Happy Mother’s Day!

We are so proud to conclude our week-long Mother’s Day StoryShare with these special messages today, including a beautiful tribute from two of our founders. May all who mother, know they are appreciated, and all who miss their mothers, take comfort in memories. We’re planning to repeat this special project next year, so start scanning those photos! Join the Quilt Alliance today to ensure that stories like these will be preserved for future generations to come!

Karey Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes

Left to right: Karey Patterson Bresenhan, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, Jewel Pearce Patterson and Helen Pearce O’Bryant

Nancy and I are two of the founders of the Alliance, but we probably would never have gotten involved with quilts or helped to build the quilting industry or helped to found any non-profit quilt organization—much less four!—if it were not for the two ladies pictured here with us. Our mothers were sisters and wonderful quilters in their own right. My mama, Jewel Pearce Patterson, is on Nancy’s left and Nancy’s mother, Helen Pearce O’Bryant, is on Jewel’s left. Together the four of us founded the International Quilt Association (IQA).

The mothers were there at the family quilting bee when we learned to quilt from their mother, our Granny, Ella Glaeser Pearce. The quilt was my wedding quilt, the top of which was pieced by Granny’s mother, our Great Grandmother Karoline Uttech Glaeser, and four of her daughters came together that weekend. It was a wonderful introduction to quilting. The mothers (and much of the time that, collectively, was exactly the way we thought of them) taught us that when “the ox was in the ditch,” everybody in the family was expected to pitch in and get him out! So we learned to pitch in, and pitch in we did, every time it seemed that quilts and quilting needed help.

With the mothers’ encouragement, we even took quilts to Congress and  testified when American-made quilts seemed in danger. When we did the Texas Quilt Search, the mothers often flew with us to the next city where we were holding a Quilt Day and were wonderful help. The mothers were often surprised at the projects we undertook, but they never once failed to support us with unfailing love and appreciation. We were lucky girls who knew the joy of growing into friends with their mothers.


Bradley Mitchell, QA Board Member

Bradley Mitchell’s mom Irene.

My mother, Irene Elizabeth Mitchell… first of her name and fierce mother of 4 dragons 🐉 . Irene resides in Yorkshire, England… approximately 3270 miles from my current home in Chicago, IL.  I have learnt so much from this strong lady, but the jewel of her imparted wisdom is empathy and unconditional love. This photograph was captured in 2016, on a trip to Milano, Italy 🇮🇹. Happy Mother’s day to you boo, and to all mothers out there raising and supporting children to be the change they want to see in the world.


QA Board Member and Treasurer, Lisa Brehm Ellis

Lisa Brehm Ellis with her mom, Delores Soderquist Brehm, August 1959.

My mom has a generous heart, is always upbeat, and never has a negative thing to say about another person. She taught me to always see the positive, dream big, and make the world a better place by building others up.