June Featured Writer: Ashli Montgomery

Updated: Jan 8


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Ashli's Pro Tip: While piecing, press both sides of a block after each step. It really flattens the block and maintains the blocks shape throughout the piecing process! 


Hello, fellow quilters – my name is Ashli Montgomery, I am the founder and CEO of Quilt 2 End ALZ, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that connects quilters with the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve been quilting for 22 years, and I started Q2EA 18 months ago so that I could merge my love for all things “quilty” with my efforts to educate and advocate for an end to ALZ.

Almost 6 million Americans and around 50 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 2/3 of those diagnosed are women. In addition, unpaid caregivers are spending an estimated 18.6 billion hours taking care of loved one, and 2/3 of those caregivers are women. While there are fabulous male quilters out there, by and large the quilting community is made up of strong, caring women, so I knew there would be a lot of overlap between my philanthropy circles and my sewing circles.

This year – before quarantining – I had the honor to speak to quilt guilds across the country, sharing my story, explaining the basics of Alzheimer’s disease, and engaging quilters in my mission. At every single presentation, I was both saddened by the number of guild members touched by Alzheimer’s and encouraged by their stories and their support. My program, albeit very unique, was well-received and enjoyed, and I can’t wait to get back on the road later this fall and into 2021!

In the meantime, our Q2EA team has been busy designing, writing, testing, and publishing our first quilt pattern: The Paving Petals Quilt.


Finishing at 62” x 82” this Sofa Snuggler is perfect for cuddling on the couch to watch a movie, read a book, or chat with a loved one!

Inspired by Parisian paving stones, Paving Petals is a block-based design that layers bold flowers over an interesting tricolor background design that mimics the walking path of a lovely garden. The pattern is available as both a printed product and as a digital download; it includes fabric requirements, cutting instructions, step-by-step sewing instructions, helpful diagrams, and a coloring page to help plan your quilt.

It is a stunning pattern designed by Q2EA board member and professional designer Clara Warner and kicks off a collaborative initiative we are working on to partner with quilt designers all around the world.

Best of all, the piecing is perfect for all skill and experience levels – it sews together beautifully!

For this sample and the fabric kits available to purchase on our website, we chose the Pots & Petals florals created by Gabrielle Neil for Riley Blake Designs. With it, we paired their Confetti Cottons in Lipstick and the Dream World Navy Stripes by Emily Winfield Martin. The bright summer colors of coral pink, deep navy, metallic gold, mustard yellow, and a peaceful, sky blue are vivid and bold and coordinate wonderfully.

With simple cutting instructions, a healthy dose of half-square triangles, and block repetition, this pattern is easy to follow and easy to line up. The pressing instructions keep the back neat and tidy and bulk-free. It’s so fun to see the paving pattern appear behind the strong flower petals as the blocks are pieced and sewn together.

I especially love the quilting done on our sample quilt by professional long arm quilter Ann Olson of Ann’s Quilts N’Stuff in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

I asked her for something flowery and flowing across the blocks to balance out the straight line geometry of the flowers. Then she did a diagonal grid on the inner border and freehand meandering on the outer border. It just takes my breath away!


The irony of this story, however, is that after I completed the binding, I wanted to gift our sample quilt to the designer – my incredibly talented niece – but I accidentally switched mailing labels with another box I was shipping the same day. Instead of this exquisite quilt, Clara received a box of broken flowerpots that I was returning to Amazon.

Which means that Amazon received my quilt!!

After I dried my tears and caught my breath, I filed a claim with Amazon to notify me as soon as that other box is processed at their return warehouse – which could take up to three weeks.

Uhhgg!

Needless to say, I hope and pray every day that this beauty finds her way home!



Well, that’s what I’ve been working on over at Quilt 2 End ALZ. I’d love for you to join our community and keep in touch, share your projects with us, and help us quilt to end ALZ!

Click here to subscribe.

With love and hugs,

Ashli


To see The Quilt Patch by Tori’s future featured writers subscribe to my monthly Newsletter here!





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