Bunny Rittenour Smith

Updated: Sep 22


Bunny Rittenour and Quilt

About the Quilter:

I have loved quilts and sewing for a long time. Both of my grandmothers sewed, though neither quilted. My Mom sewed buttons on when she had to. Granny Ritt grew up in Ohio and had quilts in her home. She had friends "back home" who would make quilts for her. My Nanny had made fancy bonnets and day gowns as a young woman. They both encouraged me to sew. My first college degree was in Home Economics because of my love of fabrics.

After marrying, my mother-in-law, Jean, shared that she had quilted in the past; so, she shared what she knew. We loved going to fabric stores together! In the early 1970's, because of the upcoming Bicentennial, there was a renewed interest in how our ancestors lived. Quilting was beginning to be seen as an art, not just a craft. Quilting groups and guilds were popping up to share the history of quilting, as well as teach interested newcomers how to piece and quilt. I learned so much being part of the guilds in Birmingham and Arkansas. I even got to take classes from Jinny Beyer at one of the Arkansas Quilt Retreats!

Jinny won the 1978 Great American Quilt contest. She's a legend in quilting! Going back to nursing school in 1992 brought my piecing and quilting to a halt, but NOT the fabric purchases! I've loved being part of the Pike Road Quilters and getting back into all of my quilting stuff. I've found things I barely remembered making in various classes taken over the years. Helping work on the patriotic quilt was so special. Seeing the look on the Veteran's face who received it, was even better! Do come join us when we're able to get together again!

Bunny's Quilts:


Red and Cream Star Quilt: Made in 1981 for my Daddy, Charlie Rittenour, then age 65. This was my very first attempt at piecing and quilting. It is machine pieced and hand quilt ed. The darker red fabric was very old 36-inch wide cotton that I found at my grandmother's house after she passed away in 1976.

Red and Cream Star Quilt by Bunny Rittenour

Blue Log Cabin Quilt: I bought these fabrics at a tiny quilt shop in Tampa, FL., before we moved back to Birmingham. Once we got settled in, I joined the Quilters Guild of Greater Birmingham which met in Vestavia Hills. They were a great group of talented Ladies of all ages who were super about sharing their knowledge through various classes and workshops. I machine pieced this and my mother-in-law had it hand quilted for me since we were about to move to Arkansas.

Blue Log Cabin Quilt by Bunny Rittenour

Blue Churn Dash Quilt: After having been very involved in the Birmingham Quilters Guild for several years, many of the members made blocks as a going away gift when we moved to Arkansas. It was a delightful surprise and wonderful way.to remember the Ladies who had taught me so much. The blocks got packed away for the move and it was a few years before I got them assembled into a king-sized quilt top in 1985. Again, my mother-in-law found some ladies to hand quilt it. Many of the fabrics came from Quilts Unlimited, a neat little shop that several of the guild members owned together. The Birmingham Quilters Guild is still an active group that now meets at the Homewood Senior Citizens Center on the 2nd Monday of each month. (At least it did prior to Covid-19.)

Blue Churn Dash Quilt by Bunny Rittenour

Appliqued Red Country Hearts Wall Hanging: I made a similar piece for a dear friend when she moved away from Hot Springs. I liked it so much, I wanted one of my own. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.

Appliqued Red Country Hearts Wall Hanging by Bunny Rittenour

Amish 9-Patch Set on Point in Black, Blues, Magenta, & Pink: This wall hanging was made after visiting the Amish country in Pennsylvania and seeing their beautiful, simple designs done in solid colored fabrics with intricate quilting. Roberta Horton wrote a great book about Amish quilts and their use of color and design. It is machine pieced and hand quilted.

Amish 9-Patch Quilt Set on Point in Black, Blues, Magenta, & Pink by Bunny Rittenour

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