Beth Donaldson

Author, Designer, Owner, Quiltmaker

  Lansing, Michigan, United States    

Michigan State University Museum

Beth Donaldson is a quiltmaker, quilt designer and the Associate Director of the Quilt Index.
Years of quilting, designing and teaching have made me a great trouble shooter. Feel free to email me questions or problems and I'll do my best to solve them. I made my first quilt in 1974, then took a sewing sabbatical as I went to college. Work, marriage, and motherhood followed. In 1982, my first quilting class (with Pepper Cory) provided an escape from child care duties. I was soon hooked, not only on quilting, but on drafting and designing, too. In 1984 I began teaching quiltmaking. While teaching I wrote a series of Block of the Month patterns. Five years later they became my book Block By Block. In 1997, I published my second book, Charm Quilts and landed a job at the Michigan State University Museum. For 20 years I did 1000s of hours of data entry for the Michigan Quilt Project and the Quilt Index. I was part of the quilt collection team taking care of the over 1000 quilts in their exceptional collection. Projects included co-authoring books, Quilts and Health and Quilts and Human Rights, helping with quilt exhibits and touring them around the world. Beth has since retired from the MSU Museum, but maintains her work with the Quilt Index as the Associate Director.

Was the maker a woman, man or a group?


When was the quiltmaker born?


If the quiltmaker was married, what was the wedding date.

Ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

Polish American

Educational background:

Some college

Occupation (if retired, former occupation):

Quiltmaker, Quilt Index Coordinator

Where was the quiltmaker born?

Livonia, Michigan (MI), United States

Where did the quiltmaker grow up?


Quiltmaker's maiden name:


Father's Name:

Chester Kolodziej

Father's birthplace:

Detroit, Michigan

Father's ethnic/tribal background:

Polish American, Tool and die maker

Mother's Name:

Joan Trybus Kolodziej

Mother's birthplace:

Barnsboro, Pennsylvania

Mother's ethnic/tribal background:

Polish American, homemaker

Spouse's/Spouses' name(s):

Donaldson, Thomas

Spouse's/Spouses' ethnic/tribal background:

French Canadian, Irish American

Spouse's/Spouses' occupation:

Small business consultant

Number of children:


Number of female children:


How did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

From Class, Self-Taught

When did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

Age 11-19

Why does/did the quiltmaker quilt:

Fundraising, Gifts, Pleasure, Therapy

Name of quilting group(s):

Capitol City Quilt Guild

Location of group:

Lansing, MI

Estimate the number of quilts made by this maker:

more than 50

Does/did the quiltmaker sell quilts?


Does/did the quiltmaker teach quilting?


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