Since I released "One Stitch at a Time" in 2000, quilters from all over the world have been telling me their stories. Some of them made me laugh and some cry. I knew I had to write more songs to share these tales. This music is now available on a CD called "A Quilter's Embrace". It features 14 new songs with the same mix of history, current events and fun that everyone loved about "One Stitch at a Time".
While recording this CD at The Millstream studio in Toronto, I worked with some of the top session musicians in Canada, and they did a wonderful job on the new songs. The producer on this project is an old friend, and top-notch musician, Paul Mills. I also had lots of help from many, many quilters, who told me fascinating quilting stories. It is thanks to their generosity that this CD came to be.
To order these from me (in Canada)
You can also order online from a secure website or download CDs or individual tracks.
I found this poem on the Internet, and have set it to music. It was originally adapted by Shelly Burge from a poem called "A Husband's Viewpoint" and published in her Home Extension Club newsletter in the late 1970s. If you know the author of the original poem (which ends with the husband getting directly into heaven, since "you've done your time in Hell"), please get in touch with me.
After hearing about so many charity quilts done by every single guild we've visited over the years, I had to write this song. Each verse is about someone who has received an anonymous charity quilt, and the chorus is a possible label for each of those quilts. It's been bringing a tear to the eye of audiences so far!
What to do with your stash when you go! Inspired by discussion with Julie Wallace in Loch, VIC Australia (who also inspired some of the lines in "100 Ways to Hide Your Stash"), the husband gets the last word - the stash is his dowry!!!
Self explanatory? The chorus is: "So merry, so merry so merry are we. No mortals match quilters when we're on a spree!"
The original Old Glory (US flag) was kept safe during three years of the Civil War in Nashville, TN by having it sewn inside a quilt.
A story I found in "Treasures in the Trunk", Quilts of the Oregon Trail by Mary Bywater Cross, features Rachel and Allan Bond, a young couple, who hired themselves out to help a wagon train along the Oregon Trail in exchange for passage. They brought very little with them, but as she walked, Rachel pieced a quilt. The Bond family celebrated 150 years in Oregon in 2003.
A pregnant quilter whose baby is overdue. Clearly, the reason the baby was overdue was because Mom hadn't made her a quilt yet, so in the last few days of her pregnancy, that's what she did! And Baby arrived soon after.
Rip it, rip it, rip it!
A wonderful project by Southern Cross Quilters (online group in Australia and New Zealand). If a member is going through a very tough time, other members make and send her 6-1/2 inch heart blocks.
Written by Tark Hamilton, this is a lovely song about saying goodbye to his grandmother: clearing out her house, and making a quilt from the fabrics she left behind.
The reason I quilt is in this song - to leave something tangible behind, made from start to finish with my own hands.
This story was told to me by Lorrene Hill at a quilting retreat in Strathmore, Alberta. She saw this quilt in 1954 in Cold Lake, Alberta. It had 10 pictorial blocks, all done very roughly by a native woman who had married a white trapper. Just after she saw the quilt, the log cabin and all its contents, including the quilt, burned to the ground. She never forgot the quilt and told me the story 47 years later!
Charm quilts have a charming history - young girls (with marriage always on their minds) collected bits of fabric (never bought, mind you - traded or given only!) for a quilt, usually a one-patch. Their quest was 999 pieces - the 1000th was to arrive pinned to the breast pocket of their future husband's shirt. Like "Toss the Cat" from "One Stitch at a Time" CD, this song talks about quilting superstitions and vital life decisions.
The only place housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary! This song is based on a traditional melody, and set with African-style drums!
To find out my sources for writing the history songs, click here.