Just because it is summer doesn’t mean you have to give up on quilting. Quilt in the car (when you are not driving), at the cabin, cottage or in the camper. Take your projects with you or check out quilt shops along the highways or back roads.

Little quilts, like a lap quilt, placemat, table runner, wall-hanging, tote bag or pillow, are great projects to do in the summer as they go fast and are easy to do. Little quilts are made just like a large quilt, consisting of quilt blocks or a simple design, borders, and binding, and they’re hand-quilted.

Many quilt shops have kits made up, which makes it convenient for the quilter on the go. Lisa Marien, of Pumpkinberry Stitches, Lake City, said, “I offer over 100 different kits. None of them are larger than a lap quilt. I have a ton of quick and easy kits, including runners, table toppers. wall quilts, bags. pillows, etc. I think you’re right about keeping the large bed quilt projects for our long winters. Also, when traveling, I think most don’t think twice about picking up a small kit. But a larger one, they may try to buy that closer to home in case they want or need more of the fabric.”

Start or add to a collection

You can start a collection of small quilts with some found at antique malls and shops, flea markets, thrift and craft shops. If looking for small quilted items, look for the same color to add to a collection and you can even add your own handiwork to an item to bring a vintage piece back to life. Decide where your quilted item will be displayed. Hanging a little quilt on the wall is simple to do with two safety pins on the back to use as hangers. Decorative hangers fastened to the top of a quilted piece are also effective and can be found at quilt shops, or even at thrift shops.

Break out that button collection or get one started to make your summertime quilt project a work of art. An easy way to use buttons on a small quilt is when you are tie-tacking. So many cute buttons can be found.

Brenda Jannsen, of Treasures Under Sugar Loaf, said, “Buttons are always great to use on lap quilts when tying a quilt top, and we have buttons in the jars.”

Penny Mormann, owner of Country Charm Crafts, Caledonia, said, “Not only does Twyla Thorson (TNT Crafts, Houston) buy her fabric at my shop, but she also makes the quilted runners and quilted purses and wall hangings. The prices range from $19.95 to $31.95 on quilted runners, purses $38 to $42.50, and quilted wall-hangings $9.98 to $36.95.”

Betty Butters, owner of Catch My Thrift, Stewartville, said, “I have wall-hangings and table runners. Also fabric, thread and more.”

Quilt shows and shop hops

Check with your local fabric shop, as it’s getting to be quilt show and shop-hop time. That time of the year when we leave our sewing rooms and burst out into the world of new color and techniques. We go to be inspired and find friendship with other quilters like us.

Some of us schedule as many workshops as time will allow. Still others seek the beaten path to the vendors at quilt shows, searching out the latest fabric, books, tools and gadgets.

This year, the Minnesota Quilters 2019 annual quilt show and conference is coming to Mayo Civic Center in Rochester June 13-15. It’s a place where you can view quilts and buy quilt kits and more from vendors from various parts of the tri-state area and other parts of the country as well.

Admission is $14. Info: www.mnquilt.org/annualshow.html.

Sandy Erdman is a Winona-based freelance writer concentrating on vintage, antique and collectible items. Send comments and story suggestions to Sandy at life@postbulletin.com.

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