Meet All of the “Animals We Love” Contest Winners

On Monday, we announced the winners of “Animals We Love,” the Quilt Alliance’s 9th annual quilt contest. We were thrilled to receive so many stunning, well-crafted, and story-rich entries this year. When Alliance board members e-gathered last spring to conceptualize the 2015 theme, we agreed that we wanted to offer a topic that would have broad appeal. We wanted a subject that quilters bond over when they’re not bonding over quilting. I shared with the group that some of our most popular posts on the Quilt Alliance Facebook page have featured my cat, Frazier Duane. Lightbulb: Animals We Love!


Frazier Duane checking messages.

We kept the theme open-ended as we have with all of our contests. The only requirements were size (16″ x 16″) and “quiltiness” (had to be made of 3 layers stitched together). Animal-adoring quilters from 23 U.S. states and 6 countries mailed us their gorgeous artworks. International entries came from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and several entries are the result of a collaboration of two or more quilters.

The Grand Prize for the contest is the highly sought-after HQ Sweet Sixteen sit-down longarm machine package (machine, table and bobbin winder) by Handi Quilter, Inc. Professional judges Marianne Fons, Mark Lipinski and Paula Nadelstern chose the Handi Quilter Grand Prize Winning quilt, “Giraffe Nocturne,” by Nancy S. Brown of Oakland, California. Nancy said about her win: 

Nancy S BrownI first learned about the “Animals We Love” contest through “The Quilt Show” newsletter. I have always loved animals and I thought making a quilt would be a nice way to support an organization that does such great work for the quilting world in preserving the stories of quilts and quilters. I was just hoping that the quilt would raise some money for The Quilt Alliance at auction.

So imagine my absolute surprise and delight when I received the call from Amy Milne informing me that I won the grand prize. Wow!!! What an honor—especially given all of the wonderful and varied quilts in the contest. I had a hard time choosing my own favorite for the member’s vote.

I have always been a hand quilter but have often admired the beautiful machine quilting that is being done now. So with the prize of the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen I am looking forward to trying my hand at something new. I have heard many great things about this particular machine. I can’t wait to start this new adventure!

Thanks to Handi Quilter for being such a generous sponsor in this contest. Thanks also to all of the quilters who donated their time and talent in a show of love for animals and support for the Quilt Alliance. And a very special thanks to The Quilt Alliance for all of the hard work that you do in promoting quilting and in saving our heritage by preserving our stories.

–Nancy S. Brown 


Watch and listen to a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Handi Quilter Grand Prize winner Nancy S. Brown conducted on June 10, 2015 by Quilt Alliance staffer Emma Parker here.


“Giraffe Nocturne” by Nancy S. Brown (Handi Quilter Grand Prize winner)

Here’s the full report from our judges:

Many thanks to all who participated in the “Animals We Love” competition—you charmed, delighted, and intrigued us with your many and varied reflections on the animal kingdom. The three of us were pleased to have the opportunity once again to get on the phone together to “ooh” and “aah” as we clicked back and forth on the various entry images, enjoying them so much, and gradually narrowing down our choices.

This year’s Grand Prize goes to “Giraffe Nocturne.” All three of us had this particular entry squarely among our top saves. We love the maker’s fabric choices and skilled use of needle-turn applique. This is a work where everything—the pieced background with its distant moon, the composition of the giraffe in the foreground, and the many details such as the animal’s expressive eye—works together perfectly. Congratulations to the artist!

We were glad to have the opportunity again this year to each select a personal Judge’s Choice. Here are our picks:

Mark Lipinski’s Judge’s Choice pick: “Bzzzzz”


“Bzzzzzz” by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Woodbridge, Connecticut

Because the quiltmaker took a creative risk and interpreted the competition’s theme in a totally different way and style than the other entrants, Bzzzzz immediately caught my attention and interest. The pieced work, with its clean and graphic design shapes, was appealing to me. Blending a combination of the modern aesthetic (more than average negative space, solid and contrasting color combos, a sense of minimalism) with traditional piecework (matching points, traditional quilting, a variation on a traditional Lone Star quilt pattern) was both interesting and appealing. The use of the grey and black pieced strips in the bees’ wings adds movement and depth, while the soft hued binding only complements the totality of the piece rather than abruptly stopping the eye with a more predictable choice of bright yellow, black, or grey. Frankly, there was nothing that I didn’t enjoy about this entry.

Paula Nadelstern’s Judge’s Choice pick: “Olive, Olive You <3”


“Olive. Olive you <3” by Lisa B. Filion of Queensbury, New York

Let me set the record straight: I do not love guinea pigs. But I love this whimsical, thoughtful little quilt. I love the furry figure with her moony, mish-mashed eyes. I love the sweet green patchwork ground; I think it would be time well spent to examine the work up close to see if any swatch was used twice. I’m impressed with the carefree, impulsive effect which masks deliberate technical choices. I vicariously share the maker’s fun of slipping something macabre (i.e. the skeleton) into the sweetness, and I’m impressed with the use of pink that doesn’t mar the realism. I exalt in its fabric-ness. Like me, this maker clearly thinks, “When it comes to fabric, more is MORE!”

Marianne Fons’ Judge’s Choice Pick: “Grandpa T and His Salad”

"Grandpa T and His Salad" by Cindy Cooksey of Irvine, California

“Grandpa T and His Salad” by Cindy Cooksey of Irvine, California

A high contrast, hot-pink-and-black plaid fabric as the background for pictorial applique would generally be a disaster, but in this artist’s hands it worked perfectly. That crazy, bold fabric adds whimsy and humor to the drama taking place on this quilt, i.e., the turtle’s laborious journey toward lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes. I love the way Grandpa T’s little hind foot breaks the edge of the quilt on the left side. The fabrics the maker chose for his shell are perfect, and the quilting on the shell panels add great realism. The shading under Grandpa T’s shell and the luncheon plate, the big-stitch quilting in the background, and the loose-edge applique used for the vegetables all work together beautifully. The big risk this artist took really paid off for me!

As judges, we’d also like to send shout-outs to five other entrants. We spent a lot of time viewing their quilts, enjoying them, making the difficult decisions of just which quilt would be the Grand Prize winner and which three would be our personal choices. We want these makers to know their terrific quilts were in the running!

Judges’ Shout-outs to:

Finally, big thanks to Amy Milne for getting us all organized and together in one (virtual) spot, as well as to Lisa Ellis who designed the fantastic software (ArtCall) we used for the judging process. It was great!

Best regards,
Mark Lipinski, Paula Nadelstern, and Marianne Fons

Members’ Choice Awards

Quilt Alliance members also weighed in on the contest entries, and their votes determined the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention winners. It was a tough choice and even required a run-off election to determine 2nd and 3rd place!

Here are the Members’ Choice winning quilts and their makers:

First Place: “Bzzzzzz” 


“Bzzzzzz” by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Woodbridge, Connecticut

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

I am truly honored to have so many Quilt Alliance Members and Mark Lipinski select my mini quilt, Bzzzzzz, as their favorite. As a member and a quilt donor, I am proud to support the Quilt Alliance and the important work they do.

Second Place: “Eye See My Beloved” 

"Eye See My Beloved" by Maria Ferri Cousins and Syrie Blanco Walsh of Great River, New York

“Eye See My Beloved” by Maria Ferri Cousins and Syrie Blanco Walsh of Great River, New York


Maria Ferri Cousins


Syrie Blanco Walsh






Syrie and I are so privileged and thrilled that our quilt “Eye See My Beloved” came in second place in the Quilt Alliance “The Animals We Love” Quilt Contest.  We love what we do and are happy that we are able to help such a worthy cause.  The Quilt Alliance works hard to have the story of all our quilts remembered and we at Fine Art Quilting make our quilts with a story to tell.”

Your generous award will definitely go a long way.  We can’t wait to see all the wonderful Moda Fabrics, Aurafill thread and Simplicity/EZ Quilting Accessories, with a big expression of our thanks to your sponsors.
We hope your fund raiser brings in the needed funds for you to continue all your hard work in preserving and educating others about quilts and their stories.

Third Place: “Innocence” 

"Innocence" by Kathy York of Austin, Texas

“Innocence” by Kathy York of Austin, Texas

Kathy York

I am so thrilled about winning the 3rd place award and an Honorable Mention for my quilt, Innocence, which features our little mischievous kitten! And, I am grateful for an opportunity to give back to the Quilt Alliance.  I appreciate the work that they do to preserve our stories and our history as quiltmakers.  It is an honor!


Members’ Choice Honorable Mention Awards


You can view all of the “Animals We Love” contest quilts on the Quilt Alliance website here and on The Quilt Index here.

We’d like to thank all of the artists who donated quilts for this year’s contest! After a national exhibition tour that began on June 8 at the Utah headquarters of Handi Quilter, Inc, and includes stops at American Quilter’s Society and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo shows, the quilts will be sold via an online auction in November, 2015.  The auction is one of the Alliance’s most important annual fundraisers and provides crucial funds that support the operation of projects like Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories and Go Tell It at the Quilt Show!

Thank You Thursday Tributes – Week Two


Quilts are one of the things we leave behind, and it is the Quilt Alliance’s mission to make SURE those quiltmakers are remembered. Help us further that mission as you pay tribute to someone special to you.




Click here to make your own Thank You Thursday Tribute through December 31, 2014.

Today’s Thank You Thursday Tributes is in honor of two industry visionaries, made by a third. The Quilt Alliance would like to say thank you to Alex Veronelli for this week’s tribute, and to all of our donors for sharing their stories and for helping us continue to share the stories of all quilters.

Read previously shared Thank You Thursday Tributes here.


A Tribute to Janet-Lee Santeusanio and Mary Schilke by Alex Veronelli

JanetLeetrib_fromAlexVI would like to extend an enormous thank you to Janet-Lee Santeusanio & Mary Schilke as they, in early 2009 insisted and persuaded me to take a flight from Italy to USA in order to visit MQX show in Manchester NH.

That had been my first time attending at a retail show and gave me the opportunity to meet with people face to face and begin relationships with personalities in the quilt industry that have blossomed into friendships. This was the first time I ever made an appearance in person at a quilt related show in USA, so I will never forget MQX 2009 as I consider it a fundamental life event for my business career.

Alex Veronelli is Product Manager and Brand Jedi for Aurifil.

giftMake your own donation to the Quilt Alliance in honor of someone who has given you the gift of quilting. Complete information here.

Twice the Good (and why you should)!

This year do twice the good with one donation. Remember the Quilt Alliance this giving season with a donation of any amount and each dollar you give will be matched by a generous family foundation (up to $15,000 total in matching funds).
Please consider joining, renewing your membership or making a one-time gift by December 31. All donors are invited to honor someone special with all gifts over $25–see the details of our Thank You Thursday Tributes here.

Why you should
Donations of any amount advance our mission and allow us to continue the work that you value–documenting, preserving and sharing the rich stories of quilts and quiltmakers from all over our community. Please consider joining, renewing your membership or making a one-time gift by December 31.

1. Support the Alliance because you care deeply about the documentation and preservation of the rich history of quilts and their makers. Our members and donors provide significant support for our core projects like Q.S.O.S. and Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! and allow us to partner on projects like The Quilt Index. We document, record and share, even when you can’t be there! Over 100 Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! interviews were collected at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year!
Here’s Sandra Branjord talking about the quilt that healed her:

2. You will receive Story Quarters, a new members-only e-newsletter with “Behind the Seams” stories about quilts and their makers from our staff, board, volunteers, and partners.


3. You will receive discounts on ticketed events like Quilters Take Manhattan (Save the Date: September 25-27, 2015 in NYC!), and our second Quilts & Oral history Conference (July 17-18, 2015, Herndon, VA).











4. You can enter our annual contest for only $5/entry. Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen Grand Prize! Entries due May 1. 2015 contest theme: Animals We Love.







5. You’ll receive our new membership lapel pin, and if you join or renew your membership (or make a donation of at least $25) by December 31 you’ll be automatically entered to win one of these great prizes provided by members of our stellar board of directors:

Thank You Thursday: Tributes With Love

remembermeQuilts are one of the things we leave behind, and it is the Quilt Alliance’s mission to make SURE those quiltmakers are remembered. Help us further that mission as you pay tribute to someone special to you.

Click here to make your own Thank You Thursday Tribute through December 31, 2014.

Today’s Thank You Thursday Tributes honor mentors, grandmothers, friends and teachers. The Quilt Alliance would like to say thank you to these donors for sharing their stories and for helping us continue to share the stories of all quilters:

Patricia L. Walters
Michelle Flamer
Allison Aller
Janneken Smucker
Marin Hanson
Susanne Jones
Lisa Ellis
Leslie Tucker Jenison
Amy Milne
Janet-Lee Santeusanio
Mary Schilke

PatriciaWalters_Cottage In The Dale

“Cottage in the Dale” by Patricia L. Walters

A Tribute to Laura Wasilowski by Patricia L. Walters

A big thank you to Laura Wasilowski who teaches in person as well as on Craftsy where I met her.  I made my first Art Quilt because of her class Hand Stitched Collage Quilts.  I attached a copy of this quilt Cottage in the Dale and made a monetary donation in her honor.  Because of the technique she taught me, I have also made three (3) Abstract Art Quilts and am working on more.


A Tribute to My Friend Cory by Michelle Flamer


Block for “Whispering Walls” by Cory

My friend Cory was an accomplished quilter and needle artist.  Orange was one of her favorite colors, a vibrant color that matched her personality.  It was only fitting that Cory would sew the keystone block for “Whispering Walls, a suspended nine block quilt made to honor the nine enslaved persons kept at George Washington’s residence in Philadelphia.  At her memorial service I discovered that Cory had won a first place ribbon from the prestigious Woodlawn competition for her embroidery. Woodlawn was the home of Nellie Custis, Martha Washington’s niece.  Ona Judge, one of the nine slaves, escaped from the Washingtons when she learned that she would be given to Nellie as a wedding gift and taken to Woodlawn. Discovering Cory’s connection to Woodlawn was another fascinating part of her story-much like the quilt stories documented by the Alliance.


A Tribute to My Cousin Tracy by Allison Aller

allie aller 3rd quilt 1981

Quilt by Allison Aller

My cousin Tracy was so far ahead of her time in quilting.  She was a freelance commercial illustrator and her medium was applique, way back in the early 1970’s.  I was visiting her after the death of my mom and somehow she knew what would be so helpful to me during that trip.  Little did I know how how Tracy would change my life when she suggested I look through her fabric cabinet and take whatever I wanted to start a quilt. I’ve been quilting non stop ever since, and owe it all to Tracy.

Here is my third quilt, from 1981, hand pieced and quilted.  It was a sampler pattern and I didn’t know any better than to take on something so hard!  This was before rotary cutters and see through rulers, I might add–and I used all cardboard templates. It took a year (I was milking cows and busy at the time.)  I guess it was a secret harbinger of all the handwork to come.


A Tribute to Esther Beechy McDowell by Janneken Smucker


Janneken Smucker (left) with her Grandma Esther Beechy McDowell (right)

I’ve just made a donation in honor of my grandma, Esther Beechy McDowell, who learned to quilt as a young woman and inspired me to learn when I was in my teens. Needless to say, my adventures with quilts have pretty much shaped my adult life. The photo is my grandma and me examining her first quilt, made c. 1928.

See another photo here of Janneken working on her first quilt with three (of five) generations of Mennonite quiltmakers in her family.


A Tribute to Carolyn Ducey by Marin Hanson


Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum

I just donated in honor of my first quilt mentor, Carolyn Ducey, who took me under her wing when I arrived at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum as a graduate assistant. 15 years later we are still the best of pals and the best of colleagues! Here she is doing what she loves the most: showing off our beautiful quilts to visitors at Quilt House.


A Tribute to Lisa Ellis by Susanne Jones


Susanne Jones (left) with her mentor Lisa Ellis (right)

My thank you goes to my mentor, Lisa Ellis. In 2010, Lisa said that I could borrow her sewing machine while she spent the summer in California. I was going over to learn how to use it, so she said bring a few fat quarters. So I did and went for my machine lesson. What I got was the best 8 hour one on one lesson in beginning quilt making from a very talented friend. Lisa is so generous with her time and she has introduced me to so many wonderful quilters. Because of her, I quilt. Because of her I am involved in the Sacred Threads Committee, the Quilt Alliance and SAQA. I am forever grateful to my dear friend, Lisa for starting me on this wonderful journey and introducing me to the sisterhood of quilters.


A Tribute to Judy House by Lisa Ellis


Judy House

With my donation to the Quilt Alliance, I am honoring my very special mentor and friend Judy House who started the Healing Quilts in Medicine initiative that is now a huge part of my life and passion. I had been quilting for a year when I took her art quilt class at our local quilt shop in the fall of 2004. I learned so much from her in just three short sessions. She saw something in me that prompted her to invite me to participate in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center project to make art quilts for the cancer center. During the project, through the spring of 2005, I developed a close working relationship with her and learned about using our quilting passions to give back and make a difference. We lost this lovely woman in July 2005 to breast cancer. I miss her. Her legacy continues through many new healing quilts in medicine projects.

A Tribute to Inspirations and Mentors by Leslie Tucker Jenison

There are several important women who inspired and/or mentored me along my journey as a quilt artist.  I owe each a debt of gratitude for their gifts to me:  my grandmother, Maude Tucker, the late Edith York, my “aunt-in-law” Ardeth Laake, Libby Lehman, and Hollis Chatelain.  These particular women had a major impact on my work as a quilt artist.  I am forever grateful. Visit Leslie’s blog to read her full-length tribute piece.

Micki Batté with her quilt

Micki Batté with her quilt

A Tribute to Mary Kay (Micki) Batté by Amy Milne

When the Quilt Alliance moved to Asheville in 2006, I was still in my first year of working with the organization. Even though I grew up in Western N.C., I did not know the quilting community there at all. The Asheville Quilt Guild assigned Micki Batté as a liaison to help the Alliance get acclimated. She connected me to other guild members, let me borrow quilts to hang in the office, volunteered to help with events and projects and even helped us demonstrate our Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories project during the taping of her own Q.S.O.S. interview with Alice Helms in 2011. Micki became my go-to resource for all things quilt, but more than that, she became a friend and a mentor. She and her husband Tom embraced our family: attending dance recitals, soccer games, and birthday parties and sharing their friends with us. Micki came to our rescue during some tough times and brought sunshine (and cake) in. For all this, I am so grateful to her. Be sure to wish her a Happy Birthday with me on December 14!


Make your own donation to the Quilt Alliance in honor of someone who has given you the gift of quilting. Complete information here.

Giving Tuesday and Thank You Thursday!

“Remember Me” by Sue Rivers. Click image to visit this Quilt Index record.

Quilts are one of the things we leave behind, and it is the Quilt Alliance’s mission to make SURE those quiltmakers are remembered. Help us further that mission on Giving Tuesday ant through December as you pay tribute to someone special to you. See the Thank You Thursday Tributes posted to date.

Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation as a global day dedicated to giving back. In contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is about coming together to give generously and then sharing your giving story to inspire others via the social media tag #GivingTuesday.

This year on Giving Tuesday (and up to December 31), make a generous donation to the Quilt Alliance in honor of someone who has given you the gift of quilting: a teacher, a family member, or a friend who showed you how or inspired you to quilt.

 1. Make a donation of at least $25. Make a secure online donation via our website.


2. Email your Giving Tuesday Tribute to Send us text (200 words or less) – a story, a poem, a dedication–it’s up to you, and attach photo in jpg or png format.

3. We’ll share your tribute in our Thank You Thursday blog and eBurst posts starting on December 4th and running through December 31. Please share these posts on your social media sites with the tags #GivingTuesday, #ThankYouThursday, and  #QuiltAlliance to share  your support of our mission to document, preserve and share the rich history of quilts and their makers.

Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar!


And thanks to a very generous donation from a family foundation who believes in our work, every contribution made during the Giving Tuesday project will be matched dollar for dollar.  Let me repeat that ; ) –every contribution made during the Giving Tuesday project will be matched dollar for dollar!

Click here to make a secure donation now.

ALittleThankYou_890x806And, if that’s not enough to motivate you, as an added incentive and thank you to our supporters, our generous Quilt Alliance board members have offered these exciting products for our End-of-Year Giveaway! All members and donors who make a donation/membership payment of at least $25 by December 31, will automatically be entered to win one of the following prizes:

Don’t delay, give today:


Quilts for the holidays.

I’m enjoying some quiet, and not-so-quiet-: ), family time this season. I hope you are too. The subject of the holidays comes up fairly regularly in our Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) interviews and I thought it would be fun to share images and excerpts from a few of my favorites with you. Please write in with your own favorites from the Q.S.O.S. collection. We’d love to hear from you!

Kay Butler, interviewed by Heather Gibson in Dover, Delaware on December 16, 2000 for the Delaware Q.S.O.S. sub-project.

Heather Gibson: Okay, tell me about the quilt you brought today.

Kay Butler: Okay, this is a Christmas Mystery Quilt. We had a Mystery Quilt planned to do in our guild. There were four girls in the group. We were to select the fabric that we wanted, place it in a brown bag, and then pass it on to the next person in the group. And the next person would do a little bit more work, and it’s sort of like a “round robin” idea. And so I started this endeavor with a visit to a quilt shop here in Dover called Rose Valley Quilt Shop. I bought all of my fabrics there, in the Amish Shop, from a very dear friend, Rachel Hershberger. And I had in my head that I wanted a Christmas design. Normally I’m a real purple-lover, a real purple fan. But I thought, ‘I’m going to break from tradition here. I’m going to force myself to think in a different color realm here.’ And I chose what you see here on the end is called the “zinger” fabric. A lot of the quilters will buy a zinger fabric, and they will pull from that zinger fabric the various colors that are in there, like the reds and the greens and the golds that you see. So I bought the fabric. And in the brown bag we also include a journal. Each lady includes a journal, and they write the story of their lives in the journal. And what’s taking place in their lives, if they’re having difficulty with that step of the project that they’ve been doing. And that also documents the quilt and tells a little bit more about the quilt. It was interesting.

Liz Joe interviewed by Herb Morehead in Houston, Texas on November 6, 2011 for the International Quilt Festival Q.S.O.S. sub-project.

Liz Joe (LJ): The quilt I brought to show today is called “Wise Men Still Seek Him”. I made it to enter into a contest but it was an art festival that was sponsored by our church with a Christmas theme. The name of the show was ‘The Manger, the Magi, and the Majesty of Christ’. Every piece of artwork that was entered had to fit one of those themes and I chose the magi, the wise men. I should say, this was an art show, not a quilt show. This is the fourth year in a row I’ve entered something. It’s always been the only quilt in the show.

Becky Goldsmith interviewed by Jana Hawley in Houston, Texas on October 23, 1999 for the International Quilt Festival Q.S.O.S. sub-project.

Becky Goldsmith (BG): This is a quilt that was designed to be published in a book that my partner and I wrote for That Patchwork Place. I made this quilt and it ended up being on the cover of the book.

Jana Hawley (JH): Oh my God. That’s impressive. Have you made lots of quilts?

BG: Yes I have. I started quilting in–I can’t remember the year–probably in 1986 when my youngest child was about– no, it would be 1985, because he was not quite a year old. We had moved. My husband had just gotten out of graduate school and we were poverty stricken. [laughs.] And we got bunk beds for the boys because Jeff kept trying to climb out of his crib. I thought he was going to kill himself. We bought these used bunk beds and I couldn’t go out and afford to just buy the whole matching sheet sets for the bunk beds, so what I did was–I thought to myself, ‘Well I’ll make quilts for these beds.’ That morning in the paper there was printed an article that said, ‘If you want to make a quilt, make it from scraps.’ [laughs.] So that’s what I did. I didn’t research this. I didn’t think it through. I just took it as a message on high to make these quilts. [laughing.] I used up all of the scraps I had ever accumulated from garment making because I had sewn and made garments through the years. My husband was so sweet. He helped me with the cardboard template because it said to make the templates out of cardboard. I made these really long, skinny Drunkard’s Path quilts because I thought it would be easier to use on a bunk bed. They were non-functional. It’s a bad plan for a bunk bed. Quilts have a drop on the side for a reason. I didn’t know that then. [laughing.] After that, my mom got a quilt book and I borrowed it from her then I took a class. From then on, it was much easier.

Resna Ximines Hammer interviewed by Evelyn Salinger in Washington, D.C. on September 27, 2005 for the Daughters of Dorcas Q.S.O.S. sub-project.

Evelyn Salinger (ES): Good. Nice of you to come today with your things to show. Let’s start out first with your telling me what you have made here.

Resna Hammer (RH): These are two–One of the things that I am actually very passionate about is Jewish ceremonial kinds of cloths. And this is called a Challah cover and it’s used to cover bread on the Friday night dinner. This particular one also I tried to incorporate all of the holidays that would come in the certain period of time. Here this is Hanukkah, this is the symbol for Hanukkah, this is Purim, which is another one, and the pomegranates are for the High Holy Days.

ES: Do you actually use this on Friday nights yourself?

RH: We actually use it on Friday nights.

ES: Every Friday night or just on the holiday time?

RH: Just on the holiday. I have another one for Friday. I believe that the table should be beautiful. And normally what your traditional Challah covers are usually silk and they are painted on and I thought what I wanted to do and what I’ve been doing, a wonderful quilted ones that I just think enhance the day and the ceremony. This also has incorporated in it the seven species, which is in the Bible and that are things that are all incorporated with Shabbes or to do with the Sabbath. What I’ve written here in Hebrew is, it’s like, ‘For all the Miracles that You Perform for Us,’ and ‘We Thank You.’ I wanted it every Friday night to be able to see that.

If you share the Quilt Alliance’s belief that all quilts and quiltmakers deserve a spot in history, please make a contribution today to add the financial fuel we need to continue and grow. You can make a secure gift online via credit card or Paypal or download our mail-in donation form here.  Every dollar donated through December 31, 2013 will be matched by an anonymous foundation, up to $15,000.

If your are a member of this Alliance, if you have attended one of our events, if you believe in what we are doing, please make a contribution. Any amount makes a difference.

With gratitude and love,

Amy signature_firstname only

Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

What Does a Nonprofit Need Most?

Yesterday, the Quilt Alliance published it’s Video Annual Report for 2013 (watch below). I love working on this project every year because I get to see not only how much we’ve accomplished and where we’ve been, but especially who we are. This Alliance includes quiltmakers, quilt owners and collectors, quilt historians, quilt shop owners and staff, museum and historical society folk, quilt industry representatives, archivists, teachers, lecturers, oral history buffs (to name a few), and our love of quilts and commitment to quiltmakers brings us together.

Leading off our video annual report is the voice of longtime Alliance member Michelle Flamer, a quiltmaker and an attorney from Philadelphia. In the video, Michelle reads the artist’s statement for her TWENTY contest quilt, titled “Blest Be the Threads that Bind.”

Whether we are old, young, black, white, “plain,” “English,” rich, poor, or quilt traditional or modern, we are all quilters united by that desire to create something wonderful from a lifeless pile of fabric! Blest Be the Threads that Bind celebrates Quilt Alliance’s twenty years of service to the American quilting community, a community that transcends time and endures even now in the 21st Century.


75. “Blest Be the Threads that Bind”
Michelle Flamer
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Our members and the people we document through Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) and Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! interviews, and our partners and contributors with whom we work on the Quilt Index project, come from every corner of the quilt community. That diversity is what every nonprofit needs most. It is our mission to document, preserve and share the full spectrum of what has and is happening in the quilt community today, and having members and supporters with unique perspectives in this community and different gifts to share, fuels our mission.

This year, we started the year by documenting quiltmakers at the Modern Quilt Guild’s first “QuiltCon” in Austin, Texas and finished the year at the 39th annual (!) Houston International Quilt Festival, documenting exhibiting quiltmakers and sharing our mission with attendees. Thanks to the leadership of both of these shows for supporting our mission!  Our staff and board members also made presentations and collected interviews at guilds and quilting events all over the United States, including our own Not Fade Away Conference in Herndon, Virginia in July and our Quilters Take Manhattan event in September.

We end our 20th anniversary year feeling energized by this Alliance of passionate members, volunteers, partners and colleagues, and we ask for your help raise the necessary funds to continue our work, to continue to document, preserve and share the history of our community.

Please make a contribution today to add the financial fuel we need to continue and grow. You can make a secure gift online via credit card or Paypal or download our mail-in donation form here.  Every dollar donated through December 31, 2013 will be matched by an anonymous foundation, up to $15,000.

If your are a member of this Alliance, if you have attended one of our events, if you believe in what we are doing, please make a contribution. Any amount makes a difference.

With gratitude and love,

Amy signature_firstname only

Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

Quilt Alliance Donations Matched Dollar-for-Dollar Until Year’s End!

Did you know that there are more than 30 million quilters across the globe?  It’s true!

Every day, in small towns and big cities, using tools as simple and time-honored as a needle and thread or as complex as latest computerized sewing machine, quilters all over the world are sewing quilts for the joy of the process and with the hope that the patchwork they create today might someday be numbered among the treasured antique quilts of tomorrow.  As quiltmakers, we realize that while future generations may remember us only faintly, if at all, our quilts will powerfully tell our stories.

We at the Quilt Alliance take the hopes and dreams of quiltmakers very seriously, making it our mission to document, preserve, and share the heritage of quilting by collecting the rich stories of quilts and their makers from every era.

To that end, the Quilt Alliance has some very exciting news for quilters and those interested in the art, history, creation, collection, and documentation of quilts!  Thanks to the generosity of an extraordinary anonymous foundation, all contributions made to the nonprofit Quilt Alliance between now and the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2013, will be matched up to $10,000.

That’s right, ALL donations made to Quilt Alliance from now until year-end will be matched dollar-for-dollar until we reach this $10,000 goal.

Here’s the best news for contributors like you: as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, all of the donated financial support to the Quilt Alliance is tax deductible!  That means that anything you donate during the last few weeks of 2012 can be deducted as a charity contribution when you file your taxes during the next few months!

Of course, we would love for quilters and  quilt lovers to donate a small fortune to help us reach our $10,000 goal but we’re aware that even our most enthusiastic supporters may not be able to make big donations.  That’s why this is such a special opportunity! Between now and year’s end, every donation of every size, does double-duty, going twice as far so that the Quilt Alliance may continue its very important work, linking the worlds of patchwork, scholarship, and public interest.

Please consider helping us in any way you can within the next couple of weeks — $5.00, $15.00, $25.00 or more!  As we head toward our target, anything you contribute will be doubly appreciated and every gesture of generosity will go twice as in helping the Quilt Alliance celebrate the history of quilting and insuring that quilts past, present, and future will be documented and preserved for the generations of tomorrow.

You can support Quilt Alliance using online forms or by printing and mailing our downloadable forms that are available by


Time is running out for you to essentially double your contribution and help to support the Quilt Alliance with a matching donation from our anonymous donor.  Please log into our website and help us continue our important work, today!

Money Photo Credit: