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WHAT IS A DRIVE-BY QUILTING?
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It's the coolest show-and-tell ever! I started this game to help pass the time during our long drives and to keep our travels a bit more entertaining.

In order to get to my seminars (or when we're traveling to trade shows such as Paducah and Houston) we drive (or I should say Justin drives) pulling a trailer filled to the brim with all it takes to produce the event. On my Facebook and Twitter pages I post our route, our current location (usually a mile marker or landmark), and the actual time we passed that marker. Quilter's in our path who are following our progress have the opportunity to estimate what time we will pass them. Send me a message on Facebook that you are making a drive-by quilting attempt so I'll know to be on the lookout for you and can help coordinate our drive-by. You'll need to be on the look out for us.

On the right is a photo of our rig so you'll know what to look for.

hank

Then, get a quilt and head out to the highway to wait for the drive-by. The VERY BEST locations are on overpasses because we can see you from a good distance. Those participating are urged to follow our travel progress closely so they won't have to wait because we stopped for gas or food. However, waiting too long can result in a "drive-by misfire" so plan accordingly. It happens really fast - but it's totally cool!!!

If it all works out, you'll be waving your quilt and we'll be flashing lights and taking photos. I post those photos below for the world to see. If you want to play along be sure to look at our upcoming seminars and their locations. We generally go to Paducah and Houston each year.

We leave from La Veta, Colorado (obviously) and we usually take the most reasonable route to get to our seminar locations. Then on the days prior to the event, start watching my Facebook and Twitter posts. It will take some planning on your part.

On these trips there is usually no stopping except for food or gas and we never know where that will be. We have long days and miles of driving (usually 8-10 hours) so side stops to visit with you - or to visit your favorite quilt shop or restaurant - is simply not possible. The trips are already grueling enough so thanks in advance for understanding.



This is our first “threebie” drive-by! Every drive-by has been unique, but the “road-side drive-bys” are a bit more challenging because there are not mile markers to use to help time the event. I’m not sure how long Caludia and gang were waiting for us, but I know they actually went into Mineola, TX to clock how many miles it was from the Walmart to where they would be standing. It worked out! Whoo-hoo!
 
After it was over, Claudia met us at Stitchin’ Heaven in Quitman and told us they were worried tthat he highway patrol might drive by and think they were quilting hookers – LOL! We can only imagine what people think when they are driving by looking at quilts being flashed from the side of the road.
 
Continue reading to see what Claudia does with her quilts! And, should you want to donate a kids quilt to her cause, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. via email. 
 
Claudia says:
At the 2010 Houston International Quilt Festival, I talked to Ricky about his “Drive by Quiltings”.  I live in a tiny town off the beaten path in East Texas.  I told Ricky how cool I thought, “Drive by Quiltings” were, but knew he would never be near my town.  He told me “You never know”.  Well he was right. I got to do a “Drive by Quilting”, Woo-hoo!!
 
Following the 2011 quilt show in Houston, Ricky was scheduled to perform in Quitman, TX, November 7, 2011, 18 miles from my house in Scroggins, TX.
 
My daughter Pam Buttrick and my friend Dorothy Mumm went with me to help hold up the quilts.  We found a place where we could pull off the road and Ricky could find us as he passed by.  We stopped at a cemetery historical marker and ate lunch while we waited.  We texted back and forth with Ricky and he said to look for the flashing lights on the truck.  We stood next to the road with cars and semis whizzing by.  We laughed so much as we talked about what people must be thinking to see three women clutching quilts standing by the road leading to a historical cemetery. 
 
We got all excited when we saw them coming over the bridge.  We held up our quilts and then it was over.  What fun.
 
Dorothy, Pam and I make blankets and quilts for the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center in Winnsboro, TX.  The NETCAC offers a safe child friendly environment to children between the ages of 2-17 who have been sexually or severely physically abused or have been a witness to a violent crime. Every child gets to pick out a blanket or quilt to keep.  We call our little group The Blanketeers and we meet twice a month.  
The quilts we make are throw size or smaller. 

About the Quilts:
The red and gold quilt was the second quilt I ever made three years ago. It was a Christmas gift for my daughter. It is a 6 hour quilt, but it took me a week to make.  I ended up changing the width of the borders to accommodate the center piece and the lack of fabric. I now always buy more fabric than I need.   
 
The purple quilt (my favorite color) is a 9 square toss.  It was so much fun to make. I love experimenting with patterns and colors. My daughter says I quilt like I cook..it’s never the same twice. 
 
The blue and white is tumbling blocks. I didn’t have a pattern.  I just started moving blocks around on my design wall and that’s what it ended up to be.
 
 
Thanks Ricky we had fun. Claudia Barrett
 
 
    
 






Heading to our seminar in Asheville, North Carolina we stopped for the night in Memphis. Dana Lynch hoped she could manage a drive-by, but thought there wouldn't be any overpasses that were not dangerous with traffic. However, as we were leaving the hotel I got a message that she had found an overpass on our route with no on or off ramps so the traffic was minimal.

Dana says: 

The drive-by was so exciting!  I knew Ricky and Justin would be coming around the city of Memphis and be going close to where I work.  I also knew that most of the overpasses were six lanes and impossible to stand on.  I remembered one that was just a crossover, and checked it out early this morning and realized it would be perfect. 

 

I texted back and forth to Ricky, and and the build-up for this experience is so much fun.  My friend Ms. Patsy went with me to help hold the quilt.  We could not stop laughing as we stood there on the overpass for about ten mintues.  And I can just say it is very windy on those overpasses.  Then we saw the flashing lights, the rush of excitement came, and then it was over......I am so glad I got to do this.



About the quilt:

My quilt is Cesto Di Fiori Rhapsody which means Flower Basket Rhapsody.  I made it in 2007 in a class with Ricky.  It is my favorite quilt EVER and was my first one to design myself and draw the applique.  It is made with Ricky's hand-dyed fabrics and glows beautifully..... So it was just the natural choice to choose it for the drive-by.

 

Thank you so much, Ricky and Justin, for this experience......I'll never forget it!

Below: Dana and her friend Ms. Patsy holding Cesto Di Flori Rhapsody



On our way to the Quad Cities Super Quilt Seminar I got a call from Shannon in my office back home that someone was hoping to meet us for a drive-by quilting at mile marker 121 in Iowa - ack - we had JUST passed that overpass not three minutes earlier and therefore it was a bust. That someone was Denise Dykstra from Prairie City, Iowa who had already registered to attend the seminar. We determined that indeed we would be passing her way on the way home and she was thrilled. When I called her (thirty minutes in advance) she was already at the overpass waving to drivers. She was NOT going to let this one slip by.

Denise says: When I first saw there was going to be a Ricky Tims Super Seminar in the Quad Cities, the first thing I thought was "I'm going to that!", and the second thing was "Wonder if I can manage a Drive-By Quilting?" Being Facebook-challenged, I didn't connect on the way east to Bettendorf, but was determined to catch him on the way back. I timed every exit as I drove home from the Super Seminar, so I would know if I could get to the interstate on time. 

When I saw that Ricky and Justin were on their way, I sent a message on Facebook, woke my son, Will, from a video game-induced coma, and brought him along to help hold the quilt. We immediately hung it over the side of the overpass. Still about 30 miles away, Ricky called me on my cell phone. Then, you guessed it - a State Trooper drove up to check out the situation. I think I rambled on quite a bit about quilting and "drive-bys" and pictures and explained I'd only be there 20 minutes... He seemed relieved that I wasn't going to jump, and said (the understatement of the year) "Don't drop it."

About the quilt:
About 25 years ago, my sister, Kim, started a summer jazz festival in Breckenridge, CO called Genuine Jazz in July. In addition to local Colorado musicians, each year a Colorado artist created beautiful t-shirts.
 
When she sold the festival a few years ago, I started working on this quilt for her. The black "swoop" through the quilt is because Ricky says your eyes have to move around the quilt, so I designed that instead of having just t-shirt squares. I used Ricky's "gentle curve, no pins sewing" method to make all the curves (actually easier than matching some of the angles!). The quilter, Karen Gilson, also of Prairie City, IA, quilted the names of the 65 bands in the borders.
 
Next week, I will present the quilt to my sister on her "big" birthday (ends in a zero), at a huge family reunion. I think this will cover several years of birthday and Christmas presents, eh? Having this quilt be part of a drive-by is super, super special to me.
 
Thank you so much, Ricky and Justin!



Wow! We have bagged three Drive-by Quiltings on this trip! Linda Pollard was heading to an exit in Boise and we had problems connecting. However, it turns out she had made other plans. So when I called to say, "Sorry, we missed you," she told me she had changed the loacation and they were east of town. So, it worked out perfectly. Yippee! Each drive-by is not nearly as easy as it might seem. Congratulations Linda, you did it!

Linda says:
Trying to decide which Exit would be best with the least amount of traffic was most challenging.  Getting set up watching for Ricky and Justin, but when they went past and snapped the picture worth every bit of it. What a Rush!Everyone needs to do it once.  Even if their husband tries to cover their head! 

About the quilt:
After several years of visiting AZ in the Winter I found this fabric.  I bought yards and yards without a clue just knowing something Southwest.  I made it in 2005 and entered in Non-judged at the Boise Basin Quilt show.  The blocks are all made from the same fabric and are all original as is the quilt pattern.



This was a tough one. Whew! ... but we did it!

Karen Hopkins of La Grande, Oregon thought it would be a piece of cake, but the drive-bys are NEVER easy to pull off. In this case, we had to navigate down a mountain pass just before coming into the town. There was no cell phone signal so we were not able to make the call until we were dangerously close to the pre-determined overpass. Justin was able to slow a bit, but being on the interstate, there's no stopping. We actually saw Karen squealing to a stop, jumping over the rails, and within seconds we were under and gone. Congratulations Karen!! You did it even though it sure was a close call!

Karen says:
When remembering the Drive-By Quilting story I read on a website, I thought, "Oh that sounds like so much fun, and ...so humbling! " Being a quilter whose vision is less than good, and being a quilter who is semi newish to the craft, I thought I could never, ever in my wildest dreams, show my quilt to the world-famous " BLACK HATTED" Ricky Tims!!! Nope, not gonna happen on my quilt watch... or so I thought.
 
Then adrenaline set in, and I thought, "Why not show off my quilts?" I decided to hang two from the overpass located about 4 minutes drive from my home, I set about trying to convince myself that Ricky wouldn't see the mistakes, so I might as well do it. The wind was blowing as I whipped myself over the guard rail lickety split, and stood waving like a mad woman - and proudly, yet most humbly, sharing my quilt with Ricky and Justin. They were probably thinking, "Only a crazed lady from La Grande, Oregon would go to that extreme in order to have a big smile plastered on her face." But that is exactly what this lady did.

Ricky phoned me at home and I had high tailed it to the location. I so was hoping and praying I wasn't gonna be a Drive-by Misfire. No way, after all that hard work to convince myself that Ricky would truly appreciate another Drive-by Quilting traveling down I-84 here in eastern Oregon. In the rush, I was only able to show one quilt. We made it - barely!  
 
Did that experience change my life? Oh how it did! Knowing now, that even in the blowing, chilly air over that overpass this afternoon, my quilting esteem will be raised to the next level of accomplishment as I want to tackle Ricky's Convergence quilt technique. I want to create something as awesome as I can knowing that it won't matter if it is crooked, or imperfect, because to me, perfection comes from trying. Today, that was me. I tried my best to be proud of the work I created and the quilt I proudly hung over the overpass here in our town. 
 
Thanks so much Ricky, for the affirmation that quilting should be fun. Even if it means jumping over a concrete barrier up to my waist, just so you could take a photo!

About the quilt:
Quilting is a craft that many do not realize is healing. It is a craft that I use as a way to bring encouragement to myself when I struggle with health issues. More importantly, its a way I give encouragement, and blessings to others as they realize how much I care about them when I give them a quilt.
 
The quilt I was able to show is affectionately named Twisted Burst of Color because each little colorful rectangle was sewn to another scrap, randomly picked out of my scrap basket. Twisting this way and that way, it began a journey into the colors that you see. It is one of the first Bonnie Hunter patterns I tried as a new quilter. The creamy tone on tone that runs diagonally was the Hope that kept me sane and kept me from twisting the wrong directions!

Twisted Burst of Color by Karen Hopkins
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