About the Quilter:
I am a child of the depression, I was born in 1937. As a young child I might not have known all that that meant. My grandmother, aunt and mother were very creative-they had to be. There were clothes to be made and repaired, and quilts which were very necessary. But they also did crochet, tatting and embroidery. All of these really appealed to me. Because of my enthusiasm all of the above shared in teaching me. Everything except quilting! I cried and begged to no avail. I sat under the quilting frame as long as they would let me. This is why I love quilting.
Over the years the things I saw stayed with me. The first quilt I made was for my first child. I ordered a pattern from the Grit Newspaper. It featured baby animals. I made it with pink and blue fabric. I embroidered the animals and appliqued to white squares. It was beautiful to me. My mother-in-law gave me a thin bedspread, which I folded four times to form a batting. I added the back and quilted with embroidery thread. I would not try that today.
Later I helped quilt on fundraising quilts for churches, and 4th of July Summerfest. I organized and led quilt making projects for the Pike Road Flea Market. I have finished quilts for friends, made quilts for Veterans and for each of my five siblings and a few friends. I featured quilting in my job as Director of the Creative Living Center at the Alabama National Fair. I started a Quilting Day during the Fair and kept a quilt in my 100 year old quilt frame and invited those who wanted to experience quilting to give it a try.
Now I am almost 84 and seldom miss a day quilting. There are so many projects to finish. I have sometimes sat quilting, or looking at my stash of fabrics, my assortment of sewing machines and quilts, and tell my Grandmother, “just look at me now.” I know she would be proud.
As I Wait: Evielean Howell has admired this quilt design since first seeing the quilt featured in the 1997 Great American Quilt book. It is called “As I Wait” by designer Betsy Henebry who created the quilt over a six-year period while waiting for her young boys sporting events. This is a very complicated design, but not for this 84-year-old seasoned quilter. The As I Wait quilt design features appliqued pomegranates and an appliqued pomegranate vine as well as pieced windmill blocks which make up a border separating the center appliqued pomegranates and the pomegranate vine applique. Two narrow borders of the brown print and solid red highlight the applique before another border of hourglass blocks. This quilt has 1,588 pieces plus the appliques. The quilt is made of 100% red and brown cotton prints, solid red and natural muslin and it is a large king size. It was started in 2019 and completed in early 2020. The quilt was machine quilted using a variety of complex stitching by Kelley Thompson of Wetumpka.
Chinese Tree of Life: Made by Evielean Howell as a hand applique kit which included all pieces to be cut out along with the quilt foundation and embroidery thread. After pieces are cut out you follow a pattern placing each flower, buds, leaves and stems. Then each piece is hand appliqued to the foundation, accenting with embroidery. Once the top was complete the batting and backing were added, and the quilt was hand quilted by Mrs. Howell. Quilt was made around 2010 following her retirement. This quilt is always a favorite and has been a winner at the Alabama National Fair Creative Living Quilt category. It is one of many quilts Mrs. Howell has made to be used as wedding quilts for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Pennsylvania Dutch Cheaters Quilt: Evielean Howell purchased this queen size stamped whole cloth years ago, mainly because it appealed to her. This is just to show that you can easily become a quilter with cheaters cloth. There is no piecing in this quilt, just machine quilted. It was simply just for fun.
Sun Bonnet Sue: Evielean Howell has always loved Sun Bonnet Sue and this was a fun project using scrap fabric to dress the girls. Each is placed on a 12” square and machine appliqued. A coordinating fabric was used as a popper to highlight each square. White 2” sashing was used as well as an outer border. The quilt is finished with a purple binding. This is a large crib size quilt.
Cardinal Christmas Log Cabin Quilt: This Christmas Quilt features log cabin squares with red cardinals perched on holly branches appliqued onto blocks. Mrs. Howell always pulls this out during the holidays.
Square of the Month Patchwork Block Variety: This quilt is made up of 18 different 9” blocks made in a square of the month class at Kudzu Quilt Shop. I assembled the blocks using setting triangles and making into rows of six blocks each. The rows are separated by strips of print fabric which is repeated in the outer border. Quilt squares were made years ago, and quilt assembled in 2018 and machine quilted by Kelly Thompson.
The Queen and Her Court: Evielean Howell made this beautiful quilt during 2018 and completed in 2019. It is a combination of patchwork and applique as well as a combination of hand and machine quilting. It features a center patchwork medallion framed with a coordinating stripe. The center larger patchwork represents the queen and the surrounding patchwork stars represent her court. A beautiful floral vine applique runs through the patchwork. It is borders with a striped flange and larger print border. Mrs. Howell hand quilted the entire quilt except for open areas, which were done on the machine with feathers and meandering.
The Court House Steps: Evielean Howell enjoyed making this quilt which is a combination of patchwork star blocks, and the alternating blocks are a form of a log cabin design which looks like steps. The quilt is finished off with a 10” border and bond in red to bring out the red throughout the quilt. This queen size quilt was hand quilted by Mrs. Howell and was 2014.
Sharing: Evielean Howell calls this tulip design “Sharing” because she took a class where everyone was asked to bring pattern pieces already cut in assorted colors. Then everyone’s fabric pieces were stacked together making a wide variety of colors, then each person selected fabrics from the stack. Mrs. Howell originally made the design as a tablecloth, but found it was not very useful. So, she recently added the bright yellow border and had Kelly Thompson to machine quilt.
Blue Cross Stitch Embroidery: This pretty blue cross stitch quilt was a joint project of mother daughter team Evielean Howell and Charlene Rabren. Mrs. Howell started embroidering the floral design squares from a kit years earlier and they finished the set of twelve together in 2019. Adding a narrow dark marble fabric strip really makes the embroidered block pop. A coordinating blue floral fabric was used for sashing in 4” strips. A 7” blue marbled fabric finished off the border to enlarge the quilt to a queen size. Quilting of the cross-stitch blocks was done by hand as it was marked with quilting lines; however, the remaining sashing and borders were machine quilted by Kelly Thompson in a running rose pattern that can be seen on the back. We love blue quilts.
First Saturday Block Quilt: The quilt was made by Evielean Howell in a group called First Saturday Quilters. Each month a pattern and fabrics in black and white was purchased, along with an appliqué kit representing a different month of the year. At year end she had twelve black and white squares and twelve colorful appliqué squares. She assembled the squares on point and added a bright colored one inch border and sashed in black and white check. It is a very large quilt and a great conversation piece when trying to figure the months for appliqué!