Monday, January 30, 2017

Meet Beth Schmidt

I am 70 years old and a retired nurse. Retirement is the Best job I've ever had and I highly recommend it! I am happily married to Paul. He is very talented at fixing and building things and I am always putting his talents to work for my quilting purposes! I have one daughter, (Amanda, married and living in S.C.), and one grand daughter, (Abigail, 14 y.o., and the owner of my heart).

I was present at the very first meeting to establish the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild and have been a member ever since. I have been “Charity chair”, Vice president”, and “President” in the past. I've seen many changes and a lot of growth in the guild since it began, and just love all the progress we've made. I am so proud of all our guild members who worked so hard on the “Pulse Project” in 2016. I got to know many “new” friends through that work. Now, I look forward to a very “fun” year in 2017.

I've never been much of a “sew person”. I learned in 7th grade in school, sewed a little in my 40's, but was never very good at making clothes. I made my 1st quilt just before my grand daughter was born, under the sporadic guidance of my older sister, (who was very ill). The theme was “giraffes”. I chose a Batik fabric that had giraffes on it, and outlined the giraffes with colored pens so they stood out. I hand stitched around the giraffes and did “stitch in the ditch” around each block. (A lady at the quilt store was very short with my questions about batting and backing, and I swore off quilting).

A couple of years later, an online machine embroidery group talked me into sewing blocks together to make quilt tops for charities. I occasionally made simple “pieced” blocks if some were needed. Once I was comfortable with that, they got me to quilt the layers by saying “Just do stitch in the ditch. It's easy”! And that was that! We started meeting in Kansas City for a week every July to make Quilts for Veterans, (a purpose very dear to my heart). I loved the camaraderie, and the travel. I still love quilting retreats! I have been on 4 retreats with our guild, and look forward to many more. I have accumulated a “huge” fabric “stash”, and had to get my husband to build a “shed” just for it. Now I am working on decreasing how much fabric I have, to get it to be more manageable. (Woe is me...woe is me)! Of course I never have what I need for the project I'm working on!

I attended the inaugural QuiltCon in Austin, with 4 other members of our guild, and had so much fun! It took several years of exposure to the esthetic of modern quilting before I actually began to really like the look. Now, I love it! I try to spend at least one hour each week “creating” something in my shed. I also try to join occasional swaps, where I try to do something outside of my comfort zone. I have mainly made quilts for charities. I usually make quilts in order to learn a technique or because I like the look. Then I donate it.

I have owned a long-arm machine for about 7 years now. I was never able to move the quilt well enough to like quilting on my home machine, and the first time I tried a long-arm machine, I fell in love with it. I truly admire anyone who can quilt on their
home machine, as it seems to be a skill I cannot acquire!

I am inspired by the quilts our guild members show at the meetings, and by what I

see on Pinterest. My “I want to make this” list is a mile long, and I'm constantly finding more I like. This year I want to work on my “UFO” list from last year. It is long, and while I looked to see if I could eliminate a few of them, they are all things I really want to finish! 


  1. Thanks for sharing your quilting story Beth. I only hope I have half your energy when I turn 70! Good stuff.

  2. All these years, and I learned something new! I had no idea you came to quilting through embroidery.