Ila McCallum is an award-winning quilter who grew up on a farm in the beautiful Willamette Valley north of Salem, Oregon. Her mother taught her to sew on a Singer treadle machine and she made clothing as a child. She also learned embroidery, knitting, crocheting, and other handcrafts. Later, she fashioned her wedding dress on a very basic electric sewing machine. She made clothing for herself and her children, often taking several patterns and putting them together or changing patterns to make them pursuant to the wearer's wishes.
She started quilting because she wanted to make a Christmas present for a relative and quilting soon became her passion. Ila has made quilts for her family, for baby gifts, for charities, as shop samples and for fun. She always has several projects in progress, several more designed, and several more in the I would like to do category.
Although she works full time in a law office, as she has done for many years, Ila served on the board of several quilt organizations. She teaches quilt classes at quilt shops, quilt expos/shows, guild events and on Quilt University.
Women's history as written through quilts is one of Ila's interests. She lectured on the quilters of the Aurora Colony in Oregon during the 1840's at the Aurora Colony Historical Society's annual quilt show in 2000 and has a collection of quilt books published prior to 1970 as well as many current books on the history of women and quilting.