Shady Grove
Andrea Stracke's Wholecloth Quilts

Patricia L. Cummings

                                              Andrea Stracke, in a recent photo taken by her husband

Andrea Stracke, a German quilter who lives in Gross Niendorf (Schleswig-Holstein), Germany, is inspired by old quilting
designs from Welsh and English wholecloth quilts, some of which she finds in out-of-print quilt history books. An award-
winning quilter, she enters competitions in the United States and elsewhere and often wins prizes. Recently, when we asked to
feature some of her quilts, she sent photos of her work as well as a brief biographical sketch of herself and a list of awards
she has won in Europe and American quilt competitions.

In Her Own Words

I was born in 1966 in a small village in the northern part of Germany. My grandmother and
mother were both very skilled at knitting and I learned it from them at the age of 6. My
mother also taught me crochet and embroidery and as a teenager I also gave calligraphy,
miniature painting, and glass grinding a try. The more delicate a craft is, the more
I love it. As far as I know there has never been a quilter in my family.

In 1989 I found a book about patchwork quilts in my favourite book store and from that
moment I was hooked. I bought some suitable cotton fabrics in different blue shades (quilt
fabrics were not available here at that time) and started to sew my first patchwork top by hand.
For cutting the patches I used self-made cardboard templates and scissors. It took me more
than a year to assemble the quilt top and a few more months to find a shop that was able to
provide a quilting hoop. Finally I managed to teach myself hand quilting by trial and error –
and I noticed quickly that I like hand quilting much more than piecing.

In 1993 I found Barbara Chainey’s book
The Essential Quilter. It was a revelation for me to
look at pictures of traditional British wholecloth quilts made in Wales and the north of
England. All theses structures, beautiful patterns, and ornamental designs made my heart sing and I was
so happy and glad to see that I don’t have to piece before I can start to quilt. Very soon after
that finding I stopped sewing patchwork and started to make my first quilt in the North
Country style – a strippy quilt in dark red, rust brown, and golden fabrics. The next quilt was a
wholecloth, also with typical North Country patterns. I found the instructions in Barbara
Chainey’s book and my father-in-law is the proud owner [of that quilt]. All the quilts I made afterwards
were wholecloth or strippy quilts in different colours.

North Country and Welsh Wholecloth quilts are still very inspirational for me and I
collect every book I can get about British quilt history. I still love to use the traditional
patterns, but in the meantime I also draw my own designs. For marking I mostly use the
traditional method of needlemarking with a darning needle (for very dark colours I use a
watercolour pencil) and self-cut cardboard templates and as well free-hand marking and

A quilt top of a solid fabric is like a playground to me (or like the canvas to a painter). I can
create ornaments [designs], patterns, and structures by adding tiny little quilting stitches, and [then] light and
shadow make them lively. To me, wholecloth quilts are silent beauties: they are simple,
sophisticated, and unobtrusive. At the same time, they are full of life!

The more quilts I make, the more ideas are in my mind. I can see quilting patterns
everywhere: in wrought ironwork, jewelry, stucco work, carving, china and much other objects.
Germany does not have as much of a quiltmaking tradition as other countries. As far as I know, I am
the only quilter here who specializes in wholecloth quilting. I love to enter my work in
competitions, mostly in the United Kingdom (UK), but in other European Countries and the United States as well. For me, it
is a great pleasure to share my work with many interested people and to carry on the wonderful craft of hand quilting to the


Note:  Please Do Not "PIN" or re-post any of these photos to any other website without the
written permission of the copyright holders. Thank you.

We felt very happy to see her quilt “Fire Opal,” an orange-color whole cloth quilt, on exhibit at the “Mancuso World Quilt
Competition 2013,” Manchester, New Hampshire.

        “Fire Opal” (69" x 69"), a photo taken by James Cummings at the Mancuso Show, Manchester, NH

     Center of "Opal Fire" design is seen in this image, coverted to "gray scale" so the design is more apparent.
     Photo edit by Patricia Cummings from photo taken by James Cummings


"Peridot" wholecloth quilt by Andrea Stracke took "Best Country Award for Germany" at World Quilt Competition in 2011
and won 1st Bed Quilt Award and Hand Quilting Award from the Scottish Quilt Championships in 2013

                                               Close-up view of center: "Peridot"

                                                       "Cerrusit" by Andrea Stracke

This quilt won 3rd prize in the Large Wall Hanging category at the Great Northern Quilt Show, Harrogate, UK (2013)

                                                                   Detail of "Cerusitt"

"Angliest" by Andrea Stracke, a strippy quilt made in a style typical of traditional quilts from North Country, England,
won "Best Hand Workmanship Award" at World Quilt Competition, USA (2010); 3rd prize in the "Traditional" category
at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK (2011); and 3rd in the "Bed Quilt" division at Quilts UK, Malvern, UK as well
as the "Wholecloth Award" and Hand Quilting Award in the same show (2012)

                    "Coerulit": another stunning quilt by Andrea Stracke, a hand quilter who chooses every
                     color of the rainbow, it seems, to make her extraordinary wholecloth quilts.

Prolific Hand Quilter

The quilts shown here are but a small sampling of the more than 70 full-size bed quilts made by Andrea Stracke. Now, she is
branching out a bit to try her hand at making miniature quilts. Many thanks to her for sharing photos of her work with
Quilter's Muse Publications for this exclusive feature. We wish her the best! We hope to see a lot more of her work as she
continues winning prizes and calling attention to the art of quilting by hand in the tradition of wholecloth quiltmaking. Visit
Andrea's website:


1997     European Quilt Championships, Veldhoven / NL (The Netherlands)
    1st Decorative
    3rd “Advanced”
    Quilt: “Bars”

2004      European Quilt Championships, Waalrc / NL
     1st “Traditional”
     Quilt: “Goldberyll”

2005      World Quilt Competition, USA
      Best Country Award for Germany
      Quilt: “Goldberyll”

2007      World Quilt Competition, USA
     2nd Place Best of Country Award for Germany
     Quilt:  “Spinell”

2010      World Quilt Competition, USA
     Best Hand Workmanship Traditional
     Quilt:  “Anglesit”

2011      World Quilt Competition, USA
     Best of Country Award for Germany
     Quilt:  “Peridot”

2011      Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK
     3rd “Traditional”
     Quilt:  Anglesit”

2012       Open European Quilt Championship, Veldhoven, NL
     3rd “Traditional”
     Quilt:  “Serpentin”

2012       Quilts UK, Malvern, UK
      Wholecloth Award
      Hand Quilting Award
      3rd Bed Quilts
      Quilt:  “Anglesit”

2012       World Quilt Competition, USA
      Best of Country Award for Germany
      Quilt: “Citrin”

2012      Great Northern Quilt Show, Harrogate, UK
     Hand Quilting Award
     1st Cot Quilt
     Quilt: “Legrandit”

2013      Quilts UK, Malvern, UK
     Wholecloth Award
     Handquilting Award
     Judges Merit
     Quilt: “Bustamit”

2013      National Quilt Championships, Sandown, UK
     1st Cot Quilt
     Quilt: “Phosphophyllit”

2013      Great Northern Quilt Show, Harrogate, UK
     Hand Quilting Award
     3rd Large Wall Hanging
     Quilt: “Cerussit”

2013      Scottish Quilt Championships, Ingliston-Edinburgh, UK
     Wholecloth Award
     Hand Quilting Award
     1st Bed Quilt
     “Quilt” Peridot”

2013       Open European Quilt Championships, Veldhoven, NL
     Trophy for “Traditional”
     1st “Advanced”
     Quilt: (?) name to be added

2013      West Country Quilt Show, Bath, UK
     1st Cot Quilt
     Quilt: “Legrandt”

                                          Congratulations, Andrea Stracke!

                                                  Return to
Home Page

Copyright 2014. Patricia L. Cummings, Quilter's Muse Publications, Concord, NH. Two photos by James Cummings. All  
other photos provided by
Andrea Stracke and her husband. All photo edits (for web use) by Patricia Cummings. All Rights

Quilter's Muse Publications
Anglesit, a strippy quilt by Andrea Stracke, pub. by Quilter's Muse Publications
Gray scale conversion of Stracke -Opal Fire-, Quilter's Muse Publications
Peridot quilt by Andrea Stracke, photo pub. by Quilter's Muse Publications
close up
Cerrusit by Andrea Stracke, published by Quilter's Muse Publications
Coerulit by Andrea Stracke, published by Quilter's Muse Publications
photo of Andrea Stracke, published by Quilter's Muse Publications