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Special Thanks to Joyce Foley for compiling the guild's history!

In May of 2001 a group of like-minded men and women decided quilts and quilting should be a component of Ohio’s 200th Birthday celebrations in 2003. The group soon expanded to 50 quilters. Experts from across Ohio, the small towns, rural areas and metropolitan communities put their collective experience and ideas together to plan programs, projects, events and exhibits. The name Ohio Quilts!! was chosen, a logo was developed, responsibilities were assigned, research completed and they jumped headlong into “piecing together” a “Patchwork Network” that provided information to quilters and non-quilters alike from all over Ohio about quilting history, traditions, opportunities and resources.

Founding members were Paul and Donna McDade, Art and Carol Ginter, Jan Nease, Joyce Foley, Linda Pumphrey, Carole Robinson, Judy Smith, Judy Everett, Janet White, Donna Penn, Melanie Warman, Barb Harwood, Eva Bradshaw, Cathy Janes and Lyn Moser.

After one year of planning and two years of programs and information gathering, the 2003 Ohio State Fair Quilt Show was put on, possibly the largest ever on the North American continent, with almost 1300 quilts displayed at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus August 1-17, 2003. (They gave us the entire building those weeks for free.)

It was decided to expand to include members from all over the state. Columbus became the center of activities since it is centrally located. In September of 2004 approval was given for the mission statement: Ohio Quilts!! Is a community of quilt makers and quilt enthusiasts dedicated to the education of the public and our members through celebrating, producing, preserving and promoting quilts in the state of Ohio. Through various projects it is hoped to educate Ohioans about the rich legacy of quilting in Ohio, from our traditional roots to the art quilt movement. Non-quilters of all ages will be encouraged to pick up a needle and learn to quilt.

October 4, 2005 Ohio Quilts!! became incorporated in the state of Ohio as Ohio Quilts!! Inc. Annual memberships, at a cost of $15, were charged to provide for funds to cover expenses and the first Annual Meeting was held in October 2005.

First Board Members

  • Elected Officers:

    • President Donna McDade

    • Vice President-Jan Nease

    • Secretary -Carol Ginter

    • Treasurer-Joyce Foley

    • Communications Director-Janet White

    • Education Director-Linda Pumphrey

    • Membership Director-Cathy Janes

  • Members-at-large:
    Judy Everett, Art Ginter, Paul McDade, Carole Robinson, Judy Smith, Eva Bradshaw, Melanie Warman, and Barb Harwood.


Past Activities of Ohio Quilts!!



  • The 2003 Ohio State Fair Quilt Show was put on by Ohio Quilts!!, possibly the largest ever on the North American continent, with almost 1300 quilts displayed at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus August 1-17, 2003. (They gave us the entire building those weeks for free.)


  • Many hours were spent getting the word out to all 88 counties of Ohio asking them for at least six quilts from their individual counties. Keeping track of this large number of quilts, picking them up, returning them, labeling them to be in the right county area, and hanging them, etc. was a tremendous undertaking.


  • Working with a mill at no cost to them, the Bicentennial Quilt Commission was provided with 2,000 18” x 20” muslin blocks with the official Bicentennial logo on them. This was used as publicity for the upcoming Bicentennial. Anyone wanting a block got one for free by calling a 1-800 number. Some of the quilts in #5 below had this block incorporated in them.


  • Individuals from all 88 counties were asked to produce a quilt block showing a significant place or event in their individual counties. The creation of a quilt, using these blocks, was assembled by a northwestern Ohio quilt guild was overseen by Ohio Quilts!!.  The quilt was hung in the 4-H building in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio Quilts!! provided the display case.


  • Ohio Quilts!! assisted in producing a commemorative book, “200 Years & 88 Stories, Ohio 1803-2003” using these blocks.


  • A quilt challenge asking participants to use a block that is traditionally connected with Ohio was held. This was a judged competition. Over 250 beautiful quilts were entered and the winning quilt is now in the possession of the Ohio Historical Society. The winner won $1,000.00.


  • Ohio Quilts!! worked with a local 4-H group who ran a quilt projects booth for children. Governor Robert Taft visited that booth during the first week of the show. The work done to put on this wonderful show was accomplished by volunteers. The total value of the volunteer time and travel was approximately $54,000. The Ohio State Fair “Best Exhibit” Award was given to Ohio Quilts!!


  • ​A series of print and e-Newsletters were produced beginning in 2002, which were distributed widely. Ohio Quilts!! Logo pins were sold for “seed” money to cover the cost of postage, materials, insurance, etc. In 2003, an Ohio Quilts!! Newsletter was printed which provided information about the quilting resources, local quilting and sewing resource information, “how to” articles, interviews with Ohio Quilters, quilt show dates, new tools, etc. In between newsletter publications, Constant Contact provided up to the minute information and quilting activities at the push of an e-mail button.


  • In 2003 a “4-H Project Idea Starter” was prepared. It was submitted to the Ohio State University Extension Service’s 4-H Council for approval. Two hundred and fifty eight dollars ($258.00) was spent for this project which showed a new curriculum tool that explored the history of Ohio through quilts. It demonstrated our interest in introducing quilting to the youth of our state. Getting youth involved in quilting and quilting history will be a continuing thrust.


  • In March, 2003 a special Bicentennial-themed baby quilts was made and presented at hospitals across the state to the first baby born on National Quilting Day. The project was called “Happy Birth Day Bicentennial Baby!” and over 90 quilts were made.


  • On June 9-29, 2003, a “Quilters Hugs Exhibit” was held in Columbus, Ohio. More than 30 groups from across Ohio volunteered to display Quilts representative of the quilts they make in various service projects.


  • In September 2003, $1,000 was donated to the biannual Dairy Barn’s Quilt National Show in Athens’s Ohio. In 2006, $250 was donated to the show, in 2008 $100.00 was donated and in 2010 $100 was donated.


  • In August 2004 a “Bolt to Bed” contest was held at the Ohio State Fair. Three teams started in the morning with fabric from a bolt provided to them, making a quilt to be finished by the end of the day. Three bed-ready crib quilts were made and they were donated to the service project of the team’s choice. This provided the opportunity of presenting a “quilting demonstration” the entire day for interested parties.



  • In 2005, a charge of $15.00 for annual memberships in Ohio Quilts!! began to provide for funds to cover expenses for plans


  • In 2005 and continuing on in 2006-2010 a new quilt category at the Ohio State Fair was sponsored. It is for a first time entrant of a Quilt in the state Fair.


  • The first Annual Meeting was held in October, 2005 with a business meeting and a lecture. The Annual Meeting is now held on the last Saturday in September. Speakers at the annual meetings were:

    • 2005 Vicki Pignatelli

    • 2006 Linda Pumprey

    • 2007 Deb Strain

    • 2008 Shirley Stutz - Shirley and a workshop was held on Friday before the annual meeting.

    • 2009 Anita Shackelford - Anita gave a workshop on Friday before the annual meeting.

    • 2010 Jennifer McCain - Jennifer gave a workshop on Friday before the annual meeting.

    • 2011 Sue Spargo - Sue gave a workshop on Friday before the annual meeting.



  • In January 2006 $100.00 was donated to the 4-H Pink Ribbon Project. They purchased copies of the book “Pink Ribbon Quilts” that had directions for making pink and white Breast Cancer Quilts.


  • In July of 2006, prizes were sponsored for the best hand quilting stitch and design at the Ohio State Fair in memory of Paul McDade, a founding member of Ohio Quilts!! who died suddenly.



  • March 23-25 2007, quilt classes were held in Palestine, Ohio.


  • August 4, 2007, a “quilt study day” was cosponsored with the Midwest Quilt Study Group at the Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay, Ohio.


  • August 30, 2007 $200.00 was contributed to the Art Space Quilt Show in Lima, Ohio.


  • In September of 2007 a “postcard pen pals group” was started.


  • In November of 2007 $500.00 was donated to the American Quilt Study Group.


  • In December of 2007 an e-mail delivery system began to quickly communicate with our members.



  • In 2008 the “Quilts of Valor” project was started. Quilts were made in red, white and blue for injured soldiers returning from active duty.


  • In 2008 a bus trip was offered to Cincinnati to see the Shelburne Antique Quilt Show and the Carnegie Antique Quilt Show.


  • The first interviews for the “Quilters-Save Our Stories Project” were co-sponsored at the National Quilters Association show in Columbus in June 2008. Volunteer time and $500.00 were donated. This project preserves the oral history of living quilt makers by posting interviews on the “Alliance for American Quilts" website. Interviews are archived at the Library of Congress.

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