Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why would I buy a custom quilt from
you for between $900. and $1500. when I can buy a quilt at any
high-end department store or even Wal-Mart for less than $200.?
A: The simplest answer I know is that
old saying-“YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR”. It is, and always will, be
true. The quilts you are talking about are made in China, India,
Vietnam, Thailand, and who knows where else. They are made to a
price. The fabric may cost fifty cents a yard. The cost of the
fabric for the back of the quilt is even less. Many are made by
children. They make thousands and thousands of the same quilt and
you cannot wash them even once. They fall apart and the batting
comes out of them. Nothing matches, and I have yet to figured out
where they come up with their sizes. Most people end up buying a
king quilt for their queen size bed and they still have to use a bed
When you order a custom-made quilt from me, you are assured that it
is one-of-a-kind and that it will exactly fit your bed. You also get
to choose your colors and your pattern.
You will get a quilt with a backing fabric of equal quality as the
top. I most often use fabric that is in the quilt top so that when
you pull your bed down in the evening everything matches.
Q: Is it safe to wash one of your
A: Absolutely, yes. Over the years, I
have urged my customers to run their quilts through a wash cycle
even before they put them on their beds for the first time. These
quilts are made to last. They are made of the finest fabrics,
batting, and thread available. When you first get your new quilt it
will “look” new which is great. After it has been washed it will
“pucker” giving it that wonderful “old knobby antique” look. These
quilts are too large to put in your home machine. It is best to take
them to a laundry facility and put them in one of the large
frontloading machines. When they are washed, just put them into the
large dryers. I cannot begin to tell you how pretty they will be.
Q: Why are your quilts so large?
A: So that they will fit your bed
properly without the use of a bed-skirt or pillow shams. There is
plenty of quilt to tuck under and fold over your pillows and the
sides and foot drop of the quilt will cover you mattress, box
springs, and sideboards.
Q: How long does it take you to make a
A: I tell people to allow about 10-12
weeks from start to finish. I make the quilt
tops and sew the backing in my studio. Then they are shipped to two
trusted friends in West Virginia who machine quilt them and put on
the binding. Then they are shipped back to me.
Q: Why do you quilt by machine instead
of by hand?
A: Three reasons.
1. Durability. No matter how carefully
hand quilted pieces are done, they will start to fall apart when you
begin to wash them.
2. Consistency. If you look closely at
hand quilted pieces, they are most often quilted by many different
people. Each of those people has a different quilting style and uses
a different number of stitches per inch. Machine quilting is
3. Machine quilting has become an art
form in itself. There are far more intricate designs that can be
done with a machine than can ever be done by hand.
Q: How do you decide what to charge for
one of your quilts?
A: There are several things taken into
account. The biggest deciding factor is how much time is going into
making it. Another big factor can certainly be the number of pieces
in the quilt pattern. It will take longer to piece a quilt with
4,000 pieces that one with 800 although depending on the
construction, a quilt with fewer pieces can take just as long. The
fabric is a much smaller consideration. There are over 25 yards in a
king quilt and about 23 yards in a queen quilt and if you have
purchased fabric lately you realize that good cotton quilting fabric
is between $9.00 and $12.00 per yard which means you can have over
$250. invested in a quilt before you begin turning a needle. Since I
use only the best fabrics available, the cost of the fabric gets
that lesser consideration. One other small factor may be the time it
takes me to do a design. Some just take longer than others do.
Q: So many of your quilts seem to be so
intricate. Why is this?
A: It is because of the number of pieces in them. The average quilt
may have 200-300 individual pieces. Many of my quilts have over 2000
pieces, and a few over 3,000 pieces, which of course will make them
more interesting. There is one, (Persian Rug) that has 14,400
one-inch pieces. It cannot be for everyone because of it’s price but
at least look at it. It is truly stunning.
Q: How do I order a custom
A: It is very easy. Starting with a
telephone call, we will talk about color and design. If you have
color swatches you wish to use they would be sent with the 50%
deposit that is required. Your quilt will be completed and shipped
to you in about 10-12 weeks. Final payment is due at shipping.
Q: Is it difficult to part with one of
A: No, not really. I realize it is
going to a loving home with people who care enough about themselves
to appreciate a one-of-a-kind quilt and that they will take care of
it. The biggest reason it is not difficult to part with one of my
quilts is because I get to make another one for someone else...and
so it goes.
Q: Where do you buy your fabric?
A: I buy it all over but mostly in the
Portland, OR area now. I have purchased lots of fabric in Virginia
and West Virginia and in my travels across the country, in Denver,
CO, Leadville, CO, Seattle, WA, and Santa Fe and Chama NM. I have
lots of wonderful friends all over. I do not “stash” fabric like
most quilters. Since I use so much fabric and sometimes need 4-5
yards each per quilt, it really does me no good to stash ½ yard of
anything. If I plan to make a scrappy quilt, I do use leftover
fabric but I most often have to use additional larger quantities for
borders etc. Otherwise, I buy fabric just like anyone else.
Q: Do you sell your patterns?
A: No, I am sorry, but I do not. I
design my patterns in a graphics program and only go as far as I
need to put the design on paper and figure the yardage. There is a
fabulous quilting website at www.quilterscache.com and she has
hundreds and hundreds of free patterns if you are making them for
yourself. You could get lost there for a whole day. Check her out
and have a ball.
Q: What is, or was, your favorite
A: That is such an easy answer-it is
always the one on which I am currently working.
If anyone has any other questions please e-mail me at
A telephone call is welcome at 503-282-1299 PST
Additional pictures of most quilts are available and
I will be happy to e-mail them to you