Quilt Study Group–You Should Go!


As I told you last week, Friday and Saturday of this past weekend I was in Rogers, Arkansas, for the meeting of the Missouri-Oklahoma-Kansas-Arkansas Quilt Study Group (MOKA).

I got in a quick visit to Crystal Bridges, as planned. It was a gloriously beautiful fall day so it was hard to decide whether to look at the art indoors or see God’s art outdoors. Indoors won, this time. (But the truth is, I could still see how gorgeous it was outside from many places inside the museum.) I saw the State of the Art exhibit and can highly recommend it. This piece, in particular, struck me as extraordinarily beautiful.

Dress Impression with Wrinkled Cowl. Glass. Karen LaMonte.
Dress Impression with Wrinkled Cowl. Glass. Karen LaMonte.

I also enjoyed seeing this: a marble sewing machine! (Sadly, I did not get the artist’s info…if you go and see it, or already know it, please let me know. Let’s give credit where credit is due.)

Yes, it's marble!
Yes, it’s marble!

At the Friday night part of the MOKA meeting, we were treated to a synopsis of the work Laura Redford and Marty Bradford (from the Shiloh Museum) have been doing on woven coverlets in the Ozarks. They showed us some of the pieces in the museum’s collection and described the scope of their research. I learned some new things and will anxiously await the publication of their book.


Saturday, Ann Deemer talked to us about her mother, Martha Skelton, the Master Quilter of Mississippi. Ann spoke about the ways her mother’s quiltmaking helped her through difficult times, about the importance of “staying busy.” We got to see several of Martha’s quilts, many of which have been published (in Mississippi QuiltsMartha Skelton, The Master Quilter of Mississippi; and other books.

A great state documentation book!
A great book!

I wish I had photos of some of the quilts to show you but I was on the back side of most of them (holding them!). Honestly, I think I got the best view. Martha was a skilled and prolific quilter and her handwork was expertly done. Such beautiful quilting! If you can lay hands on either of the books, do. You’ll see some of them. Trust me when I say they are gorgeous!

Long, tall Sue
Long, tall Sue

There was a huge table of door prizes for attendees, more than enough for everyone to take something home. My pick from the lot was this funky little Sunbonnet Sue. In general, Sue is not my favorite among appliquéd quilt blocks, but this little gal was just screaming to be spiffed up. I am planning to lift her from that drab muslin ground and dress her up with a new orange background. What do you think? Will she like it? I think so.

I also got the following three blocks from the silent auction. I know, I said Sue (and Bill) wasn’t my favorite, but they too were asking for a change of scenery. I’m not sure how they’ll end up, but I am pretty sure it won’t be in muslin-land.


There was a tin of old buttons that I bid on but my friend Jeanie kept outbidding me. Finally, I told her that I was really only bidding on them for one single card of old buttons. Don’t ask me why, I just felt like I needed them. So Jeanie bought the tin of buttons and, as I was leaving, she reached into the tin and gave me that one card. Wasn’t that sweet? I was tickled!

rabbit's lair
The Rabbit’s Lair, 116 S. 1st Street, Rogers, AR

No trip to Rogers is complete without a visit to The Rabbit’s Lair, a wonderful fiber arts store. So, you see, I was obligated to go! There was a street fair ongoing just outside the store so I shopped while listening to oompah music and The Chicken Dance.

RL Haul
What I found at the Rabbit’s Lair

So, yes, it was a great weekend. I would urge you to seek out a similar group if you’re not already connected to one. It’s a great place to learn more about vintage and antique quilts, and have some fun with like-minded folks. A quick Google search for “regional quilt study groups” turns up a nice list. Maybe you can find one in your area? I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the very best group around, the American Quilt Study Group. Check it out!

Are you a member of a quilt study group?