Quilting for me began in 1977 at an adult education class, where I learned the basics of making a quilt. As much fun as that was, I was eager to learn about older quilts and the history of this fascinating activity. I was soon teaching small quilt-making classes at the local store, moving to larger stores as my classes grew. I was soon passing on to my students some of the history I was learning as well. Writing and then lectures became part of my quilting activities as I discovered how much fun it was to share what I was learning.

In 1998, I began to design reproduction fabric. It was a thrill to accurately reproduce beautiful 1840s prints, be able to cut into them and use them for the quilt I wanted to make. We downsized in 2012 resulting in 350 of my antique quilts going to the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, in the heart of San Diego, giving an historic quilt presence to southern California. This collection has been digitally photographed and can be viewed on line for all of you to see.


Getting to Know Mary McElwain: Quilter & Quilt Businesswoman

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Marion Public Library

Pat will take the audience back to the 1920s, and even earlier, to the start of the famous Mary McElwain Quilt shop located just over the Illinois state line as you drive north into Wisconsin. From a small corner display in her husband’s jewelry shop, her shop expanded two-fold and her customers came from near-by, including the affluent Lake Geneva homemakers, Chicago women, as well as from a distance, presidents wives and even the wife of the consul of Norway. The audience will find it amusing as well as astute to learn how Mary kept her name in public view yet we find no evidence of paid advertisements.

Registration: TQHF members $15.00/ non-members $20.00

Register here


Gallery Walk-thru of Mary McElwain quilts

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 12:00- 12:45pm Marion Public Library

Pat will discuss the quilts that were sold through Mary's shop. There is no charge for the walk-thru.