• Last modified 815 days ago (March 24, 2022)


‘Fussy’ but beautiful

Staff writer

Viewing Marion City Library’s quilt show is like walking through a maze of delightful colors and shapes. They reflect many hours of painstaking handiwork.

Vickie Schroeder of Tallgrass Longarm Quilting submitted a quilt with densely packed cylindrical pieces named “LaPassacaglia with Mr. Penrose.”

She used a technique called English paper piecing, which she described as “fussy cutting fabrics and hand piecing.”

The quilt measures 91½ by 97 inches and was made with 4,500 pieces, all created and stitched together by hand.

Schroeder kept track of material expenses and time spent. Materials cost $203, including $83 for the top, $81 for backing, $40 for batting, and lots of thread.

Schroeder figured the worth of her labor at $12 per hour. It included 15 hours per week and 64½ hours per month for 2¼ years. The total, 741½ hours at $12 an hour, equaled $20,898. Adding the cost of material, the total cost was $21,101.82.

She doesn’t plan to sell it, though.

“If I sold it, I don’t know what I could get for it,” she said.

The quilt was created as a keepsake for one of her sons. She hopes to make three more for her other son and two step-children.

“I do it because it keeps my hands busy and my heart happy,” she said.

Schroeder started her business in 2015.

She learned how to sew from her grandmother and was prolific at making clothing. Quilting was a new art.

“I’ve always liked working with my hands,” she said, “but quilting has been sort of a surprise for me.”

Her husband, Vince, who is retired, has become involved. He runs a long-arm quilting machine, guiding the needle along a path outlined by a laser.

“It was hard for me to give up the long-arm quilting,” she said, “but I finally did it.”

The couple uses a large fold-down table in their garage to lay quilts flat and install batting.

“I see this as something we can do for a long time together,” she said.

The quilt show will continue through March 30.

Last modified March 24, 2022