Carol MacQuarrie




Carol MacQuarrie




Carol MacQuarrie


Jule Pittman

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Sandra Anne Frazier


Cheney, Washington


Jessica Kile


Note: Carol MacQuarrie is not a member of the DAR. While this is a DAR quiltmaker documentation project, membership in the DAR is not required.

Julie Pittmann (JP): My name is Julie Pittmann. Today is April 8, 2009. I am interviewing Carol MacQuarrie. We are at her home in Cheney, Washington for the Quilters' S.O.S.--Save Our Stories project. We are doing this through the American Heritage Committee of the State of Washington, State Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Carol is a quilter. Carol MacQuarrie, how did you get into quilting?

Carol MacQuarrie (CM): Oh, My family always sewed. When I was in high school I made my old clothes, mostly dresses. I didn't start quilting until years later. My mom just lives a little ways away from me as my children and we are always sewing something. At first, I rented a longarm sewing machine for the quilting but after about 30 or 40 hours of rent, I realized I needed to buy one. My husband, Harvey, didn't think we could make it fit in my sewing room downstairs but it does. Then he made the thread holders for the walls. [pause for 5 minutes while CM answers the phone.]

I have a story to tell. In 2006, Pam Mostek asked me to make a quilt for her book. So that was the first time I had my quilt in a book. Now I've done several others. This one is a tone on tone one. [shows quilt.] I didn't think that, that would be that pretty but I like it now. I have lots of fabric and I'm always looking to use it up so thought about it so decided to use some from the quilt for a purse. I had some left over from that, so made a jacket too. Oh you should have seen the ladies in my quilting group. When I brought these jackets for them to see they thought that was a great idea. For some of the jackets I use a sweatshirt for the inside, take it apart, and then quilt the material and put it all together. I really like that style and it fits me. The name of her book is "Dazzling Quilts" [That Patchwork Place, September 2006.] Ever since then I've enjoyed the dazzling metallic thread.

This quilt is one of my favorites. I call it "Carol's Roses." I love flowers and plants as you can obviously see from all the plants around the house. At work, someone will throw a plant away and I rescue it. So when I was thinking of a quilt design, I thought of the roses that I love and put green on the bottom of the quilt and then up to different shades of pink. Then I used raw applique and put those roses on the quilt too.

JP: What is raw applique?

CM: Well, Raw appliqué is cutting out the design, then I put some stuffing behind it, and sewed it onto the quilt or whatever I was making. Just look around and you can see I am always quilting something. I quilted the drapes and the covers on my chair and sofas.

[pause for 10 minutes while CM answers the telephone.]

JP: I notice you use metallic thread on some of your designs.

CM: Yes, if it is a quilt for show I love the metallic thread. It isn't that comfy on a regular quilt for the bed. The metallic thread gives off such a shine and allows you to see the design of the quilting. I really like it and use it most of the time anymore.

JP: What is your favorite colors to quilt?

CM: Well, you can see by looking at the quilts I love pinks. I also like blues. Some of these newer designs use such bold colors and patterns that I'm finding those are fun to do too. That is why I love--I have this rooster wall hanging here to show you. I was going to put it away, but it is just fun to look at. [laughs.]

JP: We walk over and look at the rooster. Oh Carol, it is so cute. I see why you have it out. How do you decide what design you want to make on your quilts?

CM: I look at lots of books and sometimes friends will say they like to see something or I find panels of material that I like.

JP: What about the quilting design on back of the quilt? What do you decide how you going to make that?

CM: When I'm ready to quilt it; the fabric just seems to talk to me. I really like this quilting which looks like leaves for my flower quilts and the other design I like is very open and sort of circular. Every quilt just seems to need a certain type of quilting. I need to fix my grandson's quilt. He took it to school and brought it home and now it is sitting here. [laughs.]

JP: What do you mean? How do you fix a quilt?

CM: Well, you take it apart, stitch back up the seams and probably need to add some more filling in it.

JP: Oh I bet your grandson just really enjoyed that. That is wonderful of you to do that. Have you done it to others?

CM: Oh yes, several of the quilts they--if it is a well loved quilt, it seems to need lots of repair work.

JP: Oh that's wonderful. Do you belong to any quilting groups or clubs?

CM: Oh my, yes. I had no idea all the good friends I'd make when I started quilting. Our group does a heart and hand program. That's where we would make quilts for someone who was ill or going through problems in their lives. As we got older, some in our group had ah had problems and so we've made quilts for each other. When I had my surgery about a month ago, one of my good friends made this beautiful teal colored quilt for me. We always stitch our name in the corner of the quilt. And we've made probably hundreds of quilts. When I first moved out to the ranch, there were two or three ladies there that we started quilting together, and it grew from there.

JP: Oh, that's wonderful. Can you think of any designers that you really like or Do you have any favorite designers?

CM: Well, Laurel Burch created beautiful panels. She used very bright colors and I'm not usually drawn to those colors, as I said I like more the pinks and the blues, but her fabrics are beautiful.

JP: I see you have so many beautiful fabrics around the house and it is just wonderful to look at them. I'd like to thank Carol MacQuarrie for allowing me to interview her today as part of the Quilters' S.O.S.--Save Our Stories. We did have several pauses while she answered her telephone and our interview concluded at 10 a.m. on April 8, 2009.


“Carol MacQuarrie,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 27, 2024,