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Piecemakers' Guild Mystery Quilt

About the designer,  Penny Pennington

I asked Penny to share some information about herself and how she got interested in quilting. She is sharing her Piecemakers' Guild Mystery Quilt pattern with us HERE.

My grandmother emigrated to the United States from Krakow Poland. Widowed at a young age, in a strange country, with two small children, and speaking almost no English, Anna Rakowski opened a dry goods store in Hamtramck, Michigan. When I was small, my mom would share her memories of the fabric salesmen that would come to the store and teach my grandmother about different fabrics, how to measure them, and what to tell and teach her customers. Grandma used remnants of fabrics from her store to make quilts for her children, not for pretty but for warm. As a small girl I remember playing with Gramma's treadle sewing machine (which now has a place of honor in my home in California) and Gramma and my Mom teaching me how to quilt and sew. My own quilting started with blankies for my dolls (and for the kittens on my Auntie's farm).

My mom, Helen Pennington, was an accomplished seamstress, making all of her own clothes and many of mine. I rebelled against "homemade" and moved away from quilting and sewing for many years. I found myself drawn back to "handwork" in the mid 1970s (it's amazing what changing the words can do to my appreciation for something ;-). I came back to quilting before rotary cutters, cutting mats, strip piecing, and an overabundance of quilting books. I learned how to quilt by drawing around templates, drafting patterns, cutting patches out with scissors, and hand piecing. I'm grateful for those experience because, as a result, I am able to draft my own patterns to the size I want, and personalize my quilt tops.

Today I belong to the Diablo Valley Quilters in Danville, California. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Danville Congregational Church. Many nationally known quilters are members of this guild. I also belong to Piecemakers, an on-site quilt guild at my place of employment. Piecemakers has more than 60 members (we have about 9000 people onsite) and we meet every Monday at noon. I enjoy foundation piecing, design patterns, participate in round robins, design and make quilts for my family and friends, and participate in community outreach projects. I have an old Elna Grasshopper (one month older than me, the machine was born on March 15, 1951) that "lives" under the extra desk in my office. At lunchtime I can close my office door and piece blocks and quilts. My machine at home is a Pfaff 7530 (that I love!!!). I continue to take quilting classes to broaden my experience and to learn new techniques.

Penny Pennington


Penny Pennington, 2002
Penny's pattern is free for your use as an individual, but please contact Penny if you wish to use it for more than just your own use. It should not be re-printed in any form without permission.

We'd like to give a big Thank You to Penny Pennington and her Piecemakers Guild in California for sharing this mystery quilt pattern with all of us.

Penny is happy to allow guilds and groups to use her pattern, but PLEASE email Penny for her guidelines for use. And, she'd enjoy hearing how it's being used, too.


Susan Druding