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Friday, May 28, 2010

Introducing Project QUILTING’s Third Judge – Barb Raisbeck of QuiltsbyBarb

Our third steady judge for Project QUILTING is going to be someone I’ve talked about a lot – Barb Raisbeck of QuiltsbyBarb. Barb is Diane’s sister, my aunt-in-law and an extremely talented long arm quilter. (oh and trust me – neither Diane or Barb will be ‘easy on me’ for scoring – if anything they are even more critical of my work!)

il_430xN.61720553 Flower Power Quilt

She has participated in a few of the challenges but any challenges she feels like working on will just be for ‘show’ and not eligible for any of the prizes.

il_430xN.144544068Checkers Anyone?

Here’s Barb’s ‘About Me’ that I snagged from her website:

Let me tell you how I got started quilting.

Around 1990, Mom made a quilt top for my son, Cory. I was very excited when I went to WalMart and picked out a black,purple, green and gold print fabric. Then I went and selected all these plain colored polyester fabric for poor Mom to make the quilt. She didn't complain; thank goodness I selected the Rail Fence pattern, and she made Cory's quilt top.

Now it was time for me to hand quilt it. Mom was going to come to my home in Bloomington, Wisconsin, to get me started and teach me how to hand quilt. Before we got to do this, Mom suffered a massive heart attack and we lost our wonderful Mother just ten days later.

il_430xN.57296584 Bargello Trip Around the World

The quilt top sat in the closet until I saw a quilt that had been machine quilted. I thought, now that is what I can do with Cory's quilt and it will get finished. I sent the quilt top out and had it quilted with a polyester batting with the cloud pattern. I brought it home and put about a 4 inch wide binding on the edge, all done by machine. I think Cory still has the quilt.

My daughter, Katrina, then thought she needed a quilt. I was already a lot wiser. Katrina and I went to a local quilt shop and selected four blue fabrics of 100% cotton. I made my first quilt top, a Sunshine and Shadows quilt, all in blues. I sent it off to the machine quilter and it was quilted with a pantograph pattern. I was hooked on quilting!!


Purple Heat Resistant Mini Quilt

I continued making quilt tops and sending them out to a local machine quilter. She specialized in pantographs only and I was ready for more. It was time for me to purchase my own long arm quilting machine. My husband was very skeptical as I threatened to put the machine in our living room unless we built on to our house. I threatened for about a year and eventually we built a wonderful two story addition to our home for my new quilting studio.

Fast forward a few years to 2001 and I decided this quilting stuff was alright. I quit my full time job working for the US government and Quilts by Barb became my full time passion. It has been nothing but uphill every since!

Quilts by Barb has evolved to include Quilt Retreat Getaway Weekends and Hand Dyeing Workshops. We celebrated our fifth year anniversary of fall retreats in 2007. I have taught over 300 students in Beginning Quilting 101 and a large number of other quilt classes at local quilt shops in the area and in my studio. In 2007, I had my first opportunity to teach at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, and will be back again in 2010.

il_430xN.71182471 Where’s the Point – Quilt PATTERN

Around Christmas time in 2006, I decided it was time to trade up from my Gammill Classic with an IntelliStitch attachment to a Gammill Optimum with a Statler Stitcher. The Statler Stitcher is a top of the line quilting system and it helps me to continue to provide the best in custom machine quilting for my quilting customers.

There are many days when I am working on a quilt for myself or a custom quilt for a customer and I think just how much my Mother would have enjoyed helping me in my quilting business. Unfortunately, I didn't get started quilting until after I lost her but I am guessing she is watching me from above and is really glad I know better than to head to WalMart for polyester fabric as I continue to add to my quilting stash!


Check out this post to see the THREE Quilts that Barb had in the International Quilt Festival in Chicago this past April!

Barb is also the host and teacher of the Quilts By Barb Quilt Retreats each fall. 2011 looks to be just as amazing as all the past one – if not more so! Check out for more information on what’s going on.

I know that I’m really excited to have three permanent judges along witha fourth guest judge when possible. I love getting feedback on my work – it can only make me a stronger quilter. Thank you to my judges for helping make Project Quilting just that much more special.


susan said...

Oo i think she is right in my backyard! Lovely quilts. How far north are you barb? Oh and the link isnt working

PersimonDreams said...

Hi Susan :) Thanks for the feedback on the link - I've now updated it to the 2011 retreat!

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