handmade improv quilts

Dansville, Michigan | 41 Sales


handmade improv quilts

Dansville, Michigan 41 Sales On Etsy since 2014

0 out of 5 stars (16)

Announcement   Improvisational quilts from new and repurposed fabrics. Comforting and homey on your lap, your child, your wall, or your table.

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Last updated on Dec 6, 2017

Improvisational quilts from new and repurposed fabrics. Comforting and homey on your lap, your child, your wall, or your table.

Follow me on Instagram:

Ruth Mowry

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Ruth Mowry


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quilts and me

When our kids were little, I got into traditional quilt-making. It was the era of "country" decorating in the 1980s, and a new friend showed me her quilts that covered beds, hung on walls, and draped across sofas and chairs in her large home. I was awestruck. I had enjoyed sewing our daughter's clothes and doll clothes, so fabric was a great medium for me. I was in.

About that time we moved to Istanbul, and I made a few quilts by hand while other ladies in our apartment building crocheted and knitted. Those simple quilts are still very special to me. Handmade garments and linens connect us with the ages and all the women and men who created them. I love how they bridge generations, countries, cultures.

When we returned to the States, I was busy working at the University, and I had little time for sewing. Then in 2011, our first grandson was on his way, and I pulled out the sewing machine again and began stitching up a flying geese quilt for him. I hand quilted half of it, but carpal tunnel prevented me finishing it by hand. Exploring quilt sites online, I saw a new community of quilters who machine pieced and quilted, and a new phase of quilting began for me. I still admire the new ways quilters hand quilt and secretly wish I could do that too.

Along the way, I bought a new sewing/quilting machine, explored on Instagram and blogs, bought books by modern quilters and ventured into improvisational quilting. I discovered the quilters of Gee's Bend, Alabama, and wept for joy at their art. I am learning to let the fabric speak, and how to create a harmonious and interesting design.

For now, I just have a few items in my shop. This year my goal is to finish quilt tops hanging on my rack and post them here. After I retire from the University in July, I hope to spend my "first" time of the day designing new quilts for this shop.

My "studio" used to be the living room of this old farmhouse in Michigan.

Shop members

  • Ruth Mowry

    Owner, Maker

    I upcycle thrifted clothing and linens, or I use new modern fabrics. My quilts are nostalgic yet contemporary, usually free form or improvisational design. Once in a while I talk myself into precise cutting flying geese or sixty degree triangles.

Shop policies

Last updated on March 7, 2014
Welcome to Birds of the Air Quilts!

I have been sewing for 45 years and have a passion for art, fabric and repurposing. Each quilt is a unique piece of art inspired by the adventure of the moment.

I blog about my projects at

All items are packaged with care and recycled materials and ship from Michigan, USA via U.S. Postal Service. Allow 7-10 days for international shipping.

Accepted payment methods

Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
  • Money Order
  • Check
  • Other Method
Returns and exchanges
If you are unhappy with the quality of your purchase I can provide a full refund (excluding shipping fees) if the item is returned within 14 days.

Commission items that are personalized are non-refundable. Custom orders are non-refundable.
PayPal accepted.

You do not need a PayPal Account to pay for your items through PayPal:

You can choose the PayPal Option during checkout. After you submit your order click the "Pay Now" button. Scroll Down and you will see the option to pay with a Credit or Debit Card WITHOUT having to sign up for a PayPal account."

Contact me if you run into any problems with payment.

If you do not pay within 3 days, on the 4th day I will have Etsy cancel the sale, and I'll relist the item.
All quilts and handmade goods are carefully packaged in recycled packaging as much as possible and sent by U.S. Postal Service anywhere in the world (see list of countries here: If shipping costs for your country/regions is not included in the listing please don't hesitate to contact me as I am happy to provide you with a shipping quote.

Handmade goods, including quilts, are shipped within 1-2 business days of when payment clears. Please allow up to 10 days for international delivery.

Any shipping overcharges will be refunded.

Please contact me for confirmation of shipping charges.

Additional policies and FAQs
All fabric used is repurposed and washable, thoroughly and lovingly laundered, and stain-free. Fabrics are stored and quilts made in a strictly non-smoking environment.