Founded in Baltimore, MD, in 1993 to preserve antique quilts and promote the art of appliqué

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BAS December 13th Meeting - Polly Mello: "What's So Crazy About Crazy Quilts?"
In Person and Zoom Meeting

Polly Mello

Please join us on December 13th, 2023, for Polly Mello’s entertaining lecture, “What’s so Crazy about Crazy Quilts?” Crazy quilts are works of art, made of luxurious silks, satins and velvets; embellished with fancy embroidery stitched of cotton and silk floss, even ribbon embroidery, applique and paintings. You will learn the history of these stars of the quilt world and see the elaborate Crazies from the 1880’s into the twentieth century and their relationship to Red Work quilts. There will be many interesting examples to enjoy. So, “Go Crazy” with an evening of these needlework masterpieces

Polly Mello is a quilt historian and collector and has been collecting quilts for 40 years. Quilts in her collection have been shown in magazines, books, major quilt shows and quilt museums; such as Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Quilts of Virginia by Hazel Carter et al, The American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah, KY, and The New England Quilt Museum and the Virginia Quilt Museum. Her collection of over 200 quilts specializes in pre 1850 chintz and applique, crib quilts, redwork, and early 20th century designer quilts. Her favorite group to collect is the infamous macabre quilts that “go bump in the night.”

Polly is a member of The American Quilt Study Group and has presented several Quilt Study Centers at their annual conferences. She also belongs to three local study groups; Hazel Carter’s Dating Club, The Eastern Shore Quilt Study Group, and FVF (Fran’s Vintage Friends) Study Group. When she is not collecting antique quilts and giving quilt history lectures, Polly is also an award-winning quilt maker and designer.

In her other life Polly is a retired Registered Nurse and graduate of The University of Texas @ San Antonio. She now resides in Elkridge, Maryland with her husband and Chihuahua. Her five grandsons are waiting with bated breath to see who inherits the quilt collection and has to build a museum for all to continue to see Geema’s quilts.

Members will receive an e-mail on Sunday December 10th, and again on December 13th, with the Zoom information. If you do not receive the e-mail by 6pm on Sunday, please e-mail (You should check your spam folder too!)

The in person meeting will take place at:

Howard Counter Center for the Arts
8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Dinner Before the General Meeting, December 20th, 5-6:15 p.m.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet our speaker and join other members for a light dinner prior to the General Meeting. ALL members are welcomed at Kelsey’s Pub, 8480 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD, 20143. Kelsey’s menu is available at Kelsey's Menu — Kelsey's Restaurant, Irish Pub, & Banquet Hall ( If you wish to attend, please e-mail Helen Johnston, by noon the day of the meeting so we can add your name to the BAS reservation.

Quaker Baltimore Album, Date 1850

Quaker Baltimore Album The pattern from this antique quilt was produced by members of the Baltimore Appliqué Society, compliments of Debby Cooney and Ronda H. McAllen whose research reflects that there were Quakers, who lived in Maryland and the Baltimore area from the late 17th century. Many Quaker women were dedicated quiltmakers, using silks in the somber hues of their dresses as well as colorful glazed chintz furnishing fabrics. This Baltimore Album quilt reflects names that show the Quakers participated in making some of the over 400 quilts completed between about 1844 and 1858 that are known today. The high-style blocks, ruched roses in baskets and bouquets, chintz appliqué, plus simple appliqués and piecework, are all nicely balanced to create a handsome gift or memento of friendship or kinship ties.

Quilt size 88” x 75”. Legible Names on the Quaker Baltimore Album quilt are Hannah S. Atkinson, Elizabeth Herica, Louisa Morgan, Thomas Morgan, Sarah Ann Atkinson, and initials CC or GG dated 1850.

The price for the pattern is $50.00 + $12.00 shipping (MD residents will also be charged 6% state sales tax). Proceeds from the pattern sales will go to the BAS.

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Baltimore Applique Society 25 Year Anniversary Block

BAS 25 Year Anniversary Block The Baltimore Appliqué Society, established in 1993, is currently celebrating its 25th year. Over the years BAS has raised money in a variety of ways, including making raffle quilts and creating patterns from museum quilts. BAS has provided financial support for organizations including the American Quilt Study Group, the Maryland Historical Society, the Marie Webster House, the Maryland State Fair, the Virginia Quilt Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

When Marylou McDonald was asked for possible ideas for a Baltimore Appliqué 25-year block pattern, she created this special pattern, "The BAS 25 Year Anniversary Block". The pattern is for a 20" x 20" block, and includes a flower from each quilt which BAS has produced. The 25 berries represent the 25 years of the BAS.

The price for the pattern is $15.00 + $1.56 shipping (MD residents will also be charged $0.90 state sales tax ). Proceeds from the pattern sales will go to the BAS.

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Baltimore Applique Society 25 Year Anniversary Charm Stamp

BAS 25 Year Anniversary Charm Stamp

Another Charmer is the 5.5” x 5.5" Custom Charm Stamp designed by Debra Gabel of Zebra Quilts. This is a wonderful block to experiment with. One can add it to a tote bag, pillow, t-shirt, or use it as a label, frame it, or add it to a quilt. The possibilities are endless! Proceeds will go directly to BAS. (The central patterned area is 4" x 4")

The price for the charm is $6.00 + $0.60 shipping (MD residents will be charged $0.36 state sales tax).

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