On this day in 1863, Winifred Sweet Black Bonfils, an American journalist and reporter, was born in Chilton, Wisconsin. She famously staged a fainting on the street in San Francisco to test the city’s emergency response. Ambulance services proved to be wanting and this caused a major scandal. She dressed as a boy and was the first reporter on the line to cover the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, and in 1906, she covered the San Francisco earthquake. At her death in 1936, her body lay in state at the San Francisco city hall.

Violet Christopherson of Marinette, Wisconsin, made this String quilt using parts of her mother’s and father’s wedding clothes as well as other family members’ garments. The owner inherited the quilt from his mother, Violet’s sister, and documented the quilt during the Wisconsin Quilt History Project.  Violet’s family was one of the few who survived the Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin in 1871. Her grandmother, the family matriarch, knew a great fire was coming and she had the children go through a firedrill every day. Read how they were able to survive this historic fire, which killed between 1,500-2,500 people, in this Quilt Index record.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at: qsos@quiltalliance.org

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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