October 27, 2010

Several months ago I bumped into a fellow PVQA member in the elevator while at Festival in Long Beach. She started telling me about a project that she and a group of friends were working on, inspired by my Dolls & Dresses to Appliqué. Each member of the group was making a self-portrait Red Hat doll!

It wasn’t until the October PVQA meeting that I had a chance to see the completed quilt. So exciting!! It was red-hat-letter day for me, as there’s nothing better than seeing what others have done with your designs.


How darling! I didn’t know a lot about the Red Hat Society, so I asked them to send me some information about it.

The Red Hat Cats, who created this self-portrait quilt from your book, is a local chapter of the Red Hat Society. Two of us purchased your book at the last PVQA show, and the members worked from the books together to create the blocks in the quilt.

The Red Hat Society-Fun and Friendship After Fifty-is a “disorganization” of women. Sue Ellen Cooper, the founder and Exalted Queen Mother was inspired by the “When I am an Old Woman” poem written by Jenny Joseph. The very first Red Hat, given to a friend of hers who was turning 50, is now in the Smithsonian.

We get together to have fun, and we are very good at it. Our chapter meets once a month to sew together, and we have monthly field trips (most recently to Half Moon Bay for lunch and pumpkin picking) and what are now traditional yearly events such as a Holiday Cookie Exchange, Summer Potluck and Croquet tournament, and a Winter Soup Potluck. We all belong to other organizations, but we tell ourselves often that this group is the one that we cherish most. There’s a huge span of ages from a Pink Hat (under 50) teacher in her thirties to women in their late seventies. Everyone is supportive, active, and FUN. I’m sure you can tell that from the blocks on the quilt.

Thank you for inspiring us with your book. We loved making the quilt blocks, and Shary Lewis had fun assembling the quilt. Carole Donovan quilted it at one of our sewing sessions, and we are super pleased with the result.

For more information about the Red Hat Society, contact their website at www.redhatsociety.com.

Denise Martin, current Queen Mother of the Red Hat Cats of Los Gatos.

It was great to learn more about the disorganization and about the Red Hat Cats :).

Here are some closeups so you can see more of the personalization and detail that each member put on to portray themselves.






This flapper lost a shoe in all the excitement, poor dear.

This flapper lost a shoe in all the excitement, poor dear.



I love all the little details, embellishments, and additions. They really took my patterns and soared! Not all of the members are quilters, but I heard that they enjoyed learning how to fuse from the ones who are.

We enjoyed sharing our quilt with you at the meeting. We really had a great time creating our “dolls.” Several gals had never done any fusing and they thought this was great fun. We hope to put it in the PVQA Quilt Show and also the SCVQA Quilt Show in 2011. We will take turns hosting the quilt for a month at a time in our homes. My whole family was able to pick out me immediately and it will be fun to hear if other families can do the same.

Participants were: Denise Martin (Queen Mum), Jacquie Christensen, Linda Collins, Karen Cognac, Kimberly Cognac, Carole Donovan, Dee Hallett, Pat Havey, Jeanne Holmes, Shary Lewis, Anhela Oropeza, Joyce Schellenberg, Fay Taylor and Janeanne Walters.

Thanks for a really fun pattern, I am hoping to do it with my granddaughter (she will be 8 in January).

Shary Lewis

My pleasure, one and all!!!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie


One Response to “Red Hot Red Hat dolls”

  1. Jan Hood on November 5th, 2010 10:17 am

    Love you web page.