Quilter's Bucket List: Bill Volckening

Quilter's Bucket List: Bill Volckening

Posted by Heather Kojan on Jun 9th 2016

Hi there! Heather here with another in our Quilter's Bucket List series. I had the pleasure of interviewing Bill Volckening . Bill is a quilt collector, historian, and maker. He calls himself a "Quilt Magnet." Just a quick glance at  his website will explain why. Although, fair warning, there is no such thing as a quick glance at his website. Get comfy before clicking. You'll be there for a while.

What are you working on now?

This year I am having exhibitions at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and the Texas Quilt Museum.

I am continuing to collect, with an eye on the 1950s and anything that is unique and made of velvet.

Recently I had a successful exhibition of Hawaiian scrap quilts, revealing an undocumented tradition.

Creatively, I am doing some block printing on fabric after taking a wonderful workshop with Valori Wells hosted by the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.

(Bill's exhibit New York Beauty Quilts is at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado, and runs from July 28–October 25, 2016. The exhibit will be at the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas, from September 29–December 18, 2016.)

Do you have a favorite quilt you've made?

Wild Eyed Susans, a small wool quilt started in a retreat in Sisters.

I love this little quilt! The details are fascinating—that touch of crochet in the stems—perfect!

Do you have a favorite quilt you own (not made by you?)

Many. My collection now has more than 350 quilts made between 1760 and the present day.

What's on your Quilter's Bucket List?

I would like to display New York Beauty quilts in New York.

I'll look forward to that some day—I'm just around the corner!

Anything non-quilt related on your bucket list?

In February I had a heart attack, and since then I have been eating healthy foods and slimming down. So my first goal is to be healthy and live longer. There's a lot to do, so I need to stick around for a while.

I think this needs to be #1 on everyone's bucket list! I'm glad you'll be sticking around for a while. I appreciate your facebook posts where your healthy meals look so beautiful!

Okay, just for fun, here are some lightning round questions about your creative process.

Barefoot or shoes?


Quiet or music/movie/tv/podcast?


Salty or sweet?


Self taught or schooled?


(See Bill's about page for more details.)

Planned or scrappy?


Perfect or done?


Bill, thanks so much for taking the time for our interview! Bill's new book (available now!) is  Modern Roots—Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration

Heather Kojan is a quilt teacher, lecturer, and author living in Baltimore, MD. She's the founder of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and a contributing author to Classic Modern Quilts. You can read more about her quilting life on her blog www.heatherkojan.com.

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