Interview with the Creator of the WV Mountain Quilt Quest Shop Hop 2013 Quilt Pattern

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The inside story about this year’s quilt pattern from the creator herself Eileen Farren.

WV Mountain Quilt Quest Map

Complete Mountain Quilt Quest 2013 Map & Directions available by clicking on this link or any image on this page.


Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in the Huntington WV area?



“I’m originally from New York (Brooklyn) and relocated to the Huntington, WV area in 1978.


I tell people that I’m a kid from Brooklyn that moved to Appalachia to teach quilting.


I took my first quilting class when I lived in the Albany, NY area in 1977, although I had been sewing for many years before that.


My grandmother did some knitting and crochet and my aunt taught me to sew when I was in about 5th grade. 


(My mother avoided anything that even vaguely resembled working with any type of needlework.)”



I understand you are an instructor at Sew Many Blessings Quilt Shop. What classes do you teach? Which one is the most popular?


“When Sew Many Blessings Quilt Shop opened in 2006 I was asked to teach the Beginning Quilting class.


Other classes that I have taught at the shop are machine appliqué, advanced beginning techniques, paper-piecing, and a couple of classes that included curved piecing techniques.


The Beginning Quilting class is the most popular; it attracts those that have always wanted to quilt, as well as those that have some sewing or quilting experience and want to get better in the basics.


It is fun to see new quilters smile at their own accomplishments and then get further involved in this fun activity.


Several ladies in my current beginning class have been excited about learning correct processes, and have commented about having “light-bulb” or “ahhh-ha” moments during the first of the three sessions.”



WV Mountain Quilt Quest Map and DirectionsQuestion3:

What training helped you to create quilt patterns?


“As a charter member in two local quilt guilds (Creative Quilters/1982 and KYOVA Quilt Club/1998), I have conducted educational meeting programs and formal classes since about 1985.


Taking more than six dozen formal quilt-related and needlework classes from nationally known instructors during this time has kept me updated and equipped me with new techniques to share with others.


Basic math (including some algebra and geometry) skills are helpful when drafting quilt patterns.


I often grab some graph paper to start sketching an idea or plan on how to lay something out.


I tell others to think of graph paper as your friend.


It is fun to find new or easier ways to construct quilt blocks.”


sew many blessings quilt shop wv tourismQuestion4:

You must have been excited when you were asked to design the pattern for the 2013 West Virginia Mountain Quilt Quest Shop Hop. How were you selected and what all was involved in creating this years Mountain Quilt Quest pattern?


“About a year ago, Winona and Heidi told me they were going to suggest I be asked to create the blocks for the next WV shop hop.


I nonchalantly said okay.


The theme would be based on the 150th birthday of West Virginia – the Sesquicentennial – and the blocks should be related to that event.



The quilt shop owners got together and came up with a list of places, events, and symbols that are representative of West Virginia and suggested that they be the inspiration for the blocks.


Oh, and they would need 24, instead of the usual 12, blocks for the shop hop.


The blocks could be pieced or appliqué.


…..Now the real work and research begins!


Each pattern instruction page was to have a sentence or more, relating the subject of the block back to the shop hop theme.


The official state symbols (bird, insect, butterfly, flower, tree, mammal, fish, fruit) were fun to research and develop but…


I did declare that I was not going to include the state reptile (timber rattlesnake).


The state symbols lent themselves mostly to appliqué, so then I moved to finding some pieced quilt blocks that would also lend themselves to the WV theme.


Most of the classic or old-time blocks are called by many different names, so my interpretation was developed into the quilt blocks for the shop hop.”




How complicated are the quilting blocks?


“Some ideas for quilt blocks had to be set aside because they would have become too complicated to construct – and write instructions about completion.


We did not want to include any blocks that would be too difficult for the average quilter to successfully finish.”


wv statehood 150 years


This is West Virginia’s Sesquicentennial – 150 years of statehood. Can you tell us what the quilt is about?


“Quilters can take advantage of the way each of the 11 quilt shops have used the blocks (at least 14 or all 24) to set up their individualized quilt.


They could also use any or all of the blocks to make their own interpretation.


Blocks can be used for large quilts, wall hangings, table runners, pillows, etc.


I hope quilters have fun with the blocks and use them with their own color schemes to fit their own décor, or use as gifts for others.”




On a personal note what would you like every quilter to feel when they look at their completed 2013 quilt, step back look at it and say…?


“Several stitching friends have read the interpretive information about the quilt blocks and have commented, “I didn’t know that.”


That pleases me.


All the quilt shops wish quilters and non-quilters take advantage of some of the many activities and events celebrating the sesquicentennial throughout the state.”

“Everyone is encouraged to access to obtain information on the beautiful sites and events to visit as you travel in any part of wild, wonderful West Virginia.”

Complete Mountain Quilt Quest 2013 Map & Directions available by clicking on this link or any image on this page.

Sew Many Blessings Quilt Shop
1925 Adams Avenue HuntingtonWV25704 USA 
 • (304) 429-0050