Traveling Quilts

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Traveling with quilts is part of my life.

Technically, I’ve had one traveling quilt in an actual show that toured the AQS circuit for a year. That was exciting!

Mostly, I’m talking about taking quilts with me when I travel.

First, do you travel with quilts? Guilty! I take quilts on vacations, retreats, and even short hotel stays. I like to have them around for warmth and beauty. Maybe I’ll take one along to bind, to photograph, or to just enjoy.

Putting my own quilt on a strange bed makes me feel more relaxed.

This wasn’t my idea, though. A long time ago, I roomed with a friend at quilt retreat who always brought one of her quilts along. I loved seeing which quilt she’d bring to decorate her bed. When I started bringing quilts, I found I rested easier the first night, because I’d claimed that bed as my own with my signature quilt. I decided Donna had a great idea; I never apologized again for packing a quilt!

Traveling quilts hit the guild meeting circuit!

I have the pleasure from time to time to share my story and quilts with quilt guilds during their membership meetings. These trips usually require about 50 quilts. In addition to the large trunk show, I integrate a power point presentation to make sure everyone has a front row seat. It’s lots of fun. Most especially, I like meeting all the new quilters and watching how each guild operates.

One such pleasure was with the PUPS (Pickin’ Up the Pieces) Quilt Guild in Cordova, Tennessee (near Memphis).

I find it fascinating to see the differences between different quilting groups. Size alone can change the dynamics of a group. Meeting location is another factor. Personalities of the members can change how a guild operates. What seems to be constant, though, among all guilds is that the love of quilting, creating, and discovering new opportunities outweighs any of the challenges brought to a group of women (with a sprinkling of men).

Below are a few memories from my visit with the PUPS guild.

Show and Tell

Image of Traveling Quilts
Image of Show and Tell Quilts

The large auditorium allowed the quilts to be on display on the floor!

As you can see in the photos, this was a fantastic way to get a close-up view of each work of art! And just look at those fantastic quilts!

Interestingly, the guild had a master list of projects that the members had registered earlier in the year. When a show and tell item from that list was completed, that quilter got credit for the completion and was entered into a drawing for retreat funds (money)! How cool is THAT?

Look at all this SHOW AND TELL from only 22 members present!!! I really liked being able to go around and look at each quilt closely during the break!  However, I did later find out that this particular meeting was their LAST CHANCE to complete those projects and that may have contributed to their prolific quilting!

Talk about traveling quilts! These quilters put on one heck of a show and tell!

Image of QuiltsImage of Patterns


Myself having been in charge of Block-of-the-Month for my guild in the past, I was surprised when their quilters showed up with their blocks dutifully completed for that month and laid them in a pile on a table. This guild had a different way of handling their BOM program. The PUPS gals collect those blocks and make them up into quilts for their community. It’s a really nice way to help the community while quilters  learn new techniques.

Virtual Retreats

I thought this sounded like loads of fun! You just pick a weekend (pretty far in advance for planning purposes). Choose your projects, your favorite jammies, and snacks and have your own retreats at home – but shared with pictures and videos on the guild Facebook page!

Prep for traveling with quilts.

Finally, though I try to be over-prepared, I’m always a bit nervous before giving a presentation. While everything went off without a hitch, I was thankful that I didn’t know who they had just hosted! Thankfully, I didn’t know before I got to town that I had SUCH BIG SHOES to fill.

Marie Bostwick had spoken the month before. Had I known that, I would’ve driven there a month earlier! Thankfully, it didn’t sink in until the next day that I was following that awesomeness. I’m pretty sure Marie and I would be besties, if she actually knew me!

You’ve got competition, Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman! (Click here to learn how to have Ree as your best friend!)

A big shout-out and thank-you to the PUPS Quilt Guild for their hospitality!

Wondering about the 50 quilts? Click here for my Etsy Shop!

Enjoy traveling with your quilts and enjoy your quilting journey!

Check out Spooky Quilts-A-Brewing for some bubbly quilt class fun!

Visit Home Sweet Home to see class projects on display where I was raised!

See Heartland Quilts for more class projects.


  1. Nancy Wilson

    New email –

  2. Julie

    Karla, concerning your presentation, I feel that awesomeness followed awesomeness! I enjoy your website and the account of your travels and the awesomeness of your lively designs.

  3. The Bee

    Ahhhh! Thank you so much!