Meet the Members – Donna

January 27, 2011
1. Tell us about you 
I’m a retired HS English teacher. I’ve been quilting since 1985 and am becoming increasingly passionate about what I do.  I maintain a website – – and a blog –

2. When/How did you get into quilting?  

I was lucky to grow up in a house where my mom used a sewing machine and encouraged my use of it.  But I didn’t begin to quilt until 1985 – an article in a Woman’s Day magazine by Eleanor Burns started it all.  It was her “Trip Around the World” pattern, and I was sucked in. 

3. Show us a couple of your projects 

My blog is a great showcase of both finished and in process pieces.  Although I do primarily quilts, I have also worked with jackets and purses.  One of my specialties is memory quilts, many of which are “life celebration” quilts. 

4. What other activities, crafty or not, do you enjoy?  I’m an avid reader and an avid traveler – Europe, Turkey, Southeast Asia, India.  I’m missing the January meeting of the CMQG because we’ll be in Kenya.  For the past two years I’ve also been a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society. 

5. What quilt or item you’ve made are you most proud of and why?  This is almost like asking a mom which child is her favorite.  I have a quilted jacket that I’ve been wearing for years, I love the latest Moonscapes because I finally used free-motion quilting in conjunction with raw-edge applique, I love some of the quilted totes I’ve made, and I’m thrilled I paper-pieced a Mariner’s Compass. 

6. Who inspires you most in your quilting? 
1st, Eleanor Burns was my first inspiration – her books are written for the self-taught quilter.  2nd, Alex Anderson’s HGTV series also had a big impact on me. 3rd, my quilter buddy Wayne ( is a daily confidant and constant source of inspiration – we met at the Glencoe Fiber Arts Show.  4th and last, the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild – from the moment I walked into the first meeting, my quilting wheels began to churn in a different way.  

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Photo: Triangles quilt by Erika Mulvenna