Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Beth Donaldson. Find out how her quilting career led to her being a super model. Plus she’s giving away two copies of the newly released book: F is for Friendship, A Quilt Alphabet.
How much fun is this? Guest Blogger. I’ve been a quilter since I was 17. I’ve written patterns that are published in books and magazines, lectured, taught, written two books and landed the world’s best job working in a museum with over 700 quilts. But last summer I had a once in a lifetime adventure, I became a super model!
Yes, you might wonder, how can a woman over 50, over weight and under whelmed become a model? It turns out I live in the same area as one Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, the excellent illustrator of children’s books for Sleeping Bear Press. I got a phone call one day from Nick (the much easier name he goes by) describing his dilemma. He had a contract to illustrate a children’s book about quilting and was in the middle of researching and painting. He was already working with some of my quilting friends including Carol Schon, who suggested he contact me. Thank you Carol! He phoned, could I help? Sure, I was up for it, I had seen and admired his work and this sounded like great fun.
When we met he showed me some of the text by Helen L. Wilbur and some of the paintings he had already done. He then described some of the letters he still needed to illustrate. His method is to pose models with quilts, take photographs and then paint his illustrations from the photos. This left out almost all of the museum’s quilts, since they can’t be loaned out and draped over just anything.
Lucky for me I have quite a pile of quilts, both new and antique. So I showed him some quilts I thought would work with the text and he took them home and staged his paintings. Some were used with models, and some just on their own. He used both quilts I had made and collected. He would take 3 or 4 quilts at a time, then come back with a few more letters and take back a few more quilts.
At one point he needed a quilter to pose at hand quilting. After the furor over the Northern tissue ads where the Northern Tissue quilters were knitting, not quilting and Northern had to reshoot the commercial and apologize to quilters, I knew the quilting hands better be authentic. He took photos of my hands, so he could show his model (a non-quilter) how to hold the quilt and her hands.
One day he showed me the text for S is for Sewing Machine. The rhyme talks of flying feet which of course means a treadle. About 5 years ago for Christmas my DH surprised me by driving 100 miles to my Aunt Mary Jane’s home and bringing me my grandmother’s old Singer Treadle sewing machine. That was the best Christmas gift I ever got.
I told Nick I had a particularly photogenic Singer. It was a model from about 1910 with beautiful Egyptian scrolls and Sphinx in gold. My grandmother painted the beautiful oak cabinet Nile green, which was the color at the height of fashion in the 1930s. Nick thought the machine was perfect. Then came the big question, would I pose at the machine? My first reaction was NO! But then, I thought, when is this chance ever going to come again? Never of course, so I made Nick promise to give my fine flat hair a little volume and off we went.
I was working on a baby quilt for my next door neighbor and thought the colors could pass for the 1920s, so I put it under the press foot as if I was attaching a border. Nick took a bunch of pictures. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and tennis shoes. A few weeks later Nick brought the painting in for me to see. There I was in an old gold dress, corrective black shoes and round glasses. I loved it! It really does look like me and he managed to give my hair just a bit of volume.
By the end of the project my quilts appear in about 10 letters. The book is F is for Friendship, A Quilt Alphabet and it can be purchased on Amazon and many other booksellers online. I bet you can find at your local bookstore, too.
Enter the Give-Away
So to share my delight I’m offering two free books. To enter the give-away, leave a comment below. Starting with A is for appliqué, B is for bobbin, C is for… leave a comment that follows the next available letter after the comment above yours. When you make it to the end, start over again.
One winner will be chosen randomly from the comments on this page, and the other will be chosen from comments left on my blog, Beth Donaldson, Quilt Maker. So leave a comment here, then go to my blog, check out my free patterns, view two more illustrations from F is For Friendship, and leave a comment. Winners will be chosen next Wednesday.
132 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Beth Donaldson, Quilter & Super Model and a Give-Away”
J is for joining, keeping sure everything is straight.
K is for Kinship. The ladies in my quilting bee are kind in helping me, a (k)new quilter, with their unbelievable knowledge!
L is for love, the feeling I get whenever I quilt. I’m so glad that I have a hobby that I just love to do!
M is for Material and ladies you know we cant have too much of that! I just love getting new material and bringing it home and petting it like a brand new puppy!
N is for new projects, ideas, friendships. Having just retired, quilting does not just let my life idly go by, as I have Purpose.
O is for opening your heart and making a quilt for someone who needs a warm hug.
P is for pinning. One of the most important steps in making a quilt!
Q is for quilting the hours away .
R is for running stitch, which I use rather often… Looks like a wonderful book!
R is for reading all these wonderful alpha-comment posts!!! R is also for reading the directions on all the patterns we use!
AND, R is for Reading “F is for Friendship, A Quilt Alphabet”
So is for so quick that these posts appear so as to have doubles of the letters! EEK!
That was supposed to read: “S is…..”
T is for trapunto. I love the alphabet comments!
U is for Unbelievable combinations of colors and patterns in all the beautiful quilts.
V is for Variety…the spice of life (and quilting)
W is for the WOW factor
X is for eXcitement – that the gifter and giftee both feel when you gift a quilt!
Y is for Yo-Yo quilts. I haven’t made any, but do admire them.
Z, I think Z is for Zenith and I think you have “hit” your zenith (or one of them) with Nick’s book. How fun it would be to participate in the making of a children’s book! I love children’s books with quilts in them and would be so appreciative in winning this one. Congrats to you.
A is for “Always”…always something to do! I tried to post this before but there were issues…sorry if it duplicates. =(
Thanks for a lovely giveaway!
A is for art quilts, the next frontier for me. I’d love to win the book. Thanks for the giveaway!
A-is for ALL the friends you make in the quilting community, with their encouragement and support.
What a wonderful book, how fun., to participate, the illustrations are beautiful.
B is for binding when you know the quilt you so lovingly put together is almost finished and ready for gifting.
C is for Cathedral Windows, the first quilt I ever attempted (and sadly didn’t finish) but it’s on my list again.
Sounds like an awesome book! I can’t wait to see it! And how exciting for you to have your quilts memorialized forever in a book. :)
C is for congratulations on being a part of such a wonderful and creative project. I’m sure you must be thrilled to have so much of your work featured in this book that will become a treasure to so many!
C is for color.
Pink, yellow, blue.
Colors for fabrics to make
A quilt to hug you.
D is for darn! Obviously Karen types faster than me so it seems I’ve duplicated C.
D is for desperate – as in “I’m DESPERATE to finish that wedding quilt I started 5 anniversaries and 2 children ago….”
E is for eager – EAGER to try new quilty things.
E is for Excitement…that feeling I get when buying new fabric and planning my next quilt.
F is for the frogs that are all over the baby quilt I’m hand-quilting for my next grandbaby due this fall :)
F is for Fortunate… Fortunate that I have both Mom and Grandma’s sewing machines and quilts.
G is for Grandmother’s Flower Garden
G is for generosity — wonderful friends giving you their scraps.
G is for Grandmother’s Flower Garden – an old time favorite. First comment was not accepted so trying again.
H is for Handwork which I’ve come to love.
I is for Ingenious. That is what I would say all quilters are. To be able to take a simple scrap of cloth and make it into something that our loved ones will cherish forever.
J is for Joy! From making, giving, and receiving.
K is for Kinship which I feel for all my sister quilters!
K is for Kindness which I feel from all my sister quilters!
L is for labels. Future generations will want to know about you and the hstory of your quilt.
M is for Matching together fabric to make a lovely quilt!
N is for Notebook, a place for recording quilt information and working out ideas for future quilts
O is for opening the door to oportunity! I’really want this BOOK
P is for Pleasure, which is derived from the process of making a usable whole representation of love out of little scraps of fabric.
Q is queen–sitting quietly quilting a love gift for the king.
R is for Ripping my stitches untrue,
Random is work, out of the blue,
Rulers I need to keep size really true,
And patchwork’s Reliable to keep me on cue.
R is for Rag Quilts, so soft and cuddly
s is for soft! I just finished a baby quilt in flannel, so soft for the baby.
T is for tying, what my grandmother did instead of quilting!
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