By Valerie Borque
Photos by Carolyn Kenney
I recently had the pleasure to communicate with the staff at Quilt in a Day productions. Eleanor Burns, the Quilt in a Day lady is an icon in the quilt industry. Eleanor is quirky, fun and passionate about finding the easiest, quickest method to create that cherished quilt. Eleanor is a self-taught quilter. Eleanor came to quilting without any preconceived ideas of how quilt blocks go together. But she likes to do things fast and easy so she developed production piecing which makes it possible to make a quilt in a day.
Eleanor got started quilting when one day when she was asked if she could teach a quilt class for a local college under the Adult Education. Eleanor needed to work and she had been sewing all her life so she thought how hard could it be? Lucky for us, Eleanor said, yes as she has been, developing methods to simplify quilting, so anyone can learn to make that treasured quilt. Very soon, Eleanor was developing tools, rulers and templates. She is a prolific writer of quilt books and the inventor of Quilt in a Day method. Her books have sold millions, she had her own TV show years ago and today, using the internet, Eleanor’s quirky, fun style can be viewed by anyone.
Her Victory Quilt book features quilt blocks used during the WWII years. Back then nothing was wasted and worn clothing was cut up to be reused for quilts or rugs or whatever. The Victory Quilt book takes complicated blocks and makes them simple. Eleanor developed a flying geese block method that when put together looks like it must be wrong, yet using her templated ruler, turns out beautifully. Check out Eleanor’s Victory Quilt blocks on YouTube. She is entertaining to watch as she is informative.
If you are fortunate to be in the Quincy area, this year Eleanor’s Victory Quilt blocks are being taught at the local Feather River College from January to May by a local quilting expert, Carolyn Kenney. Carolyn is an award winning quilter who has been teaching classes in the local area for many years. What better way to spend winter in the mountains then learning a new simplified method of an older traditional quilt block. Check with your local quilt store to see many of Eleanor Burn’s Quilt in a Day books – maybe you will find an easy method for your next quilt project.