25 March, 2014

Prodigy Online Quilters Block Swap

While doing the laundry this morning I was contemplating ideas or something interesting to post today.

I literally pulled this one out of the dryer...

It's not an antique or even a vintage quilt, by any means.  
I is not even from my early days of making quilts.  
The blocks were made in 1991,
the top was assembled in 1994,
and it was quilted in 2007.
It does bring back fond memories
of my earliest days as an 'Online Quilter'.

Some of you may remember back in 1990 when online services were first getting started.  I signed up for the Prodigy service to facilitate working from home, which allowed me more time to spend with my family and quilting!

Prodigy, AOL, Genie, etc., were the first online services available. Originally they operated independent of one another, until these networks and others were linked together to become the World Wide Web.  As I recall my Prodigy membership cost about $12.95 per month for dial-up service.  Dial-up seemed fast in those days - but back then some of the largest hard drives were less than 50mb.  My cell phone far exceeds that!

As part of the service, Prodigy members were able to sign up for any number of groups covering all types of topics, including quilting.  You know what happens when you get a group of quilters in the same place?  Well, similar things happen when they meet via the computer.  We shared ideas and participated in all types of quilt-related activities including fabric and block swaps.  

The group had a name...'Online Quilters' and we became so well established that we had pins made to help us identify each other at various quilt shows and events. Were you an Online Quilter?
I still have my pin on my fabric chatelaine.

The 'Blue Star Block' swap was organized by one person who signed up 12 people willing to make 12 blocks, sign them, and send them in.  Once all 12 sets of blocks were collected, they were divided into 12 separate sets of 12 different blocks and returned to each of the participants. (I hope that makes sense.)

I have a list of the names in one of my quilt scrapbooks, but they are packed away while our remodeling continues.  So, as much as I can still read them from the quilt the blocks were made by:
Elise Dee Beqarg?
Sandy Matthews

Karen Abrahamovick, Essex Jct., Vermont
Lynda Baig, Orlando, Florida

Sue Bensit, Beverly, New Jersey
Nancy McDonald, ___paign, __?
Ellen Crockett, Springfield, Virginia
Kathie Evanoff, Ohio
Linda F., Phoenix, Arizona
Donna Carter, Mission Viejo, California
June Cloutier, Feeding Hills, Massachusetts
Me - in my home town of Escondido, C
If you happen to be one of these quilters, or know one of them, I would love to hear from you.  I apologize for making a bit of a mess on the names.  Since my quilt has been completed it gets washed - a lot!

When my set of blocks arrived they ended up put away for a little while.  I pulled them out and assembled the top in 1994.  It hung in my quilt shop as inspiration and a conversation piece.  When the shop closed - so that I could care for a loved one - the top ended up packed away with it's intended pieced backing.

It stayed in a box that moved when we did until 2007 when I had met a very nice couple with a long arm machine.  Wayne and Rita, both members of a local quilt guild, announced that after lots of practice they were ready to start quilting for others.  I gave Wayne the top, backing, 100% cotton batting AND free reign to quilt this one as he pleased.  He did an overall meandering design with stars popped in to strategic places.

Since being completed it has been well loved and used on Brie's bed, which is why it was being washed and dried in time to become to topic of today's post.

We had some nice weather over the weekend which was a treat.  We spent a good bit of time outside cleaning up after Old Man Winter.  He has returned to visit us again today.  He better not make any more messes!

I am spending some quality time in my studio.  As soon as I hit publish will be moving over to my sewing machine to do a little quilting.

Happy Quilting!

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