Sunshine Quilts

Friday, June 30, 2006

Eleanor Burns

I think if I had to name one person who's had the most influence on me as a quilter, I would say Eleanor Burns. The funny thing is though, that I have made her Delectable Mountain quilt a couple of times and the one other quilt that mom took home with her. I have quite a few of her books though. Why would she be my quilting hero? It doesn't matter what I'm doing, or how I'm feeling, if I think of Eleanor, I smile. In fact, I almost laugh out loud! Have you ever heard or read her bio? If not, you really owe it to yourself to read it. For most of my quilting years I had heard about Eleanor Burns. But know what I had mostly heard? I hate her whiney voice! So, even though I could not even remember ever having heard her, I hated her whiney voice too! Probably 8 or 9 years ago, while I was at the Paducah Quilt Show with a friend, someone told us we should go by the Quilt in a Day house. It was a tiny little house down the street from the show and Eleanor had all her stuff there for sale and she did some kind of little show. Being the agreeable girl that I am, I didn't really want to go but went. I was so impressed. I laughed til I cried! She now has grown to where she has a huge production with several huge tents set up in a park. It's really a big deal! My friend, Becky, and I go to the Paducah show every year and Becky really loves Eleanor Burns so we spend lots of time in her tent. Eleanor is just so friendly and approachable and, she's a genious! I know she has help but how does she think of this stuff? When I'm teaching a class or writing a pattern, I try to write the instructions so no one has to buy a special ruler but some of the Quilt in a Day rulers are just worth buying! This one is the fussy cut ruler. How many times have you drawn out a design on paper and taped it to the bottom of your square so you can center whatever you're trying to fussy cut. No longer do you have to worry about it quite so much. These fussy cut rulers are a life saver! The package comes with three sizes. And, what about these flying geese rulers? The flying geese come out perfect every time when using her flying geese rulers. I've been testing patterns so I haven't been using this method but since I was just playing with the batik quilt (no pattern to write!), I used this ruler and oh, what a difference it makes! Nice, straight, square corners . . perfect flying geese. I guess the moral of this story is that we should never let others influence what we think of something/some one. Had I never wandered into Eleanor Burns' little house during the Paducah quilt show, I'd still be saying "I don't like her whiney voice" but now, she's my quilting hero. I think her whole story is a true American success story and everything I know about Eleanor Burns and Quilt in a Day just makes me happy! Judy L.


  • I think Eleanor Burns is amazing too. I saw her for the first time this year in Paducah, and I love her humour. The way she is able to make fun of herself in her show is admirable, and her quilts are just lovely.
    Ohhh, and btw, I love the way your latest quilt is coming together, it looks wonderful!

    By Blogger Tazzie, at 6/30/2006 11:11:00 PM  

  • Did you notice that in person, her voice sounds different. Truly an inspiration!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/01/2006 05:22:00 AM  

  • She is a remarkable woman. I imitate her every time I sit down to sew - "Just get rid of that piece!" lol

    I've never been down to her shop here. Need to make that trip one day.

    By Blogger Vicky, at 7/01/2006 05:34:00 AM  

  • Eleanor was my first quilt teacher. I really wanted to learn and didn't know any quilters and we didn't have a shop here yet so I'd watch her on pbs, take notes and go and sew. Then I met her in person at Quilt Canada when it was held here in Thunder Bay. I really admire her and she seemed genuine, nice, funny and inspiring.

    By Blogger Wendy's Quilting, at 7/01/2006 11:16:00 AM  

  • I really love her rulers too. I love the triangle square up ruler for half square trinagles and quarter-square triangles. I really think that she has been one of the biggest inovators in the quilting world.

    By Blogger Katrina, at 7/01/2006 12:57:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the good words about Eleanor Burns. I hear many people scoffing at her and it makes me angry.
    Her instructions are so good and easy to follow. When I purchased her flying geese ruler I tried it out and ended up making a beautiful quilt - easy as could be. I also have enjoyed her show several times - laughing until my sides ache.

    By Blogger Bonnie, at 7/01/2006 02:59:00 PM  

  • I love Eleanor Burns! I watched her years ago on PBS, but finally saw her for the first time at her "tent" show in Paducah. It was wonderful! I always learn something new from her.

    By Blogger kcamou, at 7/01/2006 04:57:00 PM  

  • I LOVE her flying geese rulers - I will redesign an entire quilt or border JUST so I can use one of the 4 sizes that you can make with her two geese rulers.

    By Blogger Mary, at 7/03/2006 02:30:00 PM  

  • I first heard of Eleanor when I attended Paducah way back. She was in the Mall. I so enjoyed her. I've made one of her "quilt in a day" quilts which actually took me more like a week. I'm slow. Love that HST/QST square up ruler. One of my favor tools.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/06/2006 04:59:00 PM  

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