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"Nearly Insane" Book Review posted: 8/27/2003
by Dori Hawks Printable Page
Category: Reviews Method: All
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Nearly Insane
By Liz Lois
Liz & Lois Publications

Liz purchased a book called "Quilt Masterpieces" by Susanna Pfeffer at a garage sale with a picture of a quilt made in the 1870's by Salinda W. Rupp from Pennsylvania. It was that large quilt of 98 small blocks that began her trip to write "Nearly Insane." She began by drafting several of the blocks for her classes at her quilt shop, and then convinced 5 other women to make quilts along with her. (Katie Donoghue, Cheryl Gerbing, Janis Mueller, Renee Thompson, and Kathy White)

They met once a month beginning in June of 1999 and finished their quilts almost 3 years later. They decided to draft 6" blocks, although the blocks in the original picture appeared smaller. Liz chose to do her quilt in the original colors, thinking, "We tend to think our ancestors were dull, drab people-looking at this quilt made me think otherwise. Salinda must have loved color and design. I think for her making each block come out just a bit different than the rest must have made her happy." One of the members paper pieced hers and they all chose different color schemes.

The book contains some general directions for choosing small-scale prints, piecing with a scant " seam, sewing slowly and carefully, pressing, pinning and special tips to make your project easier and more accurate.

Liz spent hours looking at the picture of the quilt with a magnifying glass, and later even with a jeweler's glass, making sure she found every detail of each block. One block actually has 229 pieces! (In a six-inch block) Although that might sound overwhelming Liz and her friends found that a challenge! Some blocks have far less than that number; in fact, two of them have less than 10 pieces.

Included in the book are photos of each of the member's quilts, and also a photo of the original maker Salinda W. Rupp's quilt, courtesy of the American Hurrah Archive, N.Y.C. A friend who was working in New York City did some investigating about Hurrah Antiques and Liz did get in touch with the owners of the shop. She found that the quilt is in a private collection that still owned the rights to the photo of the quilt. Liz was able to purchase a copy of the photo for her book. Liz has not seen the original quilt, but would love to see it sometime.

Publisher Name: Liz & Lois Publications

Publisher Address: 26242 60th Street
Salem, WI 53168

Publisher Phone: 262-642-4777

Author Website:

You may reach Liz Lois at her shop Quilt Emporium or email her at:

2003 Dori Hawks (Reviewer)
Editors note: I also found a photo of Salinda Rupp's original quilt in "America's Glorious Quilts" (published in 1987) edited by Dennis Duke and Deborah Harding

"Nearly Insane" group

"Nearly Insane" book signing by Liz Lois

a "Nearly Insane" quilt

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