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.