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Quilters and Quilts ~ Week 10, Juanita Nobles

Reader-Friend Juanita Nobles is my guest in Week 10 of the Quilters and Quilts Blog Series celebrating the release of The Quilted Heart Omnibus.

MONA: How long have you been a quilter?

JUANITA: I’ve been quilting for 30 years. I started in 1983. I have done all types—paper piecing, applique, piecework, but I usually stick to pretty simple designs.

Lighthouse Quilt

Lighthouse Quilt

MONA: Who influenced you to start quilting?

JUANITA: Both my grandmothers quilted, but in those days they just put fabric together because they needed warm covers for the bed. When I started making quilts, it was to make pretty designs with colorful, coordinating pieces. My children were growing up and I wanted to make quilts for them and for their babies which I knew would be coming in a few years, so I taught myself to quilt. I did attend one simple class, but mostly I bought books and fabric and taught myself.

MONA: Do you have a favorite pattern?

JUANITA: No, but usually when I made a quilt of one design, I made two or three more like it. I worked with several women in a group, making quilts for needy people. I began taking the donated fabric and trying to piece it together in a pretty pattern, which was impossible sometimes. So I bought my own fabric and began piecing quilts at home, in addition to the work with my friends.

Strip Quilt

Strip Quilt

MONA: Fun! A quilting circle of sorts, like the one featured in The Quilted Heart novellas. Juanita, what is your favorite part of the quilting process?

JUANITA: I like cutting the fabric, using a ruler and cutting wheel, and putting the pieces together. I love seeing the design come together. I quilted by hand for many years. Now that I’m a great-grandmother, my hands have arthritis and I can’t do that, but I can still cut, piece, and design, which is what I enjoy doing. Last year, during the winter months, I made five quilts.

MONA: I admire your determination to do what you can do. What do you do with most of the quilts you make?

JUANITA: Most of my quilts were given to my children, grandchildren, and other relatives. I have given some to friends. But I love to look at them on my beds and stacked on my shelves. At my children’s homes, I relish seeing my loved quilts on the beds there, too. Many of my pieces are wall hangings. My husband cuts the dowel rods to go in the slip-stitched holder on the back so they can hang easily.

Juanita Nobles Baby Quilt Novelty Print

MONA: Juanita, have you learned any life lessons from quilting?

JUANITA: I had a great disappointment just before I started quilting. So my life lesson would be—when life gives you scraps, make a quilt.  Another lesson I learned is that you should cherish and care for hand-made quilts. My daughter left one where the dog could get to it, and she chewed it up! My heart hurt when I saw it.

MONA: What bit of advice would you give someone who wants to start quilting?

JUANITA: Quilting is fun and so rewarding. If you enjoy sewing, you will enjoy turning those scraps into beautiful quilts. Many of mine are made with scraps.

Scrap Quilt

Scrap Quilt

MONA: Juanita, thank you for sharing your quilters and quilts story with us!

How about you? Have you been through a  disappointment or trial when a quilt or quilting cheered you? 

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