Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Greetings from Pennsylvania!

The adventure began with a gift of antique quilts.  My friend Lu visited me while I cared for my sick husband.  She entered our house with an armful of old quilts.  "These are for you." she said. "You quilt.  I think you will appreciate these and give them a good home."  I was stunned.  Two of the quilts were family heirlooms that Lu had inherited from her friend and mother figure, Hilda Kromer Koch.
A photo from the early twentieth century of the Kromer family.  
Hilda is the little girl to the far right.
Although neither of us realized it at the time, Lu's act of kindness changed the path of my life.  Although I had a background in history and research, nothing really prepared me for the exciting field of quilt history.  
Lu and Hilda
My name is Michele McLaughlin and the old textiles I've collected constitute the center of my small business.  I  write programs and lectures about these quilts and more importantly--the lives of the makers.   The business has blossomed during the past few years and I've been hired to speak not only at quilt guilds, but also museums, historical societies, and universities.

I've been asked at these programs if I have a blog so today I am launching "Pennsylvania Piecemaker".  I'll use this site to share my adventures in quilt collecting, women's history, and to spotlight local events and people in my field.  
Forest Scene On the Lehigh River by Karl Bodmer, 1832 

Pennsylvania is a state with a complex and rich history; our cultures are often misunderstood or oversimplified.  One of my goals with this blog is to correlate how our unique quilts reflect our unique diversity.

My home base is in the Lehigh Valley.  It is a two hour drive to NYC, an hour outside Philadelphia, and ninety minutes from Lancaster.

I look to forward to sharing some of the stories and the many quilts I've collected.  Please feel free to comment on the blog or raise questions.  If you know of any event or person that you are interested in sharing on this blog, please feel free to contact me at mickiemclaug58@yahoo.com
Up close image of quilt made by Mary "Mimi" Kromer (1880-1947) circa 1930
One of many blocks Hilda Kromer Koch created for a redwork quilt, circa 1920
This post is gratefully dedicated to Lu Price and in memory of Hilda Kromer Koch (1910-1997).


  1. I've just added you to my list of followed blogs on bloglovin so I won't miss a word. You picked a great name!

  2. WOOhooooooooo best of luck on your new quilty adventure, my friend! Go forth and ... make piece! :)

  3. Love the name of your blog. Enjoyed this first entry and look forward to more.

  4. I recognize a certain favorite block!

  5. Beautiful, informative, and the promise of much more to come.