Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ruby McKim Quilts

When I first started to make quilts appliqué was my very favorite technique. I was lucky enough to have learned from one, in my opinion, of the very best quilt teachers, Laurene Sinema. And Laurene is the one who planted the seed for my love of antique quilts. When Laurene first introduced me to Ruby McKim quilt patterns I was hooked. And when I started to collect quilts, of course I recognized those patterns. Also I was lucky enough in the early 90’s to acquire the volumes of Ruby McKim/Kansas City Star Patterns compiled and edited by Harold and Dorothymae Groves. I have the patterns Volume QP 1-6, suitable for redwork or embroidery. I don’t think they are available anymore. I did find this information here. But none of the contact info is any good. I highly recommend collecting these books. None were on Amazon right now, but I would keep looking.
Here are some of my quilts and tops with Ruby McKim patterns. Dates are when the patterns were originally published.

Mother Goose Quiltie 1916

Flower Garden Quilt 1930

And the one I wrote about here.

Farm Life Quilt 1930

Peter Pan Quilt 1926

Roly-Poly Quilt 1923

My quilt is dated February 25, 1924 and has many signatures, purchased this in Texas.

Bird Life Quilt 1928 

Toy Shop Window 1933

This is the first antique crib quilt I bought around 1998. I love this, so sweet.

Bible History Quilt 1927

Bedtime Quilt 1916

Patchwork Sampler Quilt 1930

I wrote a little about this pattern here and have taken that quilt top apart, but not sure I’ll ever get it back together. It needs a lot of help. But I did buy this quilt. Love, love, love.

Not too long ago I bought a quilt that really doesn’t fit into any of my collections, not something I would usually buy, but I thought it was really different and I wasn’t familiar with the pattern. After having it several months I was looking through one of Ruby McKim’s Designs Worth Doing catalogues dated 1931-1932 and what did I see an ad for a kit for my quilt. I was really surprised. I guess because I love the applique and embroidery pattern so much I really haven’t paid too much attention to the pieced patterns she did.
The maker of this quilt couldn’t quite figure out how that leaf in the bottom right corner was suppose to be. Funny! Mine has 15 Iris blocks that measure 12 inches x 15 inches.
There are six different patterns. Now you know what I am on the lookout for.
Do you have any of these quilts? Tulip, Pansy, Iris, Rose, Wild Rose and Sunflower.
Well, I did find another one the Rose pattern now in my collection. Only four more to collect!
I hope you will share your Ruby McKim quilts on the Facebook Group, Quilts-Vintage and Antique I would love to see and hear about them.

Another one I found summer 2012. Oriental Poppy

I wanted to add this update about another blog with wonderful information about Ruby McKim. Check out the blog at The Quilters Hall of Fame Blog.


  1. I'm very tempted to treat myself to those books.

  2. Ruby McKims youngest grand daughter is redoing her patterns and they are wonderful! They can be found at Mckim Studios

  3. Anonymous, I have made it very easy to find more info about Ruby McKim by linking the website. All you have to do is click on the name and it will take you right there. Anytime you see words in someone blog that is a different color or is underlined that is called a link. Click on Laurene Sinema's name also to find out more about her.

  4. What a great collection! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving your nice note. Your email address is not available on your profile and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your visit so I'm leaving a note here. I'm now following your blog and will look forward to seeing more! Thanks for getting in touch.

  5. Lynn, I'm lucky enough to have the set of KC Star books, including the Ruby McKim ones. My neighbor, Melinda, is a real Ruby McKim fan and has several quilts made from her patterns. I have a couple. I should post them. Your collection is wonderful.

  6. Ruby Short McKim is my Great Great Aunt and I am trying to collect some of her creations. Anything you might come across for sale let me know! :)


  7. I have a quilt made in the 1940's using a Ruby Short McKim pattern. It's in excellent condition. Hand embroidered and hand quilted. I don't think it's been washed. Does anyone want to purchase it? I'll gladly send photos.