When the birds are quiet, Cindy's sewing machine isn't

August 25, 2013 

Even Cindy Laughlin needs a break from her birds once in a while. She gets it making quilts.

Hers are scrappy and bright, inspired by nature's colors. "I never thought of orange and turquoise going together, but they do. Brights make you feel better."

Cindy made rag rugs before getting into quilting.

"I started a couple years ago. I try to do it for an hour or two every day. My grandma made quilts. She had a big quilt frame and everything."

Cindy recycles denim from worn-out jeans into pieced blocks, cuts up old ties of her husband's ("He can't wear it, but he can see it"), and incorporates lace and buttons her mother-in-law sends her way. One quilt design is composed of different windows, some more ornate than others.

"The call girl lives here," she said, "the rich people live here."

Printed muslin sacks are partof another quilt's design.

"I used to shop at a market in St. Louis. I kind of liked the little pancake mix bags."

:I usually take something from one quilt and add it to the next one. ... If (Stuart) has a favorite shirt he wants to get rid of, that works its way in there, too. I put that in there and it brings back memories."

"Tell her why they get so big," Stuart prompted.

"I just keep adding and adding. I miscount blocks. I just have to make up a few more. Sometimes, they start as twin-size and end up as queens or king-size. If I run out of one material, I use another. Nothing matches. I just have a feeling. It seems to come together."

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