lois toutant—quality and quantity
By Patricia Belyea
VICTORIA BC On Tuesday night I drove crosstown to the Salvation Army Citadel for the monthly gathering of Victoria Quilters’ Guild. After a short business meeting and the longest Show ’N Tell I have ever seen—with the line wrapping around the room—the featured speaker Lois Toutant began.
A disarming and charming woman, guild member Lois remembers getting on a sewing machine for the first time when she was seven. Over the years she became an expert seamstress making clothes for herself, her family and others. Lois made her first quilt in the early ’90s without any of the tools we use today. She sewed the backing onto the quilt top to make a huge pillowcase. Then Lois and a friend crawled into the fabric envelope to fill the quilt, pushing the batting into the corners before adding a few stitches to keep everything together.
After her first quilt experience, there was a hiatus of over a dozen years before Lois started again. This time her initial quilt was made from a bargello pattern. From there, Lois just took off—more bargello, hand pieced, Kaffe Fassett, pictorial, juvenile, and on and on. It was truly a great evening to see the work and hear the stories of such an accomplished quilter.
I have been asked by Victoria Quilters’ Guild make a presentation this summer, so I will be standing in Lois’ shoes in July.
All photos by Mary Anne Jarvin