story & photo
by Maren Schober
If you ever have the desire to learn how to quilt and start looking around for a teacher, you are bound to come across Myra Day of Gales Ferry. More than thirty years ago Myra started making quilts at the encouragement of her husband, Bill and today, she is just as enthusiastic about quilting as she was in the beginning. She never tires of it.
“When I was a young newlywed,” Myra tells me, “Bill gave me a Singer sewing machine for Christmas. He encouraged me to save my sewing scraps from all the dresses I made so that I could make quilts. There were very few quilting books on the market so I thought I could teach myself. I quickly found out what works and what doesn’t. I took a quilting class from a wonderful mentor, Barbara McKie. After that I was hooked on quilting! I learned the entire process from piecing patches into blocks and blocks into quilt tops to hand quilting the quilt itself. Over the coming years I became accomplished at it..”
The Navy relocated Bill and Myra to Hawaii where Myra became keenly interested in Hawaiian quilting. She learned from Hawaiian ladies who were expert quilters there.
“My first king sized Hawaiian quilt took me three years to complete,” Myra declares. “It won the Best of Show at quilt and art shows. Today, it remains one of my favorites.”
In the 1980’s Myra made the switch from hand quilting to making quilts by machine. “Machine quilting is a technique that requires practice, practice, practice!” Myra acknowledges. “I love it because it allows me to pursue my creative spirit in a free form way.”
Myra teaches quilting classes through the Ledyard Parks and Recreation Dept. “It is a great way to meet people who want to learn the art of quilting. Quilting brings the thrill of success in creating something beautiful and useful at the same time.”
If you walk into the sanctuary of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Gales Ferry, you will discover a large sampler quilt made by Myra hanging almost from ceiling to floor on the back wall. “I designed and hand quilted this quilt for my church’s 30th anniversary. Many of the church members were asked to create a personal design on a square using a 12” muslin background that they were given. They became very creative! After I received the completed squares, I put them together in a sampler design and quilted the quilt.”
Over the years Myra donated many of her quilts to community members and non-profit organizations. “I made a quilt for one of the participants in the Survivors Of Homicide meetings I was attending in connection with my ministerial course. I made this quilt to aid in the grieving process in which the quilt would bring happy memories and comfort. I find it very rewarding to assist in the healing process through quilt making.”
“I love every part of the quilting process from the minute I dream up an idea to the final result. In addition to teaching quilting, I provide consultation services for quilting needs or making commissioned quilts.” You can contact Myra at 860.334.5732