have members join our guild meetings an hour or two early or an hour or two late and in the process, miss the actual meeting. The meetings are recorded, but if you want to join the meeting LIVE, please make sure you have the guild time adjusted to YOUR particular time zone.

CHAT SESSIONS: If you have time, please join us half an hour before our guild meetings for our Guild's Community Chat sessions: 6:30pm CDT for evenings and 10:30am CDT for daytime meetings. This is such a fun time getting to know each other and I hope you’ll join us when you can. Please note that entering before the designated time strains our recording time allotment, so we have instituted a waiting room where members will be admitted to the meeting once the host is there and the chat session opens.

EXTRA GUILD MEETINGS: We had a really fun Sew-A-Long on Thursday, May 30th. We are setting aside those “extra Thursdays” in the month to gather and sew, on occasion. They won’t happen every month, but when they do, we hope you’ll join in! It’s very informal – just bring something to sew – or just watch and chat – and you’re welcome to show what you’re working on, ask questions, or applaud other members, along the way. The next Extra Guild Meeting Sew-A-Long will be held at 7pmCT on Thursday, June 27th. Chat opens at 6:30pmCT. We will be working on our Outdoor Oasis Picnic and Beach Quilt. Your assignment is to have completed all the steps through Page 6, Point #4. We will begin to add our rectangles to our two-patch pieces.

There have been questions as to when the Sample Block(s) of the month training videos will be available. I will show a card and a finished block at each guild meeting. The pdf with the block instructions will be available in your Library on the website and will also be emailed to you, the day it is revealed. 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, the Broken Dishes Training Video was introduced (you can watch that HERE). For our June training meeting on June 13th the training will include two blocks – the “Churn Dash Block” revealed at the May 16th meeting as well as the block that will be introduced at the June 6th meeting, the “9-Patch Variation Block." You are welcome to make the block using the pdf, but if you would like step-by-step instruction, you will need to wait until the 2nd Thursday of the month when the training videos are available.

We have been enjoying our Community Chat Forum! It's a great alternative to Facebook, where all guild members are included in the chat. Here's how to get to the Chat Forum (or you can click here):

  1. Go to the website
  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!

This will be a spot in our newsletter for members to share their needs and concerns, whether they're related to health, personal challenges, celebrations, etc. It will be a place where we can support and care for one another, share joys and struggles, and provide encouragement to each other regardless of our beliefs or backgrounds. We want it to remain a place of inclusivity while still fostering a sense of community and support within the guild. In this spirit, let’s turn our attention to those in our community in need of some extra support right now:

  • Donna G. will be having back surgery on June 17th
  • Dianne H. was unable to attend our May 30th Guild Meeting because it was her birthday!!! Happy Birthday Dianne! Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating and we'll look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

By coming together and offering our support, we can ensure that everyone feels valued and cared for within our guild. If you would like to offer Donna some personal support, please comment in the community “Feed” of our Joyful and Merry Quilting Guild Chat Forum. If you would like to post in our Community Care Corner, simply send your “Community Care Corner Request” (one sentence) to [email protected] and I will post it in the next newsletter. You can post anonymously or add your name - totally up to you.

Important: Guild Membership is Non-Refundable
Please do not mark any guild emails as SPAM or unsubscribe from them. Since this is a virtual group, email, Zoom, and our website are the primary ways to stay involved. Unsubscribing or marking emails as SPAM removes you from the email list, and by law, we cannot reverse this action. Some members who have marked our emails as SPAM or unsubscribed have requested a refund, which we cannot provide. All information sent via email is also available on our website's resource page. If you prefer not to receive emails, you can still access all guild information, links, patterns, etc., by visiting and clicking on “Library,” then the Guild icon. Some members still experience issues with not receiving emails. The most common problems are unsubscribing, your email provider sending our emails to your spam folder, recipients marking emails as SPAM, or using different email addresses for the guild and newsletter subscriptions. Please email [email protected] if you continue to have issues with email and we will do our best to help you remedy the situation. Please be very careful with emails from through our Kajabi email service. If you no longer wish to receive them, simply delete them. Do not unsubscribe unless you intend to. By law, we cannot re-add you to our email list, and you will no longer receive any correspondence from us. If you label our emails as SPAM, your email address will be permanently removed from our list. Additionally, if you forward our emails and the new recipient clicks Unsubscribe or marks them as Spam, your email address (not theirs) will be removed from our list. We understand mistakes happen, but some cannot be corrected. Please be careful. Thank you!



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

Pre-Enrollment Opens Monday! 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. 

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



1. (b) The Reconciliation Quilt (1867) Lucinda Ward Honstein
2. (c) The word quilt comes from the Latin word "culcita," which means mattress or cushion. The English word was first used around 1250.
3. (d) It weighs 54 tons and spans 1.2 million square feet. In 1987 it contained 1,920 panels commemorating people who died of AIDS. Now there are 48,000 panels. Most blocks are rectangles measuring 6 feet by 3 feet or roughly the size of a grave. 
4. (a) They are all types of quilts made using a variety of different fabric pieces.
5. (b) A lockstitch mechanism that interlocked the upper and lower threads

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