Since 1993, the Quilt Alliance has been committed to documenting, preserving, and sharing the stories of quilts and quiltmakers. We care about keeping quiltmaking alive, but also celebrating its history. We shared this passion with Quilters Newsletter Magazine, the grandmother of all quilt magazines, in print since Bonnie Leman began the publication as a black and white newsletter produced out of her home in 1969. We at the Quilt Alliance were saddened to hear that F+W, the magazine’s parent company, announced that the magazine would cease publication.


Quilter’s Newsletter, September 1973. Michigan State University Museum Research Collection, courtesy of Primedia, Inc. Image from Quilt Treasures, a partner project of the Quilt Alliance, Michigan State University Museum, and Matrix, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU.

I admittedly don’t read all the quilt magazines. But QNM was one I paid attention to in large part because it cared about quilt history. It regularly published features that celebrated quilt heritage, quilt documentation projects, museum exhibitions, and summaries of quilt scholarship. The magazine, like the Quilt Alliance, perceived the stories of the quilts and quiltmakers of the past as integral to quiltmaking’s future. I was lucky enough to publish a few times in QNM, and always felt honored that a popular publication with large and faithful readership would feature articles by a historian like me. And that’s part of QNM’s legacy.

QNM is part of our shared quilt history which the Quilt Alliance aims to preserve. The magazine was instrumental in the late twentieth-century quilt revival, not just through its publication, but through its outreach into the burgeoning world of quilt enthusiasts and its leadership in the quilt industry.  For example, QNM sent a touring Quiltmobile around the country in 1976, exhibiting quilts and teaching quilting, which no doubt helped fuel the quiltmaking excitement surrounding the American Bicentennial (we here at the Quilt Alliance are inspired by this… we’ve had our eye out for a camper to drive around the country recording quilt stories). These stories are worth saving, but we can’t do it alone.


QNM’s Quiltmobile, 1976. Courtesy of Bonnie Leman and Mary Austin. Image from Quilt Treasures, a partner project of the Quilt Alliance, Michigan State University Museum, and Matrix, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU

In 2002, Quilt Treasures—a partner project of the Quilt Alliance, Michigan State University Museum, and Matrix, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU—interviewed Bonnie Leman. Our partners created a mini-documentary and web portrait, but the technology supporting this presentation is out of date. watch an excerpt of Bonnie recalling the origins of Quilters Newsletter from her Quilt Treasures portrait.[space height=”10″]
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Like Quilt Treasures, our oral history project Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (QSOS) is now in need of conversion to a new platform, so we can continue to fulfill our mission of not only documenting, but also preserving and sharing quilt stories. Please join us as a member today or make a donation. Consider it a subscription to our mission, one that requires fuel and tending to document and sustain our community for years to come. We hope you can help.

SmuckerPosted by Janneken Smucker
President of the Board of Directors, 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:

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!