Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review

Time to look back at the projects I finished last year. I tend to dwell on what didn't get done, so now for a little optimism.

A QR Code quilt for the Patterns of Inquiry Exhibit. I have my first smart phone, so I can finally test this quilt for myself.

Hazel Ridge Path, a trade for a painting from a children's book. This took a long time to make.

Space Baby Blocks for baby Elliot, an old UFO newly quilted.

Dolly, her dress and quilt + a sweater for the Salvation Army Christmas doll drive.

And now for two of my quilt purchases.
I purchased this Bridal Stairway quilt from a member of the Quilts Vintage and Antique facebook page. It is a signature quilt and very cool.

This is a signature quilt I bought on eBay. It is from Oklahoma and has really beautiful embroidery. Click on the image to see the embroidery better.

I've purchase at least four other quilts this year, but don't have them photographed yet. I'll post soon.

I got a new smart phone for Christmas. This is what happens when you click buttons without reading instructions. LOL. I also got a new computer and a new projector. I love power points.

Goals for 2013? I need to finish two big projects. One quilt for each daughter. One is a mermaid I started about 20 years ago. The other is a new, queen size bed quilt.

Till next time......Happy Quilting.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pardon the Interruption

I now interrupt the regularly scheduled blog for this important announcement.......

Help protect the images and stories of Quilts and Quilt Makers with a donation dedicated to the Quilt Index.

Whether you are a Quilt Index power user or a first-time visitor to this website, please take a few minutes to watch our new video report: Virtual Threads 2012: The Quilt Index Year in Review

The Quilt Index is a free, open access project of Matrix, Michigan State University Museum; and the Quilt Alliance.

Your tax-deductible contribution supports free access to images, stories, and information about quilts and their makers, past and present. Click here to download a letter detailing more of our accomplishments over the past year;more updates on upcoming activities; and information about other ways to contribute,including eligible employee corporate matching-gift opportunities.

Donate Now to have your funds -- up to $10,000 -- matched by the Robert and Ardis James Foundation. Together we can fulfill this vision of an inclusive international reference resource, full participation of documentation projects, new technology and access capabilities.

Thank you for using and supporting The Quilt Index.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog hopping.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dolls and Quilts

One of my fondest memories growing up was going to the Ford Rotunda in Dearborn to see the doll display. My grandmother and my aunt had both made dresses for dolls for the Salvation Army. Before the dolls were given to little girls at Christmas they were put on glorious display in the Rotunda. I must have been about 4 or 5 years old, and the memory of all those dolls is still strong.

Many years ago, I found out the Salvation Army still had the program. My quilt guild (The Capitol City Quilt Guild) would receive about 100 dolls in September from the Salvation Army and would distribute them to guild members to dress and accessorize. When I heard about it, it brought back that wonderful memory and I knew I wanted to do one. Each September I would forget about the project and was wistful when the dolls were displayed at the guild each November, swearing I would dress a doll 'next year'. This year I was at the guild meeting in September and they had some extra dolls. Yay! I finally brought one home and here she is. I made her a dress and knit her a sweater. I also made her  little quilt. 

Dolly in her dress and sweater.

Dolly's dress showing the ruffles.

Dolly's Pinwheel quilt.

The pinwheel quilt was made from leftovers from the quilt below. I made this quilt for my nephew Charlie when he was born. It is a Snowball and Nine Patch. The snowballs were made using magic corners which left me with leftover half square triangle units that I made into pinwheels. I need only two more pinwheels to make the quilt for Dolly.

Till next time......Happy Quilting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Quilt for baby Elliot

My friends Jennifer and Chris Sleeper are having a baby. The shower was last weekend and I gave them this quilt.

Baby Blocks for Baby Sleeper. 32" x 36". Photo by Pearl Yee Wong
It was a quilt top I made in a class many years ago. I pressed it and quilted it when I got the shower invitation. Jennifer's favorite color is purple, so I lucked out on that. I think of this as baby blocks in outer space. I'm happy to have a hand-made gift and to finish another UFO.

The next project is dressing a doll for the Salvation Army to give out this Christmas.

Till next time......Happy Quilting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Charm Quilts

I'm packing up to go to Muskegon and teach Charm Quilts for the Lighthouse Quilt Guild. To celebrate I'm posting two new quilt patterns. For the uninitiated, Charm quilts are quilts that use one template, but every fabric is different. They were first popular in the 1880s. They were revived in the 1930s, and had a huge surge in the 1980s. Since then retailers have been packaging fabrics in bundles of 5" squares and designers have been finding new uses for the bundles. In the spirit of new uses for 5" squares, I've written two patterns.
Charm Baby
 Charm Baby uses the 5" squares to make 9 Patch units that are then cut up. Click here for the pattern.
Charming Hours
Charming Hours takes one light and one dark charm, layered right sides together, cut and sewn to make a 4" Hour Glass block. Click here for the pattern.

I still favor a traditional charm, where one template is used and every fabric is unique.

Clams Incognito from Charm Quilts by Beth Donaldson, 1997.

I'll be seeing some of you tomorrow, until next time......Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hazel Ridge Path finished

Hazel Ridge Path, 87" x 58"

Owl quilting

It's finally done! I'm really pleased with the machine quilting. I traced the owls (from a Hari Walner pattern) onto tissue paper, pinned the tissue to the border and free motion quilted. Then I attached the border to the quilt. I lot of work, but worth it for the result.

Now time to get ready to teach Charm Quilts to the Patchers at the Lakeshore in Muskegon, MI. Also doing a Detroit in the 1930s lecture. I'll be there next Monday.

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Camera

Just bought a new camera and am trying to learn it. Here are some pics of the Hazel Ridge Path quilt from the Cannon PowerShot A4000IS.
Here's the Hazel Ridge Path quilt on my design wall. I thought you might enjoy seeing my work space. It's half of my basement. You can see reflected in the mirror, my 51" screen TV. I love to watch old, old movies, soap operas and sports while I sew. So you've seen my mess and know all my secrets!

Here's a close up so you can see my quilting. The quilting in the geese is free hand, but I sewed through quilter's tracing paper for the designs in the large triangles. I was always a good tracer as a kid. Someday I hope to master free form feathers, but until then I'm happy with my tracing paper results. 

I've been quilting this in rows, then sewing the rows together. I've got the borders pieced and will quilt them next. After it's all done, I'll show more details and tell exactly where the rows were put together and how.

Till next time.... Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Quilt is in China!

Last March I blogged about my charm quilt being accepted in an exhibit that is touring China. The update is, it arrived in China and the exhibit, The Sum of Many Parts is scheduled to open in September. The organizers, South Arts, have put up a webpage here. You can see more about the exhibit here. You can see a slide show of the quilts here.

Quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert, Carole Harris, Patricia Cox and Carolyn Mazloomi are also in the exhibit, so I'm in very good company.

Till next time.......Happy Quilting

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Fourth of July by Norine Antuck and Beth Donaldson, 1997.

Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nick's Quilt Update

All the blocks are finished on my Hazel Ridge Path quilt. I still need to add the border (which will have some piecing). The top is in three rows, because I'm going to quilt the rows, then put them together. I will also quilt the borders before attaching them to the quilt.

I'd like to encourage any Macy's shoppers in Michigan to help out Reading Is Fundamental. Are you interested in a great opportunity to save money this summer and help support children’s literacy? Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children and families’ literacy nonprofit, is partnering with Macy’s to Be Book Smart and help provide one million free books to underserved children. We invite you to join us. Together we can Be Book Smart! From June 22–July 31, 2012, give $3 at your local Macy’s and receive a $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. Give more and you'll save more! For example: Give $3, get $10 off a $50 purchase (a $7 savings!); give $9, get $30 off a $150 purchase (a $21 savings!). Some exclusions and restrictions apply, so check the coupon for details. Macy’s will donate 100% of every $3 to RIF. With your help, we can reach our goal of providing one million books to kids. Spread the word and help make RIF’s vision of a literate America a reality! This year our federal funding was cut 92%! So please help us out if you can.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ships That Pass in the Night

 It's time for Amy's Creative Side to host her Blogger's Quilt Festival: Spring 2012. She asked that we post a quilt and tell it's story. This is a quilt I made way back in 1995 for my book Block by Block. I loved working with only two colors, deep navy and pure white. I used two block patterns, Sailboat, and a star pattern I designed and called Sailor's Star. The sashing is plain and the cornerstones are 4 patches, giving the quilt the overall diagonal design. It was machine pieced and machine quilted one block at a time. I hate machine quilting a large top, so I always break my tops up, quilt them and then put them together. My goal is that you can't tell from the front, that that was my method. Two summers ago this quilt was loaned to Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen to use as a prop for his illustration in the children's book, F is For Friendship. I was thrilled when I saw what my quilt inspired!

Remember to visit Amy's Creative Side to see the other blogs and quilts in the festival. Till next time....Happy Quilting!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sneak Peek at new exhibit

Here's a sneak peek at our new exhibit at the Michigan State University Museum.

QR Code Quilt
Scan it with your smart phone and see where it takes you.

I made this quilt over the weekend. I shamelessly stole the idea from a picture I saw on the Fun With Barb blog. It was made by Deirdre Abbotts of Westport, CT and was displayed at the Northern Star Quilters' Guild show. She was inspired by the red and white exhibit Infinite Variety. When I saw it I thought it would be perfect for our new exhibit Patterns of Inquiry. This exhibit will present new directions in quilt-related research. Curator Mary Worrall like the idea too and created a QR Code which I made into this quilt.

And the quilt really works. If you have a smart phone, scan the quilt's image to see where it takes you. (If, like me you don't have a smart phone, just click on the quilt.)

I hope to see some of you at the exhibit. There will be over 30 quilts. The exhibit runs from June 3 - September 23, 2012.

Till next time......Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Last night I spoke to the great ladies of the Quilt Guild of Metro Detroit. The topic was Quiltmaking in Detroit in the 1930s. The power point lecture is really cool. Not many people know that there were many quilt shows in Detroit where attendance was over 50,000! I showed slides of quilts from the MSU Museum's Clark Family Collection and brought a few quilts of my own.

Flower Lady

Double Wedding Ring, Edna O'dell, Okemos, MI, 1940

Dresden Plate with Butterflies

Garden Bouquet, A Nancy Page pattern by Florence
LaGanke Harris syndicated in papers all over the country
in the 1930s.

This fan variation was published in the Detroit News as Spanish Fleet.

We touched on the topic of quilt documentation. Here's the link to the Michigan Quilt Project form: If you live in Michigan or your quilt was made in Michigan, fill out the form, take a picture and send it to me. Your quilt will be entered in the Quilt Index. Thanks ladies, I had a great time!

Till next time......Happy Quilting.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


 Spring has come early to Michigan. I work on the Michigan State University campus which is blooming everywhere. These two glorious trees are right across from my office building.
 It is a Japanese flowering crab tree. The buds are pink and the inside of the blossoms are white. The combination is stunning. They are my favorite trees on campus.
I love them so much my DH bought me the same type of flowering crab for my front yard.  It hasn't bloomed yet and it has a little way to go until it looks like the ones at work, but I am hopeful.

On Tuesday, April 17 I'll be visiting the Quilt Guild of Metro Detroit where I'll be speaking about Quiltmaking in Detroit in the 1930s. Guild members are invited to bring quilts from the 1930s, so it  should be a great show and tell too.I hope to see some of you there.

Till next time.......Happy Quilting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Red One goes to China

Photo by Pearl Yee Wong
My quilt, The Red One will be traveling to China as part of the exhibit, The Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers in 21st-Century America. It will start traveling this summer. There will be a catalog with the exhibit, so that's cool too. The Red One is a charm quilt. Every fabric is the same shape and size, but each one is different. This quilt was completed in 1999 and contains 604 hexagons. The edge was knife-edge finished after the quilting was completed. If you follow this link,, you can see the fabrics a little closer by using the Quilt Index's zoom tool.

The fabrics were collected over a period of many years starting in 1985 when we started the Capitol City Quilt Guild's first small group. We met at Georgia's house and called ourselves the Charm Group. We now meet at Daisy's each month. That's over 25 years of quilting and friendship, pretty cool.

I've made some tweaks to my blog layout. I've separated my blogs into two groups. The first group is the Block Exchange Blog Roll and are made up of blogs from my friends in my small groups plus Pepper Cory, who taught many of us when she owned a quilt shop in East Lansing, Michigan. The other  blogs I enjoy are in the list below. That moved my favorite feature, The Daily Puppy after the blogs.

A big thank you to everyone who's helped in my transition to my new blog address and welcome to my new followers. Your support means so much.

Till next time.....Happy Quilting

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Behind the Scenes Tours

I celebrated National Quilt Day by giving four tours of the Michigan State University Museum's collections center. I brought out 16 quilts. Here's four of the quilts I shared. To see the full record, click on the link below each quilt.

Album top c1860, quilting 1961
Pinwheel Flower, c1860. Possibly slave made.
Railroad Crossing c1860
Album quilt, c1860

To learn more about Behind the Scenes Tours at the Great Lakes Quilt Center at the Michigan State University Museum, go to this page:

Till next time......Happy Quilting

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Name, New Address, Same Blog

Hello to any of my quilt friends who have found me. I've been asked by a quilt shop in Virginia to stop using the name Quilt Doctor. Apparently they own it. Who knew? Anyway, I'm not all that attached to the name and for me it was just a joke, so I'm complying with their request. This means I had to change my address for my email and blog. So, if you're reading this, you've found

I'm sure my readership will drop off for awhile until people re-find me. If I'm listed on your blog roll, thanks and please change it to my new address,

Hopefully this won't cause too much trouble and I'm sorry for any inconvenience to you.

And now for some quilting news. I've got some more blocks done on the Hazel Ridge Path quilt. To see the full story, go to this blog post,


Till next time.......Happy Quilting

Friday, March 9, 2012

The 1864 Belfast Flag Quilt

If you've ever wanted to go to a quilt history lecture, but couldn't get there, or your guild never hired a quilt historian, watch this video. It's about a Civil War quilt from Belfast, Maine. It features a lecture by Independent Quilt Historian and New England Quilt Museum Curator, Pam Weeks. It's also has great insights on how to do quilt research. Enjoy!
The 1864 Belfast Flag Quilt from Belfast Community on Vimeo.
Pam has recently authored a book (with Don Beld) on pot holder quilts, "Civil War Quilts" and you can purchase it on Amazon.

Till next time.......Happy Quilting

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quilt As You Go

Leah at the Free Motion Quilting Project blog is asking quilters to post quilts they've made using a quilt as you go technique. My friends know that anytime a quilt gets big, I quilt it in pieces, then put it together. So when I saw Leah's post I just had to jump on this one.

The quilt I'm featuring is called "No, But It's My Dog." I made it in 2007 and it was juried into the AQS show in Nashville. It didn't win, and although I was honored "just to get in..." I found myself to be a very bad and bitter loser. LOL!!! It's hard to see from the picture, but there is a little dog in front of the house. When people see the quilt, they ask, "Is that your house?". I reply, "No, but it's my dog!". My dog Mickey passed away a few years ago, but he was very large, white with black spots and very sweet.

The quilt was hand quilted in five pieces: the center medallion that includes the corner appliqued flowers near the house; the two units on either side of the house that include the Carolina Lilies and appliqued borders; and the top and bottom that have the Carolina Lillies and appliqued borders. I used a streamlined version of the method I wrote in my book, Block By Block (That Patchwork Place, 1995), now out of print.

Click on the quilt to see it larger.
Make sure and check out Leah's blog for more quilt as you go quilts.

Till next time.... Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Visit to Lincoln, Nebraska

Watch this video to learn some hi-tech ways to analyze old quilts.

I'm going to the visit this place in October when they host the American Quilt Study Group's Seminar. I can't wait!!!

Till next time......Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Project

I'm starting a new project. It's a variation of  Wild Goose Chase from Hearth and Home and Ruby Short McKim's 101 Patchwork Patterns, 1931 and Tangled Cobwebs from Home Art in 1933. My version is a bit different from each and adds some extra stars in the sashing. I'm going to call it Hazel Ridge Path because it's a trade with Nick the Illustrator who lives on Hazel Ridge Farm. He used some of my quilts in his book F is for Friendship a Quilters Alphabet and even painted me for the book. He gave me the painting of me at my grandmother's treadle and I promised him a quilt.

This is the start of Hazel Ridge Path quilt. The block in the lower right was my first attempt,
but I thought the triangle units were too small compared to the triangle units in the sashing.
It took me a few tries, but I finally got the math right. The blocks should start going much faster now.

This is the painting I'm trading for the quilt.

Till next time......Happy Quilting

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bed Turning in Birmingham, Michigan - Update

Yesterday was the Quilter's Tea at the Birmingham Museum. WOW, what a day! The tea was fabulous, complete with crust-less egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, fresh fruit, brie, crackers and yummy, yummy scones and sweets. I did "The Briefest History of the American Quilt" and then out came the quilts. We saw quilts from the Museum's collection and show and tell from the participants. I bet we saw over 30 quilts including a pristine 1850s Quaker album quilt from the Washington DC area; a fabulous 1840s framed medallion broderie perse baby quilt top; an 1890s silk hexagon with petal border, where each pedal was individually bound in a coordinating fabric; and much, much more. I was too busy to take photos, but I'm happy to say Tim Latimer from Tim Latimer-Quilts, etc. blog took lots. Check out his blog here: . I've been following Tim's blog for a few months now. He buys quilt bits and tops on eBay and finished them with fabulous hand quilting, appropriate to the piece. I also got to me Lisa at Stray Threads blog

Thank yous are in order:
Leslie Pielack, Executive Director of the Birmingham Historical Museum who pulled this fabulous day together
The volunteers at the museum for helping make it happen and for the door prize, a reproduction quilt!
Everyone who came to support the museum and the quilts
And to Tim for documenting the day.

And now for a quilt.....

I brought this Civil War era Nine Patch to the Birmingham
Historical Museum for show and tell.

Till next time.....Happy Quilting

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grand Hotel Retreat

Time to start making plans for 2012 quilting events. If you've never been to a quilt retreat, this could be your year. My recommendation is the Needlework Seminar on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

My quilting friend Jackie Compton is the host and she's arranged a really great chance to stay in the Grand Hotel for a great price. The dates for the retreat, Friday, May 4 - Wednesday, May 9, are before the season gets busy, so the hotel is giving the quilters a great deal.

For those unfamiliar with Mackinac Island it's an island in Lake Huron that doesn't allow cars. All transportation is by horse, carriage and bicycle. But don't worry, you will be greeted at the ferry dock by the staff of the Grand Hotel who will gladly transport you and all your quilting gear to the hotel (no tipping allowed). The Grand Hotel's claim to fame is the world's longest porch and it was the location where the Jane Seymour-Christopher Reeves movie, Somewhere in Time was filmed. The movie even has its own official website, here.  To see more about the Grand Hotel, click here.

Classes will be offered by David Taylor, Sue Spargo and Kim Diehl. Price includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, receptions and trunk shows, too. Click here for the registration brochure with full details.

Tell Jackie I sent you......

Till next time.......Happy Quilting

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bed Turning in Birmingham, Michigan

On Sunday, January 22 there is going to be a Bed Turning at the Birmingham Historical Museum in Birmingham, Michigan. It's not often that museums bring their quilts out, so it's always good to take advantage of the opportunity when it's offered. This is a fund raiser for the museum's quilt collection. The price is $50. There will be tea and treats and everyone who attends will be in the raffle for a reproduction quilt. The quilt will be raffled off only to people who attend the tea, so the odds for winning are huge. I'll be there to talk and turn the quilts. If you come, please bring an antique quilt (or two) for show and tell. There are still a few seats left, so please join us to view the quilts. In these trying economic times it's really important to support those who are looking after our quilting heritage.Call 248-530-1928 for tickets or go to their website at: