Stems Quilt – A History

This month, the AYOS project went rogue and selected a mini pattern from Fig Tree Quilts.  I am an official Fig Tree Quilts groupie and have hoards of fabric yardage that is really being wasted in my stash boxes.  And quilt kits.  And patterns.  And nail polish to match the fabric (I don’t even wear nail polish).  And Aurifil thread kits to match the fabric … which I bought two so that I might actually open one of them some day.

So, when the ladies hosting Another Year of Schnibbles (and a little bit more) announced November’s pattern was to be the mini “STEMS” … I was certain to participate.

I made the full size, traditional STEMS quilt in 2011 using the Strawberry Fields collection (also by Fig Tree Quilts).  It was the first quilt I made since my two quilts in college and it jump started me back into quilting again.

I made it as a friendship and support quilt for my longtime friend and college roommate, Valerie.

Valerie had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she lives and teaches high school students in another state.  Valerie and I are the type of friends that will always be friends even if we don’t talk on the phone but once a year or more.  Thanks to Facebook, we have the sharing of family photos and stay in touch.  She will always be my best friend when I recall my time at Texas A&M, but I’ve known her since 7th grade.

ANYwho… when I heard about the diagnosis, I wanted to give her something extra special so she would know I was thinking about her.  I knew it would be a quilt.  And it would be the STEMS quilt pattern by Fig Tree Quilts.  I hired Diana Johnson to do the longarm quilting on it (she quilts a lot for Joanna Figueroa).

This was the year before I started this blog, so I have never shared these pictures with you before.  Here goes…


Lots of pictures…


You know the colors are much brighter and more beautiful than I’m showing … right?  Darn cell phone camera.


I just love this Strawberry Fields collection – don’t you?  I have a fat quarter bundle that will stay perfectly intact…

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Didn’t Diana do a wonderful job, as always?  I had no experience in hiring longarm quilters, so I asked Joanna if she would share Diana’s contact information and she happily obliged.  Diana does quilt for other people, it turns out!  🙂  Or at least she did this for me in 2011.

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So… now that you have seen my big Stems quilt … I am ready to show you my AYOS mini stems quilt for November.  See you soon!

All my best,


7 thoughts on “Stems Quilt – A History

  1. What a loving gift you made your dear friend. She could wrap herself in your love! My my, you confessed all your sins of collecting FigTree goodies! Hey, enjoy your hobby, it doesn’t hurt anyone! Only makes everyone happy!

  2. I love your quilt but I love your history of Stems even more! I think you need to make two mini ones… one for Valerie and the other for you! That is my favorite fabric collection of all time… I would hoard that bundle too!!!

  3. Beautiful story, beautiful quilt, beautiful quilting! Can’t wait to see what your mini Stems turns out like. A fat quarter bundle that will stay intact? You are a woman after my own heart! Some fabrics just are too gorgeous to be cut up (although fondling them is okay) . . . unless you have a secondary stash that you are willing to dip into. 😉

  4. Such a beautiful quilt. I love Strawberry Fields fabric too. I was a bit late to the party but have managed to pick up some if it in destashes this year. How is your friend now?

    • I actually called Valerie up after I did this post, because I found myself thinking about her all day. We had a great time on the phone and I’m glad to say that she is unofficially declared cancer-free by her doctors, but they won’t do it officially until she hits a 5 year mark I think.

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