A little help, perhaps…

Note: The Smart Is Beautiful quilt has been redesigned and there is a new call for volunteers for that quilt here.

So, with my lovely new HandiQuilter on its way in boxes on trucks and the deadline for my solo exhibit at AQS QuiltWeek in Syracuse already beginning to loom (July seems crazy close right about now), it is time for me to move from thinking and designing into actually making. I have a few tops underway, but there are two that I think are best suited to collective effort.

I’ve coordinated several over the past few years and the results both conceptually and aesthetically have invariably been fabulous. It just seems like certain messages are best suited for coming to fruition with the aid of many hands and voices. The domestic violence quilt (Excess) and the community quilt (Sum of Interrelations) from my book were both collective quilts and I cannot imagine them truly working otherwise.


So, as I start the push to get ready for AQS (and beyond) I have two designs that I think cry out for the community again…

The first is about income inequality; the design transforms pie charts of income distribution in the sixteen largest economies in the G20 into 32-blade dresden plates. I’ve been thinking about this quilt for quite a while and now finally feels like the time. Each plate will be made of of five color groups (blue, purple, red, orange, and green) with yellow for the background; the resulting block will be 21″ square. I will supply the yellow for the background and will send along a couple of paper templates for the blades along with the specific info for the country your dresden will represent. From there you get to play with your stash, though I would like all of the blades to be made with prints and for no print to be used more than once. I love the idea of this one feeling truly scrappy, coming together with fabric from so many different people…


The second one is rather straight forward; it is a quilt for Bee, but also for everyone else. Too often we are caught up with beauty, especially here in the quilting world. Too often aesthetics and style trump substance and thought. Well, this quilt is a reminder and an insistence: Smart is Beautiful. While it is for Bee, a message I hope she always holds close, it is also a bit of a jab at the quilting world, where I and many others have been told that they are too “thinky.” Smart is beautiful and we should never forget it.

So, for this one I will again need sixteen volunteers to make a block. Each block is 20″ x 20″ with 10 2″ strips for the background. The letter is then appliqued on in one of the colors from the strips. I would like this one to be all solids, letting the natural chaoticness of the design do the work rather than adding the excess complications of prints. While there will be some basic color rules to guarantee a good distribution of colors, the specific colors will not be dictated, so if you have a bit of solid in your stash you should be fine…


So, two quilts that I think really call for a collective voice. If you would be interested in lending a hand and a block I would be deeply grateful, and will of course share the love…

Comment below or drop me an email (my addy is on the contact page of my site). Neither of these blocks are too hard; shouldn’t be a problem for a confident beginner, but a bit of experience would certainly help in doing these. I am not a perfectionist, so no need to drive yourself nuts, but consistency is always a plus…

Oh, and one last thing: I’ll need blocks by the end of March so I can assemble and quilt and all that stuff before the AQS exhibit. Ack!!!

Hope to hear from you all and can’t wait to see these quilts happen…


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23 Responses to A little help, perhaps…

  1. 1
    Lucky says:

    i am up for what ever you need help with! Just let me know, how and when things need to be complete. Thanks for the chance to help!

  2. 2
    Joanne Jones says:

    I won 100 FQs of Kona solids a little while ago, so I can do part of Bee’s quilt easily, and if you need more for the Dresden plates then I can do that too, but maybe it might be more cost effective to not have to send fabric to the UK 🙂

  3. 3
    Sarah Bond says:

    Im in. You can plug me in either category. I’m no perfectionist but subscribe to the theory that a certain level of craftsmanship makes everything easier!

  4. 4

    I don’t have a lot of solids, so I’ll volunteer for the income inequality quilt.

  5. 5
    Kate Percival says:

    Were I not moving house, I would be up for it! X

  6. 6
    Ella says:

    I’ve been itching to do a dresden again, so I’d be happy to help on that one!

  7. 7
    Kim Munoz says:

    Im game for both!!

  8. 8
    Jordyn Rush says:

    I love the idea of the income inequality quilt and would love to help. And I love making dresdens!

  9. 9
    Amy Clausen says:

    I would love to make a pie chart for you!

  10. 10
    Marlene says:

    I’m in for the income inequality.

  11. 11
    Margaret says:

    I would love to do a block for Bee’s quilt. The message is one I am working to instill in my tween girl.

  12. 12
    Dianne Bienick says:

    I would love to make a Dresden Plate. It’s been on my list for awhile and I have alot of prints. Also, scrappy is my thing. 🙂

    I heard you will be at the CMQG in mid-March. I could probably have it done by then.


  13. 13
    Linda K says:

    Two brilliant ideas. Will you consider me for the Income Inequality quilt? I’d love to part of your statement!

  14. 14
    DeeAnn Forrest says:

    Hi Thomas! I would love to help with either or both!
    Glad to have you back here and on Facebook – you were missed.

  15. 15
    Alice Thomas says:

    Hello Thomas. I am can help with this. I need to work on something that helps me whittle down my stash a bit. I’m ready.

  16. 16
    karen says:

    I would be honored to be part of one of your amazing projects. The Smart is Beautiful block would be easier for me as my stash is not overflowing with prints. I can have this block complete by the end of March.

  17. 17
    Maggie Magee says:

    Count me in to participate, Thomas. I can do either, or both blocks–they are issues I am concerned about, as well.

  18. 18
    linda schiffer says:

    I’d like to make one of the dresden – income inequality – blocks. This is a ’cause’ that I particularly agree with.

    🙂 Linda

  19. 19
    HelenMarie Marshall says:

    another time although the smart quilt speaks to me personally. And I do have solids…but also have a quilters getaway to Lancaster (with a house guest) then my guild show the following weekend! Looking forward to Syracuse.

  20. 20
    Bella says:

    Hi T, could I please help with the last letter on Bees’ quilt.
    L (as in Livia).
    Greetings from Camb, UK.

  21. 21
    Tim C says:

    Hi Thomas, would love to help. have left a message on FB…

  22. 22
    Denise in PA says:

    HI Thomas, I’d love to contribute! I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation to the PMQG last year and I’d be thrilled to have a block in one of your quilts!

  23. 23
    Deborah says:

    I would be happy to do a Dresden Plate!

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