Quilters Meet & Greet, Hosted by Benita Skinner

Today is the beginning of a Quilt Blogger Meet & Greet event hosted by Benita Skinner of Benita Skinner’s Creative Place.  After designing quilt patterns for a number of years, Benita decided to begin a blog.  She has been posting for a couple of months now and wanted to host an event for quilt bloggers to meet each other and for readers to find new blogs to enjoy.

For those of you who are new to Needle & Foot, welcome! It is always fun to meet new readers as well as new bloggers.  I definitely plan to grab a cup of coffee and head over to Benita’s and check out the other blogger’s posts!  But first here is a little bit about me and my blog.

I started this blog in June of 2014 and it is crazy to think I have enjoyed over four years of blogging, writing and interacting with our on-line quilting community.  This post is number 458 which is a whole lot of writing!  The first post I wrote explains why I chose to call my blog Needle and Foot.  If you have a minute, you can read it by clicking here.

Five of us, circa 1965 (one more sister came along the following year.)

I grew up in the Bay Area, Northern California, with my five sisters.  My father owned a fabric store and as a teenager, I spent many Saturdays working there with him. Growing up with five sisters and one sewing machine in the house meant someone was always sewing.  With a lot of guidance from my mother, I made my first project in seventh grade, a baby doll nightgown and matching panties.

My first quilt was a queen size log cabin.

The first quilt I made was started in 1978, during my senior year of high school.  It was a log cabin and I really had no idea what I was doing.  Read the details on that project here.

My first quilt needs some careful restoration. It has been well loved over the years!

We used that quilt for many years and it is in desperate need of repairs.  I look at it all the time, thinking I should work on it, but other projects always seem more fun!

The first bed size quilt I quilted on my domestic machine. So much pebbling!

Jumping ahead by about 40 years, I am still sewing and quilting. There was a long period of time where sewing happened infrequently as I raised four children and worked outside the home for a number of years.  When I retired from my work as a manager of a Human Resources department, I started quilting again.  Above is a quilt I made for my daughter’s bed.  She chose the pattern.  It was the first large quilt I ever free motion quilted.  It took FOREVER to do all the pebbling.  But it turned out nicely and I love looking back at this, my first attempt, to see how far I have come.

For me, sewing is very cyclical.  Sometimes I am more focused on quilts and other times on smaller projects such as clothing.  But one way or another, I spend a lot of time in the sewing room. I tend to like basic patterns that don’t require tons of piecing.  I am not a patient quilter and fussy patterns are not my thing.  I love lots of color, would not define myself as either strictly traditional or modern in style, and my projects seem to develop based on what sounds interesting at the time.

As with most of you, I have such a love of fabric. So much so that I started an on-line fabric shop in January 2017.  This adventure has been nothing but rewarding.  I love every facet of my job from researching new fabric lines, figuring out what my customers enjoy creating and what fabrics they want to use as well as planning events, promotions and sales to keep everyone entertained!

In addition to selling fabric on-line, I also have a booth at several of quilt shows for guilds in my area. I hope you will take a minute and browse the shop just a bit.  If you would like to receive an occasional newsletter about new fabrics, sales or events at the shop, sign up here.

I am really looking forward to meeting more readers as well as new bloggers!  Please leave a comment to tell me a bit about yourself so I can get to know you too.  If you’d like to follow me, there are links at the top of the page on the right for Instagram, Facebook, and Bloglovin.  Or, you can provide your email address and sign up to receive posts via email.  It’s all up to you.

Lastly, I want to be sure and let you know there is a wonderful giveaway happening over at Benita’s site.  Be sure to click over and take a look.  Good luck with the giveaway!!

Have a great day and be sure to take a few minutes to sew.

 

50 thoughts on “Quilters Meet & Greet, Hosted by Benita Skinner

  1. Louise Hornor

    I always enjoy stopping by to see what you’re working on, Bernie! I didn’t know you grew up in the Bay Area. Which city? I lived for years in Sunnyvale, Mountain View and San Jose. We still own a condo in downtown San Jose that is currently rented out 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Louise – I grew up in Los Altos. My sisters still live in Belmont, San Jose, and Saratoga so I am there on occasion visiting with them. It is a very different place now then it was in the 1970’s! So crowded and the housing costs are out of control. But it was a nice place to grow up. Do you go back there at all?

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Had I known how long that pebbling would take, I am sure I would have chosen to do something different, or at least made much larger circles. When you don’t know enough to know better, right??? Have a great day Mel.

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    I’m impressed that you still have your first quilt. The first one I made was reduced to shreds (well, almost). I’m not sure whatever happened to it (gasp). It was long before blogging came to be, so that’s my excuse! Anyway, I enjoyed your post as always, Bernie! And all those pebbles — yikes!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I really love that quilt Wendy. It is filthy and crumbling but some day I want to try to fix it up as best I can. It holds so many memories. The quilt I made for Julia….. I didn’t know enough to know how long that would take me! My neck and shoulders were a mess by the time it was done. But she still likes it and I do too. So that is good. I certainly wouldn’t do it on my home machine if there were a next time tho. Yikes!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I love that picture too. The clothes make me smile. I wish it included my youngest sister but we really don’t have many family photos with all six of us. I suppose it became more and more of a challenge to get the six of us to smile and cooperate at the same time. Can’t say I blame my parents. Haha.

      Reply
  3. Carole @ From My Carolina Home

    I have followed your blog for quite some time, not sure how we met originally, maybe through a hop. I hope you get new readers and followers through the Meet and Greet. You should have mentioned your Blogger Bundles!! We had such a great time with our collaboration on that!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Shoot! I totally forgot to talk about the blogger bundles. We did have a really good time working together and I look forward to more collaboration in the future. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Janet T

    You have made a lot of nice quilts over the years. I like to see other people’s work. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  5. Preeti Harris

    I think I can recognize you in that picture. Aren’t you on the left in the front row? The tiny baby sleeping face down on the giant quilt is the most darling picture ever. It conveys the feelings of safety, comfort and peace. We all hope that our quilts will be so loved. When I wrote my version of this blogpost, I mentioned you and the “A Doll Like Me” and the overwhelming response it generated. Thank you for all that you do, Bernie!!!

    Reply
  6. Barbara Dillingham Moore

    Hi Bernie! By now the ME calendar pages should have arrived and you can add them to your daughter’s ‘farm life’ series! I enjoyed reading this post and always look forward to reading your updates. Blessings!
    Barb in Tucson

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Barbara, Yes, we got the darling calendar pages and my daughter has them on her bulletin board. I meant to let you know when they arrived but then I got busy getting ready to go to Vermont and just returned today. Thanks so much for sending them. That card and envelope were gorgeous and I couldn’t bring myself to toss them. :-). You are so sweet.

      Reply
  7. Denise :)

    I love your logo — did you design it? The picture with you and your four sisters … there’s no denying y’all are family! This was a fun post — happy to meet you! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Denise: I didn’t design the logo. I used a graphic designer at the site http://www.fivrr.com. He did a great job and the cost was so reasonable. If you are looking for someone, check out the site. And – yes – my sisters and I look a lot alike. :-). Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  8. Roseanne

    Hi Bernie! Oh, look at that little baby in the center of your first quilt!!! Let’s see, 1978 was 40 years ago. Hmm, it’s wearing blue so it must be a son?? How adorable is that?!! I think that is fascinating that your father owned a fabric store. Just think, you have really followed in his footsteps, aligning yourself in the modern era where much shopping is done online. I think he would be (or is!) very proud of you! I wonder if your sisters are quilters/sewers as well? I imagine that some of them are – it was in their blood from a very young age. ~smile~ Roseanne

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Roseanne: The baby in the picture is my first son – he was born in 1985. I look at him sleeping face down (on a water bed no less!!) and cringe. But I do love the picture as it is one of only a few that I have othat quilt.
      Yes – my dad does think it is kind of cool that I have this shop. He looks at my Etsy site and is in awe that this is how I reach my customers. Very different from his shop in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Three of my sisters do sew. There is a blog post you might like that talks about each of us making our wedding dresses. Here is the link:
      https://needleandfoot.com/2014/11/03/four-weddings-and-four-dresses/

      Take care. B.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Amy, I love that first quilt and really need to focus on it and try to repair it where I can. It would be so cool to have it again. It has been in a closet for a good twenty years or more. I did take it apart so the next step is to try to hand wash it and then repair all of the frayed pieces. Not a small project, for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Janice

    Hi Bernie! It is so fun to see quilts fellow quilters made in their early days of quilting! Now that’s a whole lot of girls in one family! What a perfect business for your dad to be in!

    Reply
  10. Bonnie in VA

    Oh my! 5 sisters… I was hoping you would ID which little girl was you. There is a real family resemblance between your sisters in the photo. Thanks for sharing your quilting history…. my first big quilt was a log cabin too. I recently realized I have no idea what happened to it. Bummer. Your pebble-ing looks great to me!

    Reply
  11. something rosemade

    Such an interesting read and I find it fascinating that your father owned a fabric shop which meant a lot of your clothes were made and not bought. I also was wondering which one was you from the photo is and my guess is your the one on the left, in the middle with the most hair and wearing the cute plaid jumper. My mother sewed my clothes when I was young and had many jumpers-corduroy ones were my favorite. And getting back to business, is the new fabric in from Carrie Bloomston/Such Designs/Windham?

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Rose, you guessed correctly. I did make lots of my clothes and yes, that was me! The new Carrie Bloomston fabric isn’t here yet but you are at the top of my list – I will send you a note when it arrives. I am really excited to receive it!

      Reply
  12. Rebecca Grace

    Hi, Bernie! I know I’ve visited your blog before because I recognize you and recognize your name, but it’s been awhile — just found you again from the Sew Fresh Quilts linky and this time you’re getting bookmarked! 🙂 I LOVE that your very first quilt was a huge log cabin. I, too, have been procrastinating quilt repairs, on a Drunkard’s Path quilt that I made for one of my sons 7 years ago. Just ONE of the batik fabrics is disintegrating, in every single patch where I used it. The problem is that the quilt is very heavily quilted and the drunkard’s path blocks are big, maybe 7″ or so. Actually, it’s a lot like the circle quilt you made for your daughter but without the skinny sashing. I found the acrylic templates I used to cut out the fabrics originally but the patches in the finished, quilted, and repeatedly washed quilt are at least 1/4″ smaller all the way around. My plan is to applique a different fabric over all the problem patches, but I don’t know whether I should cut those patches the exact same shape and size as the damaged area, or cut them the same size as the acrylic template and somehow work the fullness in when I requilt the area… Anyway, if you have tips and tricks for quilt repairs, I think that would be an AWESOME topic for a blog post that many of us would love to read. So there, maybe that will nudge you (and me!) into finally saving those quilts that are in distress!!

    I’m headed over to check out your shop now, too. Congrats on your new business venture! It’s also cool that you’re following in your dad’s footsteps, but with the modern twist of an Internet storefront. I’m glad I found you again!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Rebecca, Thanks for the note. Part of the reason I avoid this restoration is that I feel unsure of how to tackle it. I did look at it with a woman who is knowledgable about this sort of thing and she gave me some ideas. But I don’t know enough to write a post? Or, maybe I could post about the process as I go along? Thanks so much for your comments though. Good luck with your project – it is strange that one specific batik is giving you trouble. One lucky thing for me was the quilt was originally yarn-tied so it was quite simple to take it apart. Keep in touch! b.

      Reply
  13. Kathryn

    My first quilt was also a Log Cabin, and is as well-worn and well-loved as yours. I love your family picture. You sisters look SO MUCH alike!

    Reply
  14. Martha Morgan

    Lucky girl – I grew up with 5 brothers and 2 sisters – I am the oldest girl, 3rd oldest child. I am the only one that tried to take after my mother’s crafty side. She sewed all my childhood clothes and I could never compete – so I became a quilter instead.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Martha, I think big families are so special. I have four children and I love watching their relationships now that they are adults (well three are and one is 17 so getting close!) It must have been a trick for your mother to keep enough food in the fridge for five boys. When my three were teenagers I remember buying so much!! Especially milk – we were always running out of milk. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  15. Wendy

    Hello, nice to meet you! I still have my first quilt also. Sadly, one of the borders started to wear out so I have taken it apart to redo it. It was a tied quilt so that wasn’t too hard but I am unable so far to find a fabric similar to what I had. I will keep looking.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Wendy, I have similar issues with the log cabin quilt. I am going to just try to match the colors where I can. A border is more of a challenge. Is it an outer border? Maybe just take it all off and totally replace that border? Plus, my other issue is the original fabrics are all softly faded and when I put the new fabric on, it will likely stand out. So, I need to figure that out too. Good luck with your project! Thanks for coming by.

      Reply
      1. Wendy

        Thanks for your reply! It was an inside border and I did take it all out, and yes, the original fabrics were softly faded so it will be harder to replace. It was a well loved quilt. Still looking……

        Reply
  16. LJ

    Congratulations on the new online shopping venture. I can hear/see that you are an excellent quilter and sewer. Pebbles really do take so much time but they look wonderful.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you! I love the look of pebbling but about 1/2 way through, it becomes so repetitive – it takes a long time!! The effect is worth it though. So glad you stopped by. 🙂

      Reply
  17. Lori Morton

    I have been a follower for awhile too…LOVE your blog! Was fun to learn about you here..and to see your first quilt, and the one you made for your daughter is Awesome! The pebble quilting is wonderful! Know the quilt is a Treasure to her Heart too 🙂

    Reply

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