Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Preparing for a Noteworthy Guest

Hand quilting is the theme for tomorrow's visit with Ronda Beyer.
One of the best machine quilters in the world, Ronda Beyer, is coming to visit tomorrow. We're going to look at quilts, and I've been doing a little light housecleaning and pulling out some old quilts to share. Ronda recently won second place in the Merit Quilting, Machine category at the International Quilt Festival in Houston for her quilt, "Darwin's Diamonds and Flowers" and was one of several Oregon quilters to receive an award.

Quilt Making runs in the family for Ronda. Her grandmother was a well-known quilter, and her mother, Jane, first opened a quilt shop in 1981. Jane's Fabric Patch is located in Tillamook, Oregon, also home of the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. In 2004, Ronda purchased a longarm quilting machine, and from there, here career took off. Recently, she mentioned that she started out as a hand quilter, something I didn't know. It is her machine quilting she's best known for these days.

Detail of Album with Lyre Medallion - the quilting is insane!
When I first saw quilts that were machine quilted about a decade ago, I frankly wasn't all that impressed. The squiggly, wavy-line "stipple" quilting seemed kind of cold to me, and I was unsure if machine quilting could ever be considered a form of artistic expression. That all changed the first time I saw Ronda's work. It's absolutely incredible, and she has convinced me that machine quilting truly is an art.

The first quilt I ever bought features great piecework and amazing quilting.
I've known about Ronda's work for a few years, and finally got to meet her in person this year at the Northwest Quilt Expo in Portland. At the time, I said I wanted to share some quilts with her, particularly the Album with Lyre Medallion made by Mary Couchman Small in 1850 and some of my "New York Beauty" Rocky Mountain Road quilts. Ronda and I have been in touch through Facebook, and I'm simply delighted we're going to have a visit tomorrow. I'm just in awe of her work, and happy that I can share some quilts that I know she'll enjoy.


  1. I wish I could be a fly on your wall!

  2. I'll take some pictures of the quilts draped around the house and share them here later tomorrow. :)

  3. Have a fun day Bill! I agree that great machine work is an art form!!!

  4. Enjoy your day, oh how I would love to be there to see the quilts as well as hear what you both have to say!
    I agree long arm quilting is an art form when the person behind the machine is talented. Too many quilts are just stippled with large open spaces, not my style.

  5. l have been fortunate enough to discover a great machine quilter, who does wonderful work on my quilts. She can turn them from something good into something special!!

  6. Personally, I can't go passed quilts like the two you showed. Hand quilting like that is truly remarkable. I am sure longarm quilters are very, very talented. I would be proud to do some of the quilting they do, but my heart belongs to the hand quilters.