Rock Valley Quilter's Guild Featured Quilter 2018

Check out Sandra Kohls work at the RVQG Quilt Show

Oct 27-28, 2018

Link: RVQG Quilt Show

Sandra Kohls

RVQG Featured Quilter 2018

My first interest in quilting began in 1964, when I saw a cross stitched rose pattern quilt top in a Lee Ward's catalog. The cost for embroidery floss and fabric, $15.  I begged my mother to purchase it for me for my nursing school graduation gift.  She predicted I would never finish it and she was right, I didn't!  Fortunately some 10 years or so later, her cousin finished the embroidery and hand quilted it. Now it's one of my treasures.

I started sewing 4-H projects when I was 10 years old.  Over the years I made most of my own clothing and occasionally items for others including blouses, skirts, slacks, dresses, wool suits, winter coats , wedding dresses and formals.  My mother taught me to sew.  She sewed out of necessity but was a good teacher.  Her sister loved to sew as I do.  My mother's mother did some quilting and I have several of her quilts including one in  which the sashing fabric was purchased at the dry goods store in Clinton where Twin Turtle Quilts now resides.  The pink cotton was originally purchased for my aunt's prom dress, about 1935, for 9 cents a yard.  The dress was eventually shortened for a Sunday church dress and the leftover hem fabric became sashing.   My maternal grandmother had a sister who was a "professional" seamstress, i.e. made her living by sewing.  I have several exquisite examples of her fine, hand needlework but no garments.  My mother's paternal grandmother was a prolific quilter.  About 1931 when my mother was 10 years old, her grandmother had her pick out the quilt that would be saved for her wedding present.  I have the machine pieced hand quilted Carolina Lily of lavender, yellow. green with a white muslin background.

 In 1975, pregnant with my  4th child, I made my first quilt, having been inspired by a multi colored gingham baby quilt in Marshall Field's in Chicago.  I loved the little quilt, but its $75 price tag was well outside of my budget! So I decided I could make it myself.  I bought some pieces of pink, yellow and aqua gingham (in those days baby's gender wasn't revealed until birth!); cut out and sewed together some squares, added a white eyelet border.  My mother did some simple hand quilting. Voila! A charming piece for a fraction of the Marshall Field's cost that is still pretty today.  After that I was too busy to think about quilting until Knits and Bolts, a fabric and quilting store offered some quilting classes in the 80's.   I took a class or two and was intrigued.  But I didn't start quilting seriously until the early 90's after Diana Hagen invited me to attend a RVQG meeting with her. Actually, I credit her with introducing me to my "addiction".  Now, I claim that quilting keeps me as sane as I can claim to be.  I swear I go thru withdrawals when I can't get to some sort of quilt activity almost every day!  

I enjoy all aspects of quilting except making labels.  I like choosing fabrics, tweaking patterns and designs to make them "mine".  I like to machine piece and do needle turned applique.  Probably my favorite technique involves celtic design executed with bias tubing because I particularly like to do hand work.  I love playing with color, fabric and often add dimensional details to my quilts.  I love embellishing certain pieces with antique buttons collected by my husband's grandmother.  My biggest challenge is the actual quilting design.  While I can do both free motion and walking foot quilting, I can never quite achieve as dense and intricate quilting that I aspire to.  Hence, my newest best friend is a longarm quilter!  Mary Francis and I are having great fun collaborating on several current projects and have plans for several more...

Sandra Kohls

RVQG Member and 2018 RVQG Featured Quilter