Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:03 - Lori Buhler and her flower quilt

Play segment

Partial Transcript: This is Pam Schultz. It’s Wednesday, June 2 at 12:40 p.m. I’m here to interview Lori Buhler at her place of employment in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Segment Synopsis: Pam Schultz introduces Lori Buhler and her quilt. Buhler explains that it is one of the first quilts she designed herself, and after winning "quilter of the year" for the quilt, she gained the confidence to consistently design her own quilts. She went on to write a book , Quilters’ Happy Hour," which contains 11 of her original designs complemented with a cocktail recipe with each design.

Keywords: Battle Creek, Michigan; Design process; Fiber - Cotton; Flannel; Pam Schultz; Plastic templates; Quilt Purpose - Utilitarian; Quilter's Happy Hour; binding; pattern

00:02:38 - The significance and function of Buhler's quilt

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Why did you choose to bring this quilt to the interview?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler reiterates that this quilt is important because it is one of the first of her own, original design. She believes the most notable aspect of this quilt to an objective viewer is that it is so worn out, on account of using it as a nap blanket throughout the day. She plans on using her quilt for that purpose to the end.

Keywords: binding

00:03:26 - Buhler's interest in quiltmaking, and her early days with it

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking.

Segment Synopsis: Buhler's mother taught her to sew at a young age, and she recounts a time when her sister came home with a quilt she had made, and that provoked Buhler to start quilting as well. Despite this, Buhler says that she did not actually begin quilting until she was 24. She got started because she wanted to decorate her home with a quilt, but couldn't find what she wanted, so made her own. During that time the country style quilt was most popular. She learned to quilt from a woman in her church, and she tells an anecdote about making one of her first quilts; it was a bed-sized quilt made in a Dahlia pattern, which, out of her lack of expeience, she did not foresee would turn out to be too ambitious of an undertaking. She spends about 4-6 hours per week quilting.

Keywords: Dahlia - quilt pattern; Hand quilting; Quiltery; country-style; crocheting; needlework; quarter inch seems; quiltmaking classes; square

00:06:44 - Quilting and its impact on Buhler's family

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What is your first quilt memory?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler's first quilt memory is when her sister brought a quilt home. Buhlerr says she does not currently have any other quilt makers in her family, but she does on two quilt tops made by one of her maternal great grandmothers. The largest impact buhler's quilting has on her family, Buhler argues, is that everyone "sleeps under a quilt" She says that her family is very patient about the time she spends quilting.

Keywords: Quilt Purpose - Bedcovering; Quiltmaking for family; quilt top

00:07:50 - What Buhler likes about quilting, and what she does not like

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Have you ever used quilts to get through a difficult time?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler says that quilting is soothing and therapeutic, but has never quilted specifically to get through a hard time. Her favorite aspect of quiltmaking is the creative process, and watching her schemes come together. Her least favorite part is basting.

Keywords: Design process; Quilt Purpose - Therapy; basting; blocks

00:09:26 - Quilting Guilds to which Buhler belongs

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What art or quilt groups do you belong to?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler belongs to two quilt groups, Calico Quilters and Ladies of the Lake. Buhler says that because she still works, she does not have time to attend their meetings, but she does go on retreats with her groups.

Keywords: Calico Quilters; Ladies of the Lake; quilting retreat

00:09:49 - Technology, techniques, materials

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Have advances in technology influenced your work?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler asserts that technology has had a very large impact on her quilting. She begins with her sewing machine, which, to her delight, has an automatic thread cutter. She believes that computers have had a large impact on quilting. Her favorite technique is applique, and she most often uses cotton as a material/fiber.

Keywords: Fiber - Cotton; Home sewing machine; Rotary cutter; Technology in quiltmaking; applique; automatic thread cutter; computer; piecing; quiltmaking classes

00:10:56 - Buhler's quilting studio

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Describe you studio, or the place where you create.

Segment Synopsis: Buhler uses her spare bedroom as a studio. She says that she plans to reconfigure the space soon, and that her husband is going to make her new furniture. They briefly talk about how Buhler manages her time with quilting--she does so by not cooking or cleaning. Buhler uses a design wall, but only to see her quilt once it is finished, not to gain new perspective while making the quilt.

Keywords: Design Wall; Design process; Flannel; Work or Studio space; cutting table; handwork; sewing machine

00:12:18 - What Buhler believes makes a great quilt, and a great quiltmaker

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you think makes a great quilt?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler implies that determining what makes a quilt "great" is a matter of subjectivity. She personally likes appliques pieces, and quilts with "a lot of quilting" on them. In regards to that, she talks about a quilt she is working on that has 500 yards of thread in it. Buhler believes that what makes a quilt appropriate for a museum is also subjective, and that subjectivity represents the purpose of displaying a quilt in a museum--that one can display anything. She believes that a great quiltmaker is one that enjoys what she is doing.

Keywords: Art quilts; Color theory; Quilt Purpose - Bedcovering; Quilt Purpose - Gift or presentation; Quilt Purpose - Memorial; applique; exhibit; pattern; quilting; spool

00:14:16 - Quiltmakers whose work Buhler admires

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What makes a great quiltmaker?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler says she admires the works of Wanda Warner and Joyce Rupp because they are great machine quilters, which she aspires to be. She also looks up to Shirley Palmer for her workmanship in color theory and applique.

Keywords: Color theory; Joyce Rupp; Machine quilting; Quilt Purpose - Personal enjoyment; Shirley Palmer; Wanda Warner; applique

00:15:40 - Buhler's stance on hand vs machine vs long arm quilting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How do you feel about machine quilting versus hand quilting?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler is a big fan of machine quilting. While she enjoys the therapeutic value of hand quilting, buhler says that she "wants to make more than two quilts a year," so the speed of machine quilting is preferable. While that is the case, she also says that machine quilting is a difficult technique for her. As for the long arm quilt machine, Buhler believes that if a quilter has the tools she should use them. Many quiltmakers, Buhler states, are "snobs" about using machines, but that is not her stance.

Keywords: Hand quilting; Long arm quilting; Long arm quilting machine; Machine quilting; puckers

00:17:08 - The importance of quiltmaking for Buhler

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Why is quiltmaking important to your life?

Segment Synopsis: Quiltmaking for Buhler is important because it is a way to fulfill her creative urges, and she enjoys it

Keywords: Quilt Purpose - Artistic expression; Quilt Purpose - Personal enjoyment

00:17:32 - Why quilts are important to american life and women's history

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In what ways do your quilts reflect your community or region?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler believes that quilts are important to American life because they represent a "traditional country art" that has gone global. She also asserts that it is important to note that quilts' purposes have evolved from utilitarian to artistic. She also believes that everyone should sleep under a quilt. As for women's history, Buhler says that quilts are a physical record or a material culture of what women had in the past. She speaks on how quilts recorded events and continue to do so, she cites quilts she has been making for family members' graduations.

Keywords: Art quilts; Quilt Purpose - Gift or presentation; Quilt Purpose - Memorial; Quilt history; feet sacks; graduation quilt; traditional quilts

00:19:34 - A quilt's purpose, and how Buhler wishes her quilts to be used

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How do you think quilts can be used?

Segment Synopsis: From a utilitarian perspective, Buhler says quilts can be used in a home for bedding, exhibition, or interior design (perhaps as a tablecloth). She believes quilts should be preserved, if only to honor the time that was dedicated to making them. However when she gifts her quilts, Buhler advises that people "use them up," in other words enjoy them for their utilitarian purpose. Of her quilts that Buhler has given away, they remain appreciated through either use or display by the people to whom she gave them. She says that she gets requests for quilts "all the time," and has begun to make wedding quilts for her friends/family.

Keywords: Quilt Purpose - Artistic expression; Quilt Purpose - Bedcovering; Quilt Purpose - Exhibition; Quilt Purpose - Home decoration; Quilt Purpose - Personal enjoyment; Quilt Purpose - Utilitarian; Quilt Purpose - Wedding; Quilt preservation; Quiltmaking for family

00:21:33 - The biggest contemporary challenge for quilters

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler asserts that a quilt is worth more than a price-tag one sees in JC Penny. The artistic value and time put into making quilts makes them worth so much more than a layperson might believe. She says that people also believe that quilting is a dying art, she argues that it is not.

Keywords: Art quiltmaking; Time management; fabrics; price

00:22:35 - Buhler's leadership positions in the quilting community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Have you ever been a board member or a chair of a committee for a quilt guild?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler says she accepted a nomination to be a secretary on a quilt guild, which she accepted. It turned out to be a great way to meet people in the guild. She held the position for 5 years. She later went on to be vice president, then president of the guild, and she has hosted one quilt show. As for teaching, Buhler has worked at camps and teaches classes every now and then.

Keywords: Art quilts; Awards; Quilt guild; Quilt shows/exhibitions; Teaching quiltmaking; president; quilt shop; quiltmaking classes; secretary

00:23:28 - Buhler's awards

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Have you ever won an award?

Segment Synopsis: Buhler won best of show in one quilt show. She tells a funny anecdote about how her brother had called that same quilt "ugly" prior to the show.

Keywords: Awards; Quilt shows/exhibitions