Jean Coleman teaches her own easy variation of Stack ‘N Whack at Quilt University

By Mary Beth Donovan
May 9, 2017

Think Stack ‘N Whack is ‘old hat’?  Well think again!  Jean Coleman, one of the Guild’s very early members (since 1988) has taught that class for years but has devised her own, much easier, technique that takes far less fabric.  She’s sharing her secrets with her class members at Quilt University on Friday, July 28, at Washtenaw Community College. 

Jean’s class pattern involves only 4 repeats of the fabric pattern instead of the usual 8 (see the supply list for exact directions).   You will easily complete 8-12 blocks during class, enough for a baby blanket.  You could then add more blocks, plain blocks and/or borders to increase it to a twin size for yourself, a family member or SafeHouse.   Once you know Jean’s time-saving technique, you could then try a more traditional 8-repeat pattern.


We spoke with Jean and learned a bit more about her extensive quilting background, spanning more than 40 years.

GAAGQ:  When did you begin quilting and why?

I took my first quilt class in 1974 because I was going to be teaching a home decorating class with the Livonia Senior Citizens continuing education program and I planned to include quilting as part of my class.  However, I quickly learned that my class members were more experienced at quilting than I was, so that led to more classes for me!  In 1988, I attended the guild’s very first quilt show and then joined.  That same year, I quilted a quilt that was entered in the Paducah show.  I eventually ventured into longarm quilting and had my own business from 1990 to 2012.  I saw a lot of changes in the equipment and possibilities over the years!  I still provide longarm services for some charity quilts but only on a volunteer basis.

GAAQG:  What is your favorite quilting style?

I like traditional quilting, using strip piecing and sometimes using specialty rulers for cutting.  I like the speed of machine piecing.

GAAQG:  How long have you been teaching?

As I mentioned, I taught continuing education classes from 1974 to 1990, and then taught several times for GAAQG, as well as at some quilt shops around Michigan for many years after that. 

Another example of Jean’s technique.

GAAQG:  What do you want people to know about your class?

That my version of Stack ‘N Whack is much easier and doesn’t involve a huge investment in fabric like some of those patterns do.  They should just have fun!  If you have questions about the class or the fabric, I’m happy to answer them.  Just write to me at



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This post was written by Mary Beth Donovan

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