Quilt Show at Ida Culver next Sunday

[This is such a FANTASTIC idea. What a tribute.]

From the Ravenna Blog email inbox earlier this week (emphasis mine):

My Mom, Lorraine Plummer, is an 87-year-old resident at Ida Culver House Ravenna. For over 20 years she has enjoyed making quilts (about 65 of them!), and has given them away to family and close friends. We are gathering about 30 of those quilts for a show at Ida Culver House Ravenna [2315 NE 65th St] on Sunday, October 24 at 3pm.

Original Star quilt by Lorraine Plummer (also pictured)

About The Artist

Lorraine Plummer was born in Spokane, Washington in 1922, and lived most of her adult life in the Puget Sound area. She and her first husband had five children, and she happily gained two more through her marriage to her second husband. She was widowed twice, in 1970 and in 1990.

Once Lorraine’s children were mostly grown, she enjoyed the novelty of leisure time, during which she dabbled with playing the piano and painting before pursuing the making of braided rugs.

“My sister-in-law, Gertrude Hult, taught me how to braid rugs,” Lorraine recalled. For the material, I tried to use 100% wool coats that I would buy at second hand stores. I would tear them apart, wash the fabric, cut in 2” strips and sew those strips together. I would braid the strips, then lace the braids together, laying it out to form an ever-growing oval. I don’t know how many of those I made, maybe four or five. Like quilts, rugs are a chance to use color, and that’s what I love.”

Dresden Plate quilt by Lorraine Plummer

In the early 1980s – at the age of 60 –  Lorraine found an even better outlet for her talent for “using color” when she began making quilts, starting with a wall hanging. She doesn’t really remember how she got started, but remembers that one of her early quilts was for a camper bed. When her second husband retired and they bought a camper, it had an odd-sized bed that no regular quilt would fit. So Lorraine decided to make a quilt for it. She bought used clothing and cut squares from it to make that quilt. It was tied, not quilted.

Later she would do the hand-quilting for two or three quilts, but decided she enjoyed designing and piecing quilts much more than the quilting itself. So Lorraine designed and pieced all of her quilts, but hired machine-quilters to quilt most of them.

Jewel Box quilt by Lorraine Plummer, machine quilted by Betty Craig

Lorraine has now made about 65 quilts, and has given most of them to family members and close friends. At least ten of her great-grandchildren have been welcomed with baby quilts, and several weddings have been marked by gifts of quilts. Lorraine’s most prolific year was 2004, when she made ten quilts, eight of them queen-sized! She made seven quilts in 2009 (three were baby quilts), and has completed three so far in 2010.

Lorraine’s family is happy to bring some thirty of these quilts together for this unique show.


A king-sized thank you to Marsha, one of Lorraine’s children, for providing the information (in particular, the “About the Artist” section) and quilt pictures for this post.