Saturday, March 17, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Mary Jo Cousins

Mary Jo Cousins is the most recent quilter to be featured here in the Quilters Through The Generations series.  She is a lovely lady who has a heart for the Lord, her family and quilting.  Mary Jo and her husband, Bob, have lived in several states as he is a (now retired) United Methodist Church pastor.  Here is Mary's story...

I come from a long line of quilters! Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers and great grandmothers were quilters. My mother (pictured at the right), Florence Bruning, has also quilted. 

 I really did not start quilting large projects until I was retired. However, I was a sewer. I made clothing for my children as they grew up and also myself and husband. 

My first real project was a tea towel. I participated in 4-H from the time I was 6 years old. Later in college one of my majors was Home Economics, now known as Human Ecology.

When I married, my husband and I received several quilts. One from each of my grandmothers, that were hand pieced and hand quilted. That was the beginning of my collecting quilts. I now have many quilts from many places. To name a few, there is a sunbonnet sue circa, 1960, a quilt of state birds that are tube painted and also a lone star that was made by my mother. 

My husband has received quilts that were made by his mother and grandmother (maternal). Among them are a Dresden plate and double wedding ring and a hand embroidered flower basket - included in the picture below.

The family quilts pic shown above is as follows  left to right back row.

White with cross and flame of Harley Davidson bandanas, I made for Bob in 1995. It is and applique on minky
Little sliver of green print is  comforter my Grandma Maude (Mom's mom) made for our family.  It uniquely has another quilt as batting.  It is tied.
The Turquoise and white Half square triangle zig zag was a birthday gift in 1990 from Grandma Maude
The Sunbonnet Sue was a Graduation Gift from Grandma Murphy ( No relation only family friend)  It was made in 1964,
The next little brown print was a comfort quilt I made for my son Bobby when he was 4.  It snapped around him while he watched Heman! Made in 1970s
The red and white check was made by Grandma Maude.  Unsure of date.  
Grandma was a hand quilter, and sometimes hand piecing.

Next row  left to right.
Yellow  state bird quilt was a gift for our wedding in 1966 from Grandma Maude
Sliver of pink and white is half square triangles lap quilt - tied - from Grandma Maude.
The next Churn dash Or Monkey wrench was made by my Grandma Lottie Mae Bruning, (Dad's mom) as a wedding gift.
The next quilt is a double wedding ring, pieced and hand quilted by Bob's mother Helen.  It is dated 1931.  It has been quite worn.  I am sure Helen used it on their bed for quite a while.
The next is a Dresden plate or friendship ring that Helen made and hand quilted - no date.

The lone star in front was made by Grandma Maude.

In the future I will receive quilts made by my Great Grandmother Bruning who made a lone star for my Dad as a wedding gift.

The first quilt I made for my Grandson was a bow tie baby quilt. Then I made him a “Tigger” fleece and flannel quilt that he wore off the binding. The latest quilt was his high school graduation T-shirt quilt. 

Our Granddaughter received a youth flannel quilt for Christmas 2013. I did not get a baby quilt made for her. Her most recent quilt was a fun Halloween quilt. 

These latest quilts are my own design.

I recently finished a memory quilt for a friend of my Grandson. The young man lost his life in an auto accident with a drunk driver. His mother had saved some of his t-shirts, and I was glad to make them into a memory quilt.

I have fun making quilts for others... 

I belong to a church quilt group that makes charity quilts for the homeless and several charities across the Colorado Springs area. 

I piece tops for my long arm quilter, who prepares children’s’ quilts for children of active military service persons who are on assignment away from the family. Each quilt is made with a photo of the parent. This to keep the image of the parent close by. 

I have made Quilts of Valor for veterans. 

I seem to give away my quilts and hope they provide snug warm feelings for the recipient.  Like all quilters I have UFO’s and plans for many more. My greatest pleasure is in piecing and design layout.

As you can see Mary has a generous heart and a wonderful collection of family quilts!  I have provided the link for the QOV if you have an interest in supporting the organization by making quilts for them.

When asked which quilt is her favorite, she answered with the Lone Star quilt that is currently on our bed.  I love the darker, rich colors!

I personally like the Double Wedding Ring quilt... 

Which one is your favorite?

Leave a comment to let Mary Jo know which one you like.

Sew Happy!


  1. Thanks for such a lovey presentation of my quilts. Blessing quilting!