Lucy Hilty

Lucy Hilty

Lucy Hilty was born to a Mennonite family in Ohio over eighty years ago. After retiring from her career as a kindergarten teacher, she became one of the early quilting teachers on "the circuit" in the late 1970s. She developed a reputation for fine hand-quilting and elegant quilting designs.

Lucy was one of the founding members of the American Quilt Study Group and served on that group's board of directors during its formative years. She also participated in a Berkeley-area group called the Crazy Quilters.

In the film Lucy explains that her mother was always involved in Church group quilting and the Mennonite Relief Fund, and how she found solace in quilting after the death of her father. Growing up with quilts all around her, it is no wonder Lucy became passionate about quilting and found it to be the perfect hobby after retirement. Even her father was involved in quilting, often helping his wife by marking the quilting pattern. For Lucy, a quilt represents a big area to express an idea, making it much more than a utilitarian bedcover.

Hilty was born to a Mennonite family in Pandora, Ohio on October 8, 1917. She attended Bowling Green State University during the Great Depression and completed her Masters degree at Columbia University after World War II. During the war, Lucy worked as a volunteer for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Lucy's career as a kindergarten teacher took her to several schools California and, for 2 years, to a United States military base in Japan. After retiring from teaching in 1978, Lucy began instructing adults in the art of quilt making. Her fine hand-crafted and elegantly designed quilts made her a much sought-after teacher in the quilting circuits of the 1970s. A founding member of the American Quilt Study Group, Lucy served on the board of directors during its formative years. She was part of the Berkeley, California group of "Crazy Quilters" and spent her final years in Kensington, California. On February 11, 2001 Lucy passed away in the comfort of her own home. Just a month earlier, she spent a day with life-long quilt making friends at the Point Bonita retreat, reinforcing the connection of art and creation and stories they had shared for so many years.

Related Links:

Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale

Pictures and results from 20003 Relief Sale

Learn more about the Mennonite religion and lifestyle-list of several Mennonite related sites

Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, July/August 1981

Includes an article about the film and profiles Lucy Hilty