Doris Knobloch




Doris Knobloch




Doris Knobloch


Maxine Grothouse

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Moda Fabrics


Houston, Texas


Maxine Grothouse


Maxine Grothouse (MG): Hello, I 'm Maxine Grothouse from Alexander Love Chapter NSDAR. Today is January 19, 2007, and this is in Houston, Texas. I want you to meet my friend Doris Knobloch. She's a great quilter!

Doris Knobloch: Hi, I'm Doris Knobloch. I enjoy quilting very much and Maxine asked me to come to bring a quilt here today to show you.

MG: And this is the quilt you brought. Let me just focus on the quilt for a minute and you can tell us about it.

DK: I made this quilt in 2000. It was--I had really liked the idea of the Lone Star and the Log Cabin combined. This was my firsthand quilting. It's really one of my favorites. Last year I entered it into the Big-Hearted Houston Quilt Show, and I won 2nd place on this quilt. I sent it to Stephenville, Texas. It was entered in a quilt show there, "Threads of Texas," and it won Celebrities Choice with it.

MG: Doris, why did you choose this particular quilt to bring today?

DK: Because it won two prizes. It won the one in Houston, Big Hearted Show; it won in Stephenville at Thread of Texas with it. I won the Celebrities Choice in Threads of Texas, and they had celebrities go where the quilts were exhibited and pick their favorite quilt, and out of ninety-one quilts, this is the one given the award for Celebrities Choice. So, I'm very pleased with that.

MG: Yes, that is quite an honor. Can you tell us a little bit about your interest in quiltmaking? How old were you when you started quilting?

DK: Well, I started quilting actually in 1996. I had my first experience of quilting when I was playing under the quilt at my grandmother's house. Then later on my mother made a few quilts and I sort of helped her but that was many years ago. A good friend of mine and I decided to take a little quilt class and we made each a little pillow. And one day, my grandson who was eleven then came to me and said, 'Grandma, will you make me a quilt.' Well, oh, my gosh, I said, 'Robbie, you know it'll take grandma awhile to make a quilt.' Grandchildren just think you just wiggle your nose and there's the quilt! So then, I was debating what I would do, and then a friend told me about the Log Cabin quilt in a day by Eleanor Burns and so I attempted that it turned out (it was my first quilt), it turned out okay.

That got me started. I went from there. I decided to make me a quilt and one for my son and then I told my children if they wanted a quilt, pick a pattern and I'd make it. Well, they didn't quite think that I'd really meant it. Well, one day I said, 'It looks like no one wants a quilt.' Then their eyes perked up. They picked a pattern and that really got me going and I made one for each one of my grandchildren.

MG: How many hours do you think you spend a week quilting?

DK: It just depends on how busy I am and probably when I'm really working on a quilt, probably thirty-five hours to forty hours a week.

MG: Can you tell me, have you ever used quilting to get you through a difficult time?

DK: Yes, when my husband was ill, I was making a quilt. I was hand quilting it and it gave us special time together at night. We could sort of watch television and talk, and it got me through a very difficult time.

MG: Are there other quiltmakers among your family or friends? Can you tell us--

DK: Yes, through my love of quilting my daughter started quilting and also my granddaughter-in-law. One year--we always take family pictures at Christmas time, and this was the year of our fiftieth wedding anniversary and pictures were taken for Christmas and our anniversary, and the following Christmas my granddaughter-in-law gave me this photographic picture quilt. Most of the pictures that were taken were of our family in this quilt, and this is a picture of my husband and I take on our fiftieth anniversary.

MG: That is the actual picture on the quilt. It came out very well. Have you ever done any quilts that were used for fund raising or for charitable reasons?

DK: Yes, I made a strip quilt for a friend of mine who donates a lot of time at a clinic, and I have a picture of the quilt that I gave to her, and it was raffled off. I think they made $695. It was just a lap quilt and I also have a picture of the lady that won the quilt that was sent to me. It was in Lafayette, Louisiana (where) the quilt was raffled off, and I have had occasions to help piece and hand quilt at least six quilts that were set up at my house. Friends came over to quilt and these quilts were raffled off for Catholic Daughters. In fact, I have one set up right now that we are working on.

MG: Doris, I know you've won some prizes with your quilts. Do you want to tell us some more about what you've won and the prizes you've won and your honors?

DK: Yes, I won 2nd place with this Pineapple Quilt in the Stephenville Quilt Show, and I've also got honorable mention in the Greater Houston Quilt Show for this Pineapple Quilt. The red ribbon is for 3rd place for this Pineapple Quilt.

MG: Those are your ribbons over there?

DK: Yes, those are my ribbons. The white ribbon is 3rd place for this Pineapple Quilt in Stephenville. The orange, yellow and blue one is for honorable mention in Stephenville.

MG: What age did you start quilting, Doris?

DK: I started quilting when I was 64--when I was 64.

MG: Why is quiltmaking important in your life?

DK: Well, it's a challenge and it's the sense of accomplishment. It's very rewarding when you start with pulling fabric together and it takes time, but then when you see the finished product, it's so rewarding.

MG: Do you think these quilts are going to have special meaning in women's history?

DK: Well, I hope that my children and grandchildren will appreciate my quilts. In fact, I know they'll cherish them, and I hope in the future, they'll be able to tell their children and grandchildren that their grandmother made these quilts.

MG: What has happened to the quilts you've made?

DK: I've given quilts to my children. In fact, they each have two or three in every room, and I've made quilts for all my great grandchildren – baby quilts and for my younger grandchildren and I've--

MG: Well, you've auctioned some of them off as fundraisers?

DK: Yes, I've given some for-fund raisers. I've helped other friends quilt.

MG: You don't have any idea how many quilts you've done?

DK: Yes, I think my last quilt is the appliquéd quilt that I've just finished.

MG: Oh, yes. That's beautiful! May we see a picture? I don't know if it will show up on this video.

DK: I just finished this appliquéd quilt. I said I'd never do an appliquéd quilt. Well, don't say never because once you get the fever, you have the desire to do it.

MG: It's beautiful!

DK: This is a close-up of one of the appliqué squares. I really did enjoy making the appliquéd quilt. It was quite a challenge and my granddaughter-in-law helped with the placement of the blocks.

MG: She's the one who helped you on the computer?

DK: Yes, she figured out on the computer how many of the one-inch blocks that went between the squares because the original pattern was just a forty-inch quilt, and I made four blocks of each one and then we had to place them and decide how many of these blocs to place between each one. This fabric is a reproduction fabric and I really enjoy working with Anne Grey fabric; I think I've made at least three quilts with Anne Grey fabrics.

MG: I was going to ask you about your fabric – where you buy them and it's expensive and the whole project is expensive.

DK: Yes, but in the long run they'll last longer, and you have a better finished product with them.

MG: Tell us what long arm quilting is, Doris. I have no idea.

DK: Long arm quilting is--there's hand quilting and machine quilting which you do on a sewing machine, and long arm quilting is what you do on a professional machine. It's become very popular, and a lot of people have purchased these machines. Personally, I have not purchased one. I think they are great for quilting and long arm quilting is now accepted almost as well as hand quilting, but I really like hand quilting. It takes longer but I just really enjoy doing the hand quilting. I've done a lot of machine quilting on my regular sewing machine.

MG: What are your plans for these quilts? I think it would be great if you exhibited them, took them to meetings and showed them. They are really beautiful. Whether you want to exhibit them in contests or not, I think they are beautiful because of the stories about them.

DK: Thank you. I really appreciate that.

MG: You have some more quilts you've done. Is that a scrapbook you have there? Can we see some of the others?

DK: Yes, my granddaughter at Christmas gave me this book "Sealed with a Stitch" by Doris Knobloch. [holding up a picture.] This was the first quilt I made for my grandson, and this is him. Then I made a baby quilt for my daughter who was expecting my grandchild. [holding up successive pictures.] This is a quilt I made for a granddaughter. This is a quilt I made for my son. This is a picture of the second quilt I made, and this is one I use on my bed. I gave this quilt to a daughter. This is the Texas Star. I gave this quilt to another daughter and this quilt down here I gave to a granddaughter-in-law. This is a quilt I gave to a sister-in-law. These are pictures of quilts. This is a quilt I have at home. This is a quilt I made for a granddaughter. This is a quilt I have at home.

MG: Your family is very lucky!

DK: This is another quilt I have at home.

MG: You have names for some of these quilts, don't you?

DK: Oh, yes. Well, you name all your quilts. You name all your quilts.

MG: What's the name of that one, do you remember?

DK: This one is something about roses. I don't have the name with me right now. I got this fabric in Seattle. I went to visit my granddaughter. Naturally, we check out all of the quilt shops when we get there. I saw this fabric and I just had to have it. It has roses in it. It's one of my favorites.

MG: Mine, too. I like that. Doris, they say over 50,000 people attended the International Quilt Festival. How do account for this kind of interest?

DK: Well, I started to go to them several years ago and then my daughter from Seattle came down. Then, this last year my house was really a "bed and breakfast". I had friends that stayed with me three days and their request for next year is just give them a spot on the floor so they can go to the quilt show.

MG: I know all artists sign their paintings. I consider you an artist. How do you sign your quilts?

DK: Well, each quilt I make, I name it, put the year I made it and if I'm giving it to someone, I put their name on it also – grandma, mom or whatever, and each quilt should be labeled the year you made it to keep track of it. I also somewhere on my quilt usually on the front, I sign my initials DSK because a lot of times, the labels get taken off or if a quilt is stolen or lost you have a special place that you can identify the quilt.

MG: Doris, I would like to thank you for doing this interview today. This is a project of the 2000 [Quilters'.] S.O.S.-Save Our Stories. The date is January 19, 2007. Doris, we thank you very much.

DK: It was my pleasure.


“Doris Knobloch,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 24, 2024,