My name is Susan E.Wildemuth (S.E.W.), but you can call me Sue. I was born in Albia, Iowa, grew up in Davenport, Iowa, and 25 plus years ago I married a farmer and moved to a grain farm east of Geneseo, Illinois where we raised our son and dogs Spud, Max, and Nicky. I love my family, friends, animals, nature, reading, genealogy, walking, writing, research, refinishing furniture, history of all kinds, quilts, and quilting.
Quilting came in to my life back in 1985 when son and I went to the bank in Geneseo, Illinois. The lines at the teller windows were long and son had the wiggles so we sat down at the couch and waited for the lines to thin. On the coffee table in front of us was a tractor book which drew B.C.’s attention and a local community center brochure featuring an evening hand-pieced, hand-quilting sampler quilt class, which caught mine. I signed up for the class with the hopes quilting, unlike the oil painting classes I had been taking for the last three years, would fulfill a creative ache in me.
On the second night of class, the quilt teacher said, “I will be able to tell you, halfway through this class, who will continue to quilt once this class is done,” and then she turned to me and said, “I don’t have to wait until then to tell you, you love this don’t you?” I put away my oil paints and picked up an extra package of quilting needles, I had found what I had been looking for.
My interest in quilt history surfaced after I attended the Illinois Quilt Research Project at the old Colony School in Bishop Hill, Illinois. I was fortunate enough to meet a senior quilter and quilt collector with two laundry baskets overflowing with antique quilts and she knew the provenance of each one of those quilts. There is truth in the adage “When student is ready the teacher will come.” Not only did she impress upon me the importance of documenting quilts, but she was the first person to introduce me to the concept of dating quilts by the quilt pattern, color, style, and fabrics they contained. Meeting this woman, whose name I never learned, changed my life, I become interested in researching, writing, and sharing quilt and quilt history stories.
Over twenty years have come and gone, the student is ready to become the teacher so please make yourself a cup of tea and take a few moments out of the hustle and bustle of your day to visit with me on my web site and learn more about Illinois quilt history. I hope you come away with information which will inspire you on your own quilt history journey and if you want to create a state quilt history web site of your own – I say -- WONDERFUL!
From my end of the road to yours – I bid you peace and wish you all things good.
Yours in quilt history,