Texas Star by Isal Frazier (1976-1999). Image courtesy of The Quilt Index.


Red White and Blue Quilts

By Marian Ann J. Montgomery, Ph.D. Curator of Clothing and Textiles,
The Museum of Texas Tech University

The colors of red, white and blue dominate our summertime festivities so I thought it might be nice to look at two 19th century red, white and blue quilts in the collection of the The Museum of Texas Tech University. The first is a pattern with several names, which is not uncommon. Its names include New York Beauty, Crown of Thorns and Rocky Mountain Road. Quilt historians like to call the quilt what the family called it, but also will refer to it with the common name. At the Museum of Texas Tech University we like to call this one, Rocky Mountain Road.

Rocky Mountain Road Quilt, pieced in 1858 by an unknow quilter.
Quilted by Mary Ann Nelson McNeese (Mrs. H.J) in 1898.
Gift of Mrs. J.C.Morton. TTU-H1969-061. Photo courtesy of the Museum of Texas Tech University.

This quilt was pieced in 1858 and quilted in 1898. It is unknown who pieced this very difficult pattern. It came with a family history that it was pieced for the donor’s great-grandmother, the mother of Andrew Nelson, a hero of the Alamo.  But it doesn’t list her name. Because he was an Alamo hero, he is listed on the Texas State Historical Association website and his mother is named there as Elizabeth Mansfield Nelson (Mrs. John). 

Mrs. Nelson came to Texas from Tennessee with her children after the death of her husband.  Interestingly this pattern was very popular in Tennessee, but it is likely that it was pieced in Texas sometime after she settled in the state. After receiving the top as a gift at the age of 4, Mary Ann Nelson McNeese (Mrs. H. J.) quilted it in 1898. She gave it to Mrs. J. C. Morton at the time of her marriage.

Star of the East Quilt, 1860-1890. Created for Reverend Marshall's family who iived in Colorado.
Gift of Mr and Mrs. Yancey Price.
TTU-H1976-133-002. Photo courtesy of Museum of Texas Tech University.

The second quilt, Star of the East Quilt, was made circa 1860-1890 for Rev. Marshall’s family who the family history states lived in Colorado and that he was a missionary to Egypt. The arrangement of these blocks is interesting in that there is no sashing, but the Star of the East or Circle Saw blocks have a diagonal arrangement of blue blocks between them. The block is shown in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns as #3808. The quilt has a marvelous floral swag border, which must have been smashing before the red fabric deteriorated.

Several of the mid-nineteenth century quilts in the Museum’s collections have lots of red fabric. Research into why these red fabrics have disintegrated so much would be interesting. It is likely that it had to do with the acidic content of the dyes used to create the red color. Still, these two red, white and blue quilts are striking.

Learn more about the Museum of Texas Tech University Textile Collections.

Click here for related articles from the Museum of Texas Tech University Textile Collections.



On Monday you saw the Exuberant Appliqué of Alethea Ballard (click here to see those quilts). She also created several works depicting Frida Kahlo. Take a look. Remember to visit The Maverick Quilter at Alethea's website. Don't miss her show at Bay Quilts in El Cerrito, California through June 25, 2019.


On Monday we showed you the beginning of Claudia Pfeil's new quilt. Now let's see the back of the quilt as it is being completed. Be sure to come back on Friday for the full quilt reveal. Again, don't miss Claudia in Show 2413 (if great tips and laughter are on your To-Do List).

Did you miss The Beginning?



Last week I posted a series of questions to the quilters who lurk out in the world...quietly enjoying their stitching. I decided to give voice to all of us customers and maybe take a look at what is going on in the quilting world. By no means was this an official tabulation or census for some big brother entity who is keeping track of us quilters. No, this was just for me...as I have an inquisitive mind about things in my world.

So, here are the results as paraphrased by me! I received over 100 responses to my questions and I appreciate each and every one of you who took the time to answer. I read each response (sorry I couldn't answer each one personally) and kept a running tally for each question...not only the answer, but the commentary that many of you left with your answers.

From over 100 responses only one, thank you Renee...was under 40! Now, this could be that the demographics of The Daily Blog readership are aging, or it could be we need to do more to attract the younger generation into this soul satisfying hobby. It also makes me think that life is busier for this age group and their financial hobby outlay goes more to day-to-day expenses. But, maybe the industry needs to look at what might attract this age group to simpler, faster...and...and maybe classes that include a bit of emotional respite.

With that said, more of you like to figure patterns out for yourselves rather than take classes. It may be that we all have had many classes and those are best for enticing new quilters to the fold. On the flip side, you do like to take classes if there is a new technique! Especially one that makes a quilt easier or faster to make.

As for bed size or small...almost split down the middle. We are still making quilts for family and friends and those tend to be on the larger size, but smalls allow us to practice or expand a new technique. Many, many of you are still having a love affair with your machines but your day is split. Machine work during the day and handwork in front of the TV at night :)

Travel for classes or no? About equal. Many like to travel to the "high-end" classes but finances, physical and family responsibility keep just as many at home. I wonder if local shops offered "retreat" like classes that are local if that would be popular?

The next question was interesting, brick 'n mortar or online? All of you like your brick 'n mortar. But, what leads you to turning on your computer is proximity to a quilt shop. And, if you have a quilt shop near you they might not carry what you need. But, your support for the brick 'n mortar was evident. We like to touch and see our fabrics/tools but totally understand that any one shop cannot carry it all.

There was more of an emotional response to the next question Kit or No Kit. No Kit was answered as in, "NO KIT!!!" LOL. More of you were in the No Kit category, and if you did buy a kit, it was as a starting point and you mixed it up???!!!

More of you quilt alone for a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons I loved was when you quilted in a group there was rarely any stitching accomplished, LOL. Isn't that the truth...we love our groups for the emotional support and camaraderie, but we rarely do it to actually make some progress or finish a quilt!

And, as you might have guessed the answer...more of us quilt for the sheer joy, even if we know where the quilt is going. One of the responders to this question, Bernadette, in her answer summed it up perfectly... "Liz Porter once said that most of her quilts would probably be donated to charity after she was gone from the planet. I love that idea: holding my work close now for trunk shows and display, but releasing it to the homeless/needy/friends and relatives after I die."

Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to make this inquisitive mind happy...Oh I hope we continue this journey together because it is a wonderful life!

Stay tuned and travel along with us on Quilt Roadies.

Click here for Anna's blog.


This quilt, Rafa by Marcia Baraldi and Valeria Baraldi of Brazil, has a subject you just don't see every day (unless maybe you're Pam Holland). Actually, the giraffe might be wearing Pam's glasses...

Small Wall Quilts - Pieced

Quilted on a stationary machine, applipieced, hand appliquéd, machine appliquéd, crystals, dimensional work, free-motion quilting, interfacing.

Design Source: "Bowtie Ben" by Punch Studio



Claudia Pfeil has been working on a new quilt. This award-winning quilter always gets our attention. So today we are showing you how the quilt began. Join us on Wednesday for more sneak peeks and then the reveal on Friday. I will give you a spoiler alert. The ending quilt looks a lot different than this would make you think....See you Wednesday. (Don't miss Claudia in Show 2413. Lots to learn and lots of laughs.)


These look a bit like cactus flowers. What do you think this block might be called? Play the game and find out.



These turned wood seam rippers are hand crafted in Arizona and come in a colorway for every personality!

Which one says *you*?

Shop Now


Give your sewing machine the gift of long life.

Hayley at WeAllSew.com has tips for cleaning and oiling your sewing machine.

Click here to go to tutorial.


Fiber artist Paula Entin creates original art quilts inspired by her life. This beautiful quilt, Floral Explosion, (48" x 56") delighted us with its colors and unique use of embellishments in the flowers and creeping vine.

Paula used fused appliqué, hand appliqué, machine appliqué, beading, embellishments, free-motion quilting, and machine piecing.

TQS BOM 2019 "SIZZLE" by Becky Goldsmith

SIZZLE Quilt - Warm

SIZZLE Quilt - Cool


Learn about Apliquick appliqué tools!
Watch Show 1912
with Rosa Rojas (free!)

Apliquick Rods

Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors

 Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers