Some people enjoy birdwatching, and some enjoy collecting things, but for Nancy Boydston, she enjoys quilting.
“The first quilt that I made was 40 years ago, and it wasn’t very good, but I really enjoyed it,” said Boydston, 71, who lives in Neosho with her husband, Tom.
The first quilt she made was a Christmas quilt that she uses every year as a Christmas tradition. In addition to making a quilt, she also made a tree skirt to go under her tree.
“Ever since I made those quilts and skirt, I wanted to get more into it, but it was hard to it and have a full time job at the same time,” said Boydston.
Boydston retired in 2010 from La-Z-Boy and then started getting serious in her quilting.
“I worked as a sewer at La-Z-Boy for 18 years and I quilted for about a year before I retired,” said Boydston.
After retiring, Boydston started going to quilt shops for fabric and there was one shop she would go to frequently.
“I went to the Country Store Quilt Shop to get fabrics so much that one day the lady just put me to work,” said Boydston.
Boydston then began working part-time at the quilt shop in 2012 until the owner closed the store in 2016.
When Boydston first started quilting, she used an extra bedroom as a quilting room until she bought a wooden outbuilding to make into her quilting shop.
“I took some of my retirement money and bought a the outbuilding to quilt in and my husband, Tom, put insulation in, the walls, and air conditioning,” said Boydston.
Her brother and nephew put in a new floor for Boydston’s shop when her husband was recovering from heart surgery.
After retirement, Boydston joined a quilting class at Racine Christian Church and made several quilts of different themes and while making several new friends.
“One lady and I became very close and she took me to my first quilt guild, then after several visits there, I joined the Town and Country Quilters and am still a member today,” said Boydston.
The group meets once a month and has a meeting, a presentation, and demonstrations on how-to something.
“Every year we have a quilt show and this year it will be at Memorial Hall. Hundreds of quilts get displayed to be judged and some receive ribbons,” said Boydston.
Boydston has only entered one quilt into the show, but several quilts get judged every year. The judges make notes for each quilt about what the quilter could improve on or what she did good on.
Boydston has made a total of 75-100 quilts over the years and, according to her, each one takes a different amount of time to create.
“It all depends on what you are making, how big it is, how many pieces are involved, and if you’re on a time crunch,” said Boydston.
She spends her Mondays and Saturdays sewing with her friend, Paula Strickland, at her home or Paula’s, and is never working on just one quilt at a time.
“I am always working on several different quilts at a time, which is good because when you get bored with one, you go to another one,” said Boydston.
The hardest thing about quilting, according to Boydston, is to remain organized.
“Staying organized with your pieces, and not getting lost is the hardest thing to do. If you don’t label your stuff, you will get lost,” said Boydston.
There are several different types of quilts that can be made and different types of quilters. Boydston is a traditional quilter and likes traditional blocks.
“Although I am a traditional quilter, my favorite quilt I made was a mystery quilt with a friend who has passed away,” said Boydston.
Boydston and her friend were both working on matching mystery quilts when her friend passed away.
“It’s my favorite quilt because of the memories we made and the colors it’s made with,” said Boydston.
When it comes to quilting, some quilters do every step of the quilting process while others have their quilt sent out to do the quilting part.
“I don’t do the quilting part. I do everything but the quilting. I have my friend Paula Strickland do my quilting and she does it free-handed and it looks amazing,” said Boydston.
Her favorite thing is sewing it all together, getting it quilted, and seeing the end result.
“Sometimes you like them and sometimes you have no idea what you were thinking, and that’s the fun of it,” said Boydston.
Boydston has been quilting for several years and doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon.
“I’ve always made things and I’m always working on something, and quilting just seems to be a hobby that fits me very well, and I enjoy it,” said Boydston.