The Fat Quarters
From left to right: Pam Black, Deborah Mouser, Terri Vogds and Carla Hamm.
Generalizations are almost always dangerous, but it’s a pretty safe bet to say that quilters are a creative lot. While that creativity is most obvious when quilters work with fabric and thread, hidden talents often pop up in other, less expected ways. Such is the case with four quilting friends from Denton, Texas who formed a singing group they call The Fat Quarters.
It all started back in 1999 at a quilting retreat. As is often the case at retreats, the women stayed up into the wee hours working on their projects. They grew tired, got silly, began to sing, and started substituting quilting terminology for the lyrics to popular songs.
One of the retreaters, Terri Vogds, happened to be the program chair of the Denton Quilt Guild at the time, and she badly needed to fill an open slot for a program. She asked the others if they would be willing to help her out by performing some of the songs they’d been having so much fun reconstructing.
The other women, Pam Black, Carla Hamm, and Deborah Mouser agreed, and the four began rehearsing their act. Their repertoire included “Stop! There’s a Fabric Store” (sung to the tune of the Supremes’ “Stop! In the Name of Love”); “Husqvarna” (to the tune of “Oklahoma”); “All These Quilts” (to the tune of “All that Jazz”); “My Best Quilting Things” (to the tune of “My Favorite Things”); and “Quilting Machine” (to the tune of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”), among others. As if that weren’t enough, each song was choreographed.
Wearing costumes, donning enormous pink wigs or other headwear depending on the song, and hamming it up to the hilt, The Fat Quarters’ inaugural gig at their home guild meeting was a smash.
“Everyone was so surprised,” laughed Terri. “They had no idea we could—or would—do something like that.” The Fat Quarters performed at the Texas Association of Quilt Guilds annual Rally Day in 2010 and were soon invited to perform for other Texas guilds. They returned to TAQG’s Rally Day a decade later, where delighted audience members got into the spirit by standing and waving their cell phones back and forth in the air, the way kids do at rock concerts.
“We hadn’t performed in nearly 10 years before returning to Rally Day,” said Terri. “We were all stay-at-home moms years ago and had more time to get together and rehearse. Now most of our kids are grown and in college. Pam is an administrative assistant, Carla does lots of volunteering in the community, Deborah is a dental hygienist and has triplets, and I am a quilt designer, teacher, and lecturer.” [Terri also assists with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s biennial quilt block competition; see Using Quilts to Spotlight Natural Fibers]
Despite their busy schedules, the friends still perform upon request. “We worked up a Christmas act,” Terri continued. Some of the numbers include “Quilting Gals” (to the tune of “Jingle Bells”); “Quilt Retreat is Coming to Town” (to tune of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”); and the following (with some sample verses):
“Quilt Show” (to the tune of “Sleigh Ride”)
We hear the venders calling. Will they take a check or two?
Come on, it's lovely weather for a quilt show together with you.
Outside, the line is sprawling and friends are calling "yoo hoo!"
Come on, it's lovely weather for a quilt show together with you.
Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, let's go!
We're late for the show. It's always a wonderland of sew.
Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, it's grand! It's quilted by hand!
“Quilt Queen Loves to Shop” (to tune of “Good King Wenceslas”)
Went to buy a loaf of bread.
Turned on California.
Stopped at the fabric store instead.
Man, I've gotta warn ya.
Went inside to say hello,
Not to make a purchase.
I don't need a thing to sew.
But, oh, this stuff is gorgeous!
The next time you’re quilting with friends, listen up if one of them starts humming or singing under her breath. You might be sitting next to a hidden talent. Get out your cell phone…
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Column 112: The Family That Quilts Together, Stays Together
Column 111: Two Rivers, Three Sisters
Column 110: Quilters Helping Quilters
Column 109: Community Cookbooks and Fundraiser Quilts—Parallel Histories
Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor
See other archived columns here