Harrisonburg “Spitzer Sisters” Quilt Along

We all love a good Quilt Along and there is something particularly special about one that heralds and supports a bit of quilty history. Today, we are delighted to announce the kickoff of the Harrisonburg “Spitzer Sisters” Quilt Along. Hosted by Pat Sloan in partner with Wendy Sheppard, Benartex, and the Virginia Quilt Museum, this QAL introduces a new pattern inspired by “Ducks in a Pond” (circa 1890) by Ellen Rebecca Spitzer. We just love how the idea for this one came together and truly jump at any chance we have to support our beloved Aurifil Designers Pat & Wendy!

A little over a year ago the Virginia Quilt Museum shared a photo of “Ducks in a Pond” by Ellen Rebecca Spitzer. The quilt had become of part of the museum’s permanent collection in 1997 when Mary Spitzer Etter of Harrisonburg, VA donated her family’s entire quilt collection. The collection contains 27 quilts, most of which were made by Mary’s aunts, the Spitzer Sisters– Sarah Josephine Spitzer (Walters), Margaret Melinda Spitzer (Jones), and Ellen Rebecca Spitzer. Of the quilts completed by the Spitzer sisters, there is a single initial embroidered on the front of quilt to mark who made each quilt.

The blocks of “Ducks in a Pond” were pieced in many colors using a variety of fabrics. It is finished with cotton batting and a muslin backing and is heavily quilted in a cross hatch design. A lavender “E” is embroidered in the corner to indicate that the quilt was made by Ellen.

Shortly after the quilt was shared, Pat Sloan (below left) & Wendy Sheppard (below right) began excitedly texting each other with all sorts of ideas. Both long time Virginians, the two were enamored with the quilt and after some conversation decided that it would make a wonderful Quilt Along.

They wrote to Alicia Thomas, Executive Director of the Virginia Quilt museum, to propose doing the quilt along with a pattern that could be sold to benefit the museum. She, of course, said yes!

Wendy re-created the pattern from photos of the original quilt and called it Harrisonburg in honor of the quilt’s history and for the location of the Virginia Quilt Museum.

Wendy has already created one version of the quilt using all of her navy and cream scraps (over 300 total!) for a stunning scrappy version like the original. 

Pat has plans to stitch hers up during the QAL using fabrics from Sleepover, her new Benartex line. Of course, both designers are working with their Aurifil thread sets.

Harrisonburg is currently an exclusive release only available at the Virginia Quilt Museum. All proceeds from pattern sales for the duration of the quilt along and for a limited time after will benefit the Virginia Quilt Museum. Grab your copy via the button below!

— Runs from February 14, 2023 through April 11, 2023. New posts available on Tuesdays @12pmEST.
— Schedule: 1 row/week, then border, then wrap-up
— Pattern Required (HERE)
— Aurifil Thread encouraged (links below)
— Finished Quilt Size: 78″ x 93″
— Pat Sloan’s videos are an integral part of the QAL. They will be posted in the weekly articles, but you can also catch them on her YouTube channel HERE.

To enter to win a Harrisonburg Prize Pack, click on the button below and enter your information. One US winner will receive a complete kit including fabric from Pat Sloan’s “Sleepover” line by Benartex Fabrics, the “Harrisonburg” quilt pattern by Wendy Sheppard, and an Aurifil thread set. One winner outside of the US will receive 2 x Aurifil thread sets: Wendy Sheppard’s Indigo Collection + Pat Sloan’s Perfect Little Box of Color. This giveaway runs January 23, 2023 through January 29, 2023. The winners will be contacted via email on January 30. Good luck!

Looking for more ways to win? Be sure to check out our partner posts — there are 5 giveaways in total!

Pat Sloan – ENTER TO WIN
Wendy Sheppard – ENTER TO WIN
Virginia Quilt Museum – ENTER TO WIN
Benartex – ENTER TO WIN

Be sure to follow along with our partners!
Pat Sloan: Harrisonburg Project Page | Blog | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
Wendy Sheppard: Blog | Instagram
Virginia Quilt Museum: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Benartex: Blog | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Thank you for this contest. I’ve just been using your threads for about two years and really like them.

  2. Aurifil thread is my favorite! Always my first choice. Thanks you for the opportunity to enter this contest.

  3. This will be an exciting QAL, so many color possibilities whether random scrappy or controlled scrappy, you can’t go wrong.

  4. I honestly haven’t used your thread before. But received 3 spools with a quilt kit I recently ordered and will try them when I start the project.

  5. I truly enjoy sewing and quilting with Aurifil thread! Thank you so much for this opportunity! Thank you!

  6. Was introduced to Aurifil about 4 years ago at a class run by an Aurifil Ambassador….Now the only thread I’ll sew with… Super quality!

  7. I am so excited to start this quilt and to see the different variations that come from it!!

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