A little bit about Jean Taft our founder and designer:

Jean hand quilted her first quilt in high school from blocks inherited from her grandmother on the quilt frame from her other grandmother. This quilt became her first child’s baby quilt. The butterfly blocks were later copied many times as the family quilt pattern. She learned quilting, sewing and all types of hand work from her mother and grandmothers, 4H, and studied clothing construction in college.

Jean’s first designs were needlepoint replicates of photos of homes and churches. Her first published pattern was a teddy bear sweater vest for her son in Anny’s Attic. But, with a small child on her lap, following a needlepoint or knitting pattern wasn’t as easy as piecing and quilting. Quilting became part of her life everyday. “Quilting is my rocking chair. It adds a rhythm to my life. When I don’t have time to
quilt or stitch, my life is out of sync. It is like playing music.”

Jean prefers hand work: appliqué, hand quilting, English piecing and anything that she can work on a few minutes as a time. She finds the touch of the fabric and the control of positioning the fabric by hand preferable to ‘unsewing’ when the points don’t meet. Jean has completed several Baltimore Album quilts, Hawaiian and other hand appliqué full size quilt. But, also enjoys the challenge of trying the same pieces as miniatures. Her smallest quilt had 1/8” pieces without paper piecing.

Jean was a charter member of the Honey Bee Quilters of Humboldt County in 1990. In 2002 she joined the Ankeny Area Quilt Guild. She has taught many classes and demonstrations for both guilds. She has also taught classes at local quilt shops.

JTQuilt first published patterns were sold at the 2008 AQS show. Her Black and White Optical pattern is pieced with the convergence technique. This is the first in a series of black and white quilts reflective of Jean’s pragmatic, mathematical side.

Little Baltimore Beauties is a favorite. It combines her love of appliqué, the challenge of making the same pieces smaller while retaining the integrity of the design, 3 dimensional pieces and traditional quilts.

Current Project: Jean in continuing her black and white graphic series. She is also working with more collages with lots of flowers, bling and embellishments. She always has several appliqué blocks ready to stitch and hand quilting to keep her life in rhythm.