Guest Blogger Month at the Quilting Gallery

Hi, my name is Holly Elam. I live in north west Alabama. I am a stay at home mom of three rambunctious boys. Who definitely keep me on my toes. A lot of people wonder where I find the time for making quilts. I wonder sometimes too. Thankfully the baby takes naps and my husband is wonderful about giving me time to sew.

When I was in the 8th grade I took a home economics class. That is where I got my first taste of sewing. We had to make a pillow in the shape of a stingray (our school mascot). In the 10th grade I made an American flag pillow for a history project. However the sewing bug didn’t bite me until I was in my late twenties.

My mother in-law Judy Elam is always sewing or making something. Whenever we would visit she would show me what she was working on. Her sewing range is very vast. She has won awards at several county fairs. She passed on to me an old green White Brand sewing machine. It is the kind in a cabinet that folds out from with in. It doesn’t have a foot peddle. You have to use your knee. The first thing I made was curtains for my oldest sons room.

In 2003 I made my first baby quilt with this machine. I started with sewing squares together that I had bought off of Ebay. I didn’t even have a rotary cutter or mat yet. I made a few baby quilts this way. I then decided that it was something that I wanted to keep doing. My husband bought me my first rotary cutter and mat kit for my birthday that year. A few months later he bought me a more modern sewing machine. I have been making quilts ever since.

My grandmother was my first paying customer. She asked me to make quilts for my cousins. In one year I made 8 twin-sized quilts and 1 queen-sized quilt for my great grandmother. Since then I have made over 50 quilts. Including photo quilts, memory quilts, and appliqued quilts. I enjoy the process of picking the pattern, the material, and piecing it together the most. I have never taken a class. Although I would like to take a quilting class some day.

In 2006 with my husbands help I started Fabric Mom. I wanted to be able to share what I was working on with my friends and family without having to send it through emails. Some day I hope to turn it into a shop selling the crafts I make.

I have a list as long as my arm of all the quilts that I want to make. With that said, I also have a UFO bin with 35 projects in various stages waiting to be finished. My goal for this year is to finish some of those projects. So far this year I have finished 3 projects.

My style leans more towards traditional. I am in love with reproduction materials. I made a quilt for a dear friend using the Goose Creek pattern using Civil War reproduction material. I loved it so much I didn’t want to give it up. I also really like batiks.

Some techniques I want to try are Trapunto, paper piecing, and hand quilting. I just don’t think I have the patience or attention span for hand quilting. You can probably tell that from the 35 UFO’s I have. Some day I will bite the bullet and try it.

In the last year I started making fabric postcards. I like it because of the instant gratification. The projects are so small that I don’t get bored easily. I belong to a group of girls that swaps fabric postcards each month. I also like to scrapbook, make pin cushions, greeting cards and cook. The possibilities are endless really.

Thank you Michele for asking me to be a guest blogger. I am honored.

Happy Sewing,

Holly Elam

9 thoughts on “Holly Elam

  • February 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Your work is lovely. I enjoyed your post. Shirley

  • February 25, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I enjoyed reading your history of sewing…very interesting.
    Your grandmother was your first paid customer and now you have several customers.
    I liked that your husband is so supportive of your sewing and helps in any way he can.
    Keep up the good work.
    You did shine on this guest blog.
    Patricia (Aunt Pat)

  • February 25, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    holly it was wonderful to read your post .. thank you for sharing your quilting adventure with us



  • February 26, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Wow Holly – so great to see you as a guest blogger. I guess I never realized you never have taken a class -you’ve done so many really awesome quilts and other projects! I love spending time on your blog and visiting you and “the boys” –

    Best of luck as Fabric Mom continues to grow!

  • February 26, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Wow, Holly, I loved learning so much about you. As one who has been blessed with some of your work as a gift, a lovely Batik Runner, I can tell you take pride in your work.

    I enjoyed reading how you got started, now, can’t wait to see all that you do as you become even more accomplished.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    Sue R.

  • February 26, 2009 at 9:30 am


    I enjoyed your history, and congratulation on making it to the guest blogger keep up the good work as my friend i will need you too,lol


  • February 26, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    You never cease to amaze me. Your quilts are so beautiful and so are you. Love you much.

  • February 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm


    Thank you for sending the link. I don’t know how you do it. Thank you for the quilt you made for Marty & I and the baby quilt for the next grandchild due 5/15/09.

    Love you,
    Mom & Marty

  • February 27, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Congratulations Holly, you are amazing to me and all who meet you. Your quilts are beautiful.

    Grandma Geri

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