Remembering Doreen Speckmann

We at the WWQP have been deeply sadden to learn of the passing of Doreen Speckmann. To help all of those who were touched by her creativity and humor, we created this page as place to share memories of this great lady.

Friday, September 24, 1999 7:38pm

I have just received the following e-mail from Doreen's daughter, Megan - Sue T - WWQP Mom:

Thank you everyone. I just wanted everyone to know that I read the messages everyday. We were all lucky to have her in our lives, but I was the luckiest. She was my mom and bestfriend.

Wednesday, September 22, 1999 3:53PM EDT

I have just received the following from Todd Hensley of C&T Publishing regarding a memorial fund for Doreen's family. Sue T - WWQP Mom

Cards and donations should be sent to:

Doreen Speckmann Fund
c/o A-1 Specialty Tours
2701 Sunset Point Road
Clearwater, FL 33759

Everything will be sent directly to Doreen's family. Any questions should be addressed to Stephen Schy at 727-796-7555

terre zerkle :
to have known doreen closely and personally must have truly been one of the wonders of the world. she left many saddened hearts, tears, and most remembered beautiful quilts directly and indirectly thru the hands of her students. thanks doreen for sharing your love of quilts with us.
Cherie Bruce :
I remember seeing Doreen on Alex
Anderson's show talking about her
'Peaky' and 'Spikey' blocks. Her unconventional
ideas about quilting inspired me to
think about quilting and other parts of
my life differently. Doreen will be
greatly missed by people who enjoyed her
books, her quilts and her quirky sense of
humoour. I wish I had attended one
of her cruises last would have
been great to meet such a vivacious lady.

Catherine Sandy :
I took a class with Foreen about three years ago in Columbia Tennesse. She was an excellent teacher and had a fantastic sense of humor.
Sue Snyder Throop Pa. :
I'm deeply sadened to hear of Doreen's passing. She was a great inspiration to me and will be greatly missed. My sympathy to her family. Her work inthe quilt world will live on in her quilts....
Connie M. Shea :
I meet Doreen at McPherson, Kansas at a quilt retreat. I had arrived late and has to sneak in at the back of the room. Right in front of me was Doreen watching and listening to the meeting. Doreen was waiting to give her lecture after all the business and a lady from Nebraska spoke. Her comments throughout were both funny and insightful. Mostly she said , quilt, buy, enjoy life. Don't be so hard on yourself or your work. It has really helped me to enjoy my work not worry about being perfect. She had a wonderful sense of humor, loved her family and small house. She always said one can live with only one bathroom. Will miss her.
Bev. from Sacramento :
As I read these wonderful tributes to Doreen, I am struck by one theme running through all of them: Doreen made us laugh! She touched people everywhere she went--all over the world!! What a gift! I spent many hours with Doreen and always marveled at her ability to just be herself! But she left us a legacy of memories! I read her book, PatternPlay, again and felt Doreen's presence. She wrote just like she talked. I could even hear her voice with that wonderful accent. She was a great lady. The quilting world has lost another star. I can just imagine her in heaven with Paul Pilgrim, laughing and telling stories. We will miss you so much, in so many ways. Teach the Angels to dance!
Sharyn Frentner :
A very HOT evening at the Vermont Quilt Festival. Her humor made us all feel so good. She will be missed.
Lois Hannula :
I never met Doreen, but I have seen her on Alex Andersons show Simply Quilts, and enjoyed her talent and her wonderful sense of humor. She was a great inspiration to many and she will be greatly missed.
Wanda Chillscyzn :
I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Doreen's passing. I took a class with Doreen in Ft. Washington in 1998 and attended her luncheon in Lancaster this year. She was such a warm, personable lady, I feel as though I've lost a friend. My prayers and heartfelt sympathy go to you, Megan. (I feel like I know you too!) May God bless you.
Jessie L. Quick :
I did not know Doreen personally, but her quilting was known internationally. From articles I have read, she was the best of the best. The world has suffered a great loss in the quilting section. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
Mary Ann Hopkins :
In North Carolina, Doreen taught a class in an unairconditioned room when the temp reached 90 degrees. Her humor showed us that you can quilt anywhere, anytime. We'll never forget you, Doreen
Ramona Mayhew :
I remember Doreen coming to our small town of Rutland VT to give a talk at our May 1998 quild meeting. Her talk was on her travels around the world and the fabric she collected along the way. I sat there spellbound while she showed slides and described each piece of fabric she had with her. Each piece held special meaning to her. I got to talk with her after the meeting and found her to be very warm and personable. I am glad my path crossed with hers, at least for a brief moment.
Diana Luke :
I never had the privilege of meeting Doreen, but I felt I knew her through her visits on "Simply Quilts". I learned a great deal from her and will miss her appearances on the program. My prayers are with the family, as I know she will be greatly missed by all, especially those of us in the quilting world.
Judy McCatty :
I enjoyed her on the Simply Quilt show, and just purchased her Peaky and Spike book. I had hope to see more of her on quilting shows. She was very informative and a very interesting and funny speaker. I am sorry for your loss and for our loss as quilting students.
Gloria Marion :
Doreen Speckman's name brings forth great memories of pleasure. She gave so much of herself to students. When she was in San Diego this spring, I realized how very much of herself she gave,because she was tired, but she went right on giving us so very much pleasure. I feel such sadness at the lost to the quiltingworld of one of my favorite people, Doreen Speckman.

Karen Ackerman, Iowa City :
Several years ago I took a class from Doreen at the Iowa Quilters Guild show. Afterwards we walked out together, and she commented that she had not been feeling well. Her family was worried that she needed to take better care of herself, and not let herself become so exhausted. But, Doreen said, if she missed even one class and the chance to meet even one person, her life would not be as full as it could be, and a full life was more important than missing a little sleep. Thanks for giving yourself to us, Doreen. Love, Karen.
Liz A. :
Several years ago Doreen was the guest
speaker at Evergreen Piecemakers quilt
guild. What a wonderful sense of humor
she had. Hers was the funniest, most
entertaining and informative lecture.
She will always hold a special place
among many quilters hearts. She will
definitely be missed.

My deepest condolences go out to you,
her family.

Pete Speckmann :
Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. Doreen not only touched the lives of 1000's of people, but also their hearts.
Doreen will live on in spirit in everyone of you and she will never be forgotten.


Shirley DeMott :
The Big Tree Quilt Conference was priviledged to have Doreen participate as a teacher on two occasions. Not only were the classes excellent and enjoyed by all but her humor and active participation in the conference as a whole appreciated. Doreen was always there to answer a question or give advice to the committee. She graciously encouraged me to call her at any time I needed help in the preparation of a conference or for any other reason that might come up. I can personally say that she really meant it because although she was sometimes not there when I called (probably out on one of her cruises) she did return my call in a timely manner. It was a pleasure for all of our committee to work with her. She certainly looked at life through humorfilled glasses. Our condolences to her husband and daughter. The quilting world will miss her.
Maureen Sereda :
Doreen lectured and taught at our guild a few years ago
She was a delight and sooo funny. She made the class
fun. Everyone was amazed at her cutting skills (with
scissors, not a rotary cutter).

She will be sorely missed by all quilters who ever met her.

My sympathies to her family.

Judy McCourry :
Megan and Pete, I doubt you'll remember, but I am the one that wrote the story of meeting your Mom and "I'm not worthy",,,I was amazed that she wrote back,and then remembered me and told the class of my letter, Every time when we met,,,she remembered..she met millions of people and still treated all of us with personal care and humor,,,I loved her quilt concepts and ability to keep it all in perspective,she cured my fear of classroom failure, and encouraged me to embrace every experience. I hope you realize how much we all benefitted by you sharing her with us. She loved her family and told all. She is already missed and you're in our prayers. Doreen truly was "worthy"!
Nancy Van Hook :
To Megan and family. I meet Doreen last winter in Hazen N.D. at a class she gave. She was a wonderful person. Funny, fun and full of informantion. She talked alot about Megan and their cat. Megan you were not only her daughter but her friend and she loved you alot. I am happy to have known her and am sorry for your lose.
Chere :
There are only four women in the wide world of quilting celebrities whom I really admire; whose visions I want to inspire my work. Doreen is one of them.
Jan Hortik :
I first met Doreen when I lived in Janesville, Wi. When I moved to Virginia and joined a quilt guild I wanted them to hear Doreen. Everyone enjoyed her presentation and humor in her lectures. During her lecture at a local church in VA I met a fellow coming out of a board meeting. His immediate comment was, "sounds like you are having a lot more fun than we are". He was right, she made everyone have fun.

Doreen was always welcome in our home when she came to the DC area. She loved the homecooked meals and the feather pillows on her bed. We loved having her and visiting with her late into the night.

She influenced our first granddaughter's fish quilt, using Peaky and Spike, our daughter's wedding quilt and several wallhangings now hanging in our home. What a wonderful person to have come into our lives...we will never forget her. I can't even imagine your loss, Megan. Just know she touched the lives of so many quilters and everyone she ever met. :
Last year Doreen came to Raleigh NC. I took her class, and Kathyrn & I drove her to/from the airport. My Great Dane Woody died after that class - and I told Doreen. This Feb, she saw us in Williamsburg VA, and she came up, hugged me and said 'I'm so sorry about Woody' Doreen is so special, and will be greatly missed. I sat in disbelief when I hear she danced out of this world.
Kathleen Sweeney :
Doreen was the first 'big name' quilter I heard speak at my first guild meeting and she showed me a world of color and design I had not imagined. Several years later at another lecture, she taught me that its okay to love fabric for its own sake. As a quilter, I treasure these lessons every day. But what I have witnessed most about Doreen is the absolute warmth and joy that radiated from her and made everyone who knew her or saw her in person or even just on TV feel she was our good friend. That is the true magic of Doreen.
Carolyn Reese :
To Megan, Pete, Doris and the rest of the family. We cannot know the depth of your loss and I pray that these messages and time will ease the loss that you are expeiencing. Not many of us will leave with the legacy of love that Doreen created with her all too short of time on this earth. She taught for me at Road to California several times and was a guest in my home. I will count those times and especially Senior Frogs conga line as one of the blessings of my life. Doreen was truly a friend to us all.
Cynthia H. :
I too am a Wisconsinite transplanted here in NC. The first time I saw Doreen on Simply Q., I said to myself...ah ha, a Wisconsin voice and sense of humor. Thereafter I greatly enjoyed her visits to TV quilting and shall miss her.
Marsha L White :
West Pasco Quilt Guild in Port Richey Florida has a great class taught by Doreen a couple of years ago. We never laughed so much and learned so much in one day. She also missed her daughter being on the road and let us know that the night before the two of them had a good laugh about some of our gray haired ladies. We will miss her humor and creativity.
Shari K. :
I loved Doreen's cows, being a cow fan
myself. I enjoyed seeing her on tv
and had dreamed of taking one of her
tours. God bless your family and may
He strengthen and sustain you in your
Mary Widdis :
I enjoyed Doreen's lively lecture this past July at the VQF, even thought it was very hot in that auditorium. She made me laught at us crazy quilters and even thought she was so famous , I felt like could be her good friend. I love her southern France quilts and fabric as I have spent much time there too. I lost my Mom when I was 28 and she was also my best friend. The wonderful memories last forever and the pain does lesson. I wish you many fond memories of Doreen to help in your grieving.
CattyKraft :
My thoughts go out to you at this time. Although I had never met Doreen in person, she seemed like a close, personal friend. One of my wishes and goals was to get enough money together to go on one of her trips, now that will never be but just seeing her on television enriched my life and quilting.
Kathy Reagan :
I have seen Doreen on simply quilts and loved her works and sense of humor. In April of 1999 5 of my friends from Jersey City NJ and myself say Doreen at a luncheon and seminar in Lancaster PA. I was even more impressed with her work and humor. She will indeed be sorely missed.
Dorothy J. Ponnath :
I just remember Doreen a very sweet and
informative lady. I would very much have
liked to be on one of the cruises with
her when she was teaching. I was not
aware that she was ill, but she will be
very much missed.
Nancy in Oklahoma :
I heard Doreen speak only once, but she left a great impression on me. I often think of her saying, "Use the good stuff first." I think she probably believed in doing the good stuff first, too. I want to say thank you to her family for sharing her with so many. May God comfort you during this time.
Deborah McLaughlin :
I remember her sense of humor. I thought
what fun it would be to take a class from
her when I saw her on Simply Quilts.

Donnetta Ryan :
Mom and I met Doreen at the Golden Needles Show in Cincinnati a couple of years ago. We signed up for an evening lecture just to pass the time. We figured that we wouldn't be out much money if we decided not to go. It turned out to be the highlight of our trip! Doreen had us laughing till we cried. She had such a zest for life and all of its adventures. And while we laughed, we learned about designing. She brought so many beautiful quilts and passed them all around. No white-glove handling for her! She was such a treat and so much fun. She will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy to her loved ones.
Cj - California :
The things I remember most about Doreen is her humor and quilting. She was a guest speaker at the guild I belong to. She had us laughing so hard. I remember she was wearing a picture of a cow as a necklace. Her lecture was wonderful. I will miss her.
charlotte from the ozarks :
I wrote to Doreen recently asking about the "Log Cabin Chicken" which I received from a penpal in New Zealand. I'd seen a reference to her as the source. I simply wanted to tell her how much my guild had enjoyed them. I did not expect an answer. But I did! How thoughtful of her to be interested in sharing "the rest of the story" with me. I was able to share this with my guild in the same issue of my n/l as I mentioned your incredible loss. Ladies who had never been in one of her classes were as concerned as those who had. We join together in offering you our deepest sympathy.
Her lively humor and creative genious was a true inspiration to me.
i truely enjoyed watching her on simply quilts and am deeply saddened
that the world is now without her. May Gods comfort surround her family
and all those whose lives she's touched.
Jan Holmes :
Being new to quilting, one of the things that drew me to it was Doreen's articles in magazines with cows and Peaky and Spike. Her sense of humor was wonderful. I hope I will still be able to get her books. We always think there will be time to meet someone, or do something. Doreen's "devine spark" truly touched a lot of people. I hope you will continue to sell her books to delight and to carry out her "mission".
What a gift she was!
Penny Gift :
My only exposure to her was on the "Simply Quilts" show on HGTV. Her unique approach to quilting and all her enthusiasm have certainly touched my life. I will always remember her.
Debbie Johnson, Minnesota :
Megan, I am very sorry for your loss. I had the honor of knowing your mom. We met at my very first quilt show, in Duluth, MN 1996. She and I were smokers and met quite often outside, along with her keynote presentation and a wonderful class I took with her. Wow, she was a wonderful women. I have shared her with many of my friends, I never laughed so hard in my whole life. You were so lucky to have her in your life and to share her with all of us. Thank you, my prayers are with you and your family. I will never forget her. Love, Deb
Julie Tracy :
A couple of years ago I went to one of Doreen's lectures at the NC symposium. She is probably one of the funniest people I've ever met. She certainly showed us how to make quilting even more enjoyable with her unique style!!!
Jean Newfield-Buerer :
My memory of Doreen was at Pacific Int'l Quilt Show two years ago. When she began to speak the whole room lit up with her marvelous personality and friendship.
Carol Martinson, WI :
My quilt guild has truly enjoyed lectures and workshops given by Doreen for many years. She never failed to give us the most enjoyable programs we've ever had. What a vast hole the quilting world has now. No one can take Doreen's place. Who will make us laugh? But what memories we will all have forever! My sincere sympathy to the family. Megan, you will have your own personal angel forever. Heaven has to be a brighter place now.
Claire Bas :
I was privileged to take a class from her at Rainbow's End in Dunedin, Florida and then a cruise to Nassau. She was not one of the most talented people I had ever met, but one of the funniest and nicest. My prayers and thoughts are with you at this sad time. What a wonderful legacy she has left to quilters all over the world and to those whose lives she touched.
Juli Kelley :
My only opportunity to see Doreen was on Simply Quilts. She has such the sense of humor and a passion for quilts that the next time the episode showed I taped it. She is an inspiration to me every time I sit and draft a pattern. Doreen will be missed, Long live Peaky and Spike
Vera Ratcliff :
Doreen the lady ever one wanted to knew never got to meet her personally but loved her just the same from seeing her on Simply Quilts. What a wonderful insperation she was to all who love the needle. She certainly inspired us to be creative. Her sense of humor was one of a kind. my sincere sympathy to Megan and family Don't forget that chair at the table for her. Its a story she told on Simply Quilts. God is closest to the broken hearted. Vera

Liz Keese :
I saw her on "Simply Quilts" and I just loved her presentations! I recorded the "Peaky and Spike" show, and think that she contributed a great deal to the quilting world. I am sad that she has passed away, and wish her family all our sympathies. Sincerely, Liz Keese
judi jordan :
while attending the annual meeting of the greater hartford quilt guild about 10 years ago, i found myself sitting behind a woman who was wearing "COW EARRINGS". yes, it was none other than DOREEN. we then heard a wonderful lecture about "PEEKY AND SPIKE". she will be missed.
Patt :
I first "met" Doreen through Simply Quilts on HGTV. What a riot!! Most of what I had seen or read about quilting had been so serious. Doreen was a breath of fresh air and her infectious personality reached me even through the medium of television. I had always hoped to take a trip or cruise with her. She seemed so vibrant and is much loved by the quilting community as is evidenced by the number of heartfelt remberances logged here. Prayers of comfort to her family.
Noreen :
Doreen had done a lecture at the Bay Area Quilt Guild (Houston, TX)about four years ago which was incredibly entertaining. She was obviously someone who really enjoyed people and life and relished it all. An old western saying is that "she died with her boots on" doing exactly what she wanted to do. Singing and dancing are a truly great way to go out. She was scheduled to lecture and teach at Lakeview Quilters Guild (Houston, TX) in Nov. We have never had a workshop fill up so quickly. The quilting world has lost a great talent and entertainer.
Jean Olsen :
I was privileged to see and meet her personally just a few years ago in
Tyler. Being from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin I talked with her about Washington Island
and also clothes shopping in Sturgeon Bay, since both she and I liked unusual clothing.
She was a delightful speaker and "real" person. I bought her book "Pattern Play" and
she has been a real inspiration to me in use of pattern and color with aliveness and
daring. Such a loss for the quilting community and especially you, her beloved family.
My prayers are with you!
Diane M. Hampton :
I was distressed to hear that my favorite quilter has died. I know my distress is no where nearing yours. I was able in the past ten years, to attend 3 of her classes and two lectures. She was funny, had wonderful stories to tell about her quilts, her daughter and everything she talked about was fun. She gave a certain excitement to the experience. A great loss, I and my quilting group will pray for her family.
Shirley Rainsberger :
Doreen's life was dedicated to creative thinking by women who had little time or energy to do so. She gave me the lift I needed to not get stuck in a rut but to remain true to yourself.
Janet :
I met Doreen at a workshop in Williston ND, and so enjoyed her humorous outlook on life. For all her expertise, she was still just one of us "regular people". The Quilting world will miss her- all our sympathies to her family.
Susanne McCoy :
I got to know Doreen just briefly at
Quilt-by-the-Lake. . .what an exuberant,
amazing presence she was - funny, laughing at herself as well, no one would ever sleep while she was presenting - too too good.
Barb :
My very first quilt guild meeting that I attended Doreen was the speaker. I will always remember that.
Betsy Cooksey, Spartanburg, SC :
Doreen was like a warm fuzzy bear. We was just delightful to be around whether taking a class or not. She filled the room with humor. She has always been my favorite teacher and one of the first teachers I had when I started quilting 10yrs. ago. I had just recently received a note from her wanting to get down to see all her friends in Greenville,SC and that a "cruise" to Mary Jo's Cloth Shop. I will personally miss her and the quilt world has lost a dear woman. Megan my heart goes out to you. She never failed to talk about you.
i only got to know her thru simply quilts show but just loved her attitude on life and sewing being fun. i always said if i got on a cruise it would be with her and mary ellen hopkins 2 nd. we have lost a very enjoyable person
cheryl in buffalo :
I first took a class from Doreen in 1983 at Sievers School of Fiber Arts in Washington Island, WI where she teaches regularly. I've met up with her every couple of years since, and attended her Alaskan quilting cruise in 1995 where I also had a chance to meet Pete and Megan. My sympathies to you both. Doreen was a unique and special person who will be sorely missed in the quilting world and beyond.
Kathy O'Hagan :
I never had the honor of meeting Doreen, but I loved watching her on SQ. I could daydream about a cruise. What I remember most vividly was her comment about starting a stash "Take out a loan". I followed her advice. My prayers are with you Megan and with the rest of Doreen's family and friends.
pj buchalter :
I spoke with Doreen at Huston last year and I was hoping to see her again this year when a attend the Huston Show in Oct. 1999. I am so sadden by this news of her untimey passing. My heart goes out to all thoes in her family.
Dera Muszick :
Because I never met Doreen personally, I cannot share any shared memories, however one of my hopes in life was to someday go on one of her cruises (with my very best friend, Carol, of course) and it was something we discussed often. It was like that was the ultimate dream for us... I hope her inspiration in our lives does go on. She seems to have lived life as it was meant to be lived and that is the main thought I will carry with me. To those close to her, I'm sorry for your loss.
Joyce Blundon :
Doreen has enriched my life with her wonderful books and her appearances on Simply Quilts, I will miss her expertise and delightful sense of humor!
Nell Torrez :
One of my best workshops was with Doreen at Zooks in San Diego. I especially enjoyed her humor. The quilts that she shared with us, were beautiful.
Katydid :
I saw Doreen on Simply Quilts and thought
I would love to take a trip with her. She
had such arelaxed attitude about quilting.
She will be truely missed!
Kelly Deutsch :
I saw Doreen speak in Vermont this summer. It was so hot in the High School Auditorim! Doreen pulled her floor length dress up and tucked it in her underpants. I nearly peed my pants. She went on to speak and kept me laughing for days. I went home and repeated the entire lecture to my husband. I am so glad that I had the oportunity to actually meet her. When asked if her daughter liked to quilt? She paused.........and said,"Meagan.......would rather eat dirt". The audience went into a rumble of laughter. She had a way of keeping quilting fun and care free. She is already missed!
Elizabeth Johnson :
I was on a Caribbean quilting cruise with Doreen
in January of 1997 and had a wonderful time. We went
to Trunk Bay on one of the stops and the sight of Doreen
trudging into the water with flippers flopping on her
feet to go snorkling was a sight to behold.

I think that's how I'd like to remember Doreen, full of
fun and laughing as she tripped into the water.

Thank you for sharing her with us.

Roberta :
I never met Doreen, but enjoyed watching her and peakie and spike. Forgive my spelling.

My prayers are with her family.

Gerry McDonald :
Doreen came to the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild when I was Program Chairman. She had so many wonderful quilts to show and I especially enjoyed peaky and spike. She will be missed by our Guild.
Nadine Darby - San Antonio :
What a wonderful person Doreen Speckman was,and one of the best and funniest teachers I've had the priviledge of taking classes and workshops from. We were snowed in together at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Fargo ND in March of '96, along with the rest of the group taking a workshop. We couldn't even walk across the parking lot to the mall, the snow was so deep. So we all settled in and had a wonderful time in spite of the blizzard.

Mary :
We have lost a truly wonderful soul
Sandy in Nevada :
Like so many others, I dreamed of one day having the opportunity of taking a class or, better yet, a trip with Doreen. I did get to see her on Simply Quilts, which was enough to make me yearn to be exposed to more of her good humor and lust for life. Peaky and Spike may be what most of us remember her for; but her real legacy, in addition to the wonderful attitude she shared, was her family and particularly her daughter. Heartfelt condolences to all of you in this terribly difficult time.
Kristy in Texas :
While I never had the opportunity to meet
Doreen in person, I have long admired her
work and her contributions to the quilt world
are many. How I dreamed of taking one of her
quilt cruises, once the kids were a little older ...
I have enjoyed her inspiration and using techniques
in my quilting.
Lynette :
I was a guest of a guild member about a year ago when Doreen came to speak. She was wonderful to listen to and so excited about quilting. One of these days I'm gonna try that Peaky and Spike thing! I pray that her family finds comfort in the memories, pictures and quilts she left behind. Bless you.
Vicki Feraco :
I recently attended the Vermont Quilt Festival in July 1999 with my mom. We attended a lecture by Doreen and laughed for days. She seemed like a person who just loved life. I think it was a wonderful opportunity to meet her and extend my sympathy to her family.

Dottie Allen :
I will miss her joyful enthusiasm.
Susan :
I met her at our guild meeting last year, and knew within 5 seconds she was from Wisconsin. I wish I'd known her better, longer, and she'll always be a part of the fabric of our lives. Megan, you are in my prayers, and I'm glad to know you and your mom were best friends.
Artie Johnson :
I have never met the lady but have seen here numerous times on Simply Quilts and thought she was happy, professional, and truly had a love of quilts and her work. She will truly be missed. :
Doreen was one funny lady and a joy to be with.
June Kerss :
Several years ago I participated in the NC Quilt Symposium in Fayettville. I recall how vibrant Doreen was and her enthusiasm for sharing her talents with us. During a break between dinner and the evening session her humor and willingness to engage in conversation with anyone who was within distance was
refreshing and invigorating. She gave her all to help us learn something new and innovative. My sympathy to her family on the loss of a great teacher and quilter.
Kathleen from Michigan :
I met Doreen when she came to speak at our guild meeting. Best meeting we've ever had! She kept us all in "stitches" with her humor. What a lady. Her sudden and too early death has promted me to make a long overdue doctors appointment for a checkup.
Trish Ferranti :
My first and only time in Doreen's presence was when she was a guest speaker at my quilt guild about a year ago. I was afraid of triangular shapes until she introduced us to Peaky & Spike. She was just hilarious and though I was too shy to talk to her afterwards and was unable to take her class at the time, I was looking forward to seeing her again sometime, at our guild, a quilt show or another class. How special she was, to be able to express just what we are thinking but sometimes don't dare say out loud. Funny, smart, artistic, inspiring, encouraging, joyful, so many special qualities; unique, yet one of us, so down to earth. Yes, she'd have made a great comedian. Her family is so blessed to have had her with them. I wish I had someone like that in my family. I wish we ALL personally knew someone like her. Someone just truly being herself, a loving, caring creative person. Everyone has faults but it must have been hard to find many in her. She was able to pack so much into one lifetime. Our quilting world has an unfillable hole in it now, but our memories of her will live on and we will keep Peaky and Spike alive by making many quilts from the knowledge and experiences she gave us. Goodbye, our friend. Megan, I hope my daughters love me like you have loved your mom. We are so sorry for your loss and your dad's, and thank you to all your family for sharing Doreen with us.
Janice Sauvageau :
I have never had the oppertunity to meet her. I have seen her a number of times on Simply Quilts, I have never missed on Alex's shows and always enjoyed them. I will miss her joy and happy smile.

I wish the family the best and God be with you all at these times.

from B.C., Canada

Sharon in San Diego :
I was fortunate enough to have taken 2 workshops with Doreen Speckman at the first 2 Road to CA Conferences. I never laughed so hard in my life and was sure she was an entertainer posing as a quilter. All you had to do though was see her talk about P & S and admire her quilts and you knew she was blessed with many talents.
I loved her and my prayers are with her family.
Claire Amick :
Lancaster Quilt Show - April 1999 was special because of a class I took from Doreen. With her death it certainly will become an extra special memory for me. Her ease with the class, her wit, her whole personna warms my heart just thinking about it. My heart goes out to Megan and I guess a thank you from those of us lucky enough to share in knowing your mom - she was quite a special lady.
Sandy & Betty(of the back of the bus bunch) :
Quilts, shopping, travel and hours of laughter. Thats what we fortunate tourists got when we traveled with Doreen to Norway, England, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and even the Mississippi
River. Our group of 3 or 4 always sat
in the "back of the bus". We enjoyed picnics with Norwegian quilters, watched Megan sleep on the bus seat and howled at Doreens wonderful humor. We ate strange food, bought fabric we'll never use and marched in and out of countless museums.
SHE made the trip!
Megan-our love to you.
George, Ruthie, Rita and Barbara (A-1) Thank You for introducing us to the world and Doreen Speakmann.
HelenMarie :
I was fortunate to be able to take three classes with Doreen several years ago at Williamsburg, VA. In one weekend! Doreen gave me an autographed certificate for having spent so much time listening to her in class! She was a treasure. So inspiring. That weekend, I bought some of the wildest fabrics I could influence my future works! I have used her Peaky and Spike templates often and have designed several patterns with them...but never used all the orange, purple, fuchsia and chartreuse fabrics until lately. I love 'em....I'll miss you, Doreen...and think of you whenever I wear a Carole Little design! I regret never having had the joy of a quilters' cruise...
Constance C. Leavitt :
Doreen spoke at a guild meeting in Wichita about 2 yrs. ago. I was able to spend about 2 minutes chatting with her--a real thrill. She was so dynamic, interesting, and funny. We will all miss her. She went too soon.
Mary Ann McElroy :
I took a class from Doreen at Golden Needles
in Cincinnati OH in 1997 on the Nosegay
block. I thoroughly enjoyed her humor re:
quilts and her life. From here on out, every
time I see Provance fabric, I will think
of her. God rest her soul and wrap her in quilts!!
Marti McDannel :
I first became acquainted with Doreen at Quilting on the Lake in New York State. Her sense of humor, her sense of fellow quilters and her entire persona was unforgettable. I had just talked with my husband about a possibility of joining one of her cruises in 2001. Doreen was truly an inspiration and a person I am sorry I did not know better. I shall never forget this wonderful person and quilter.
Evelyn Christian :
I met Doreen at The Pictou Quilt Retreat in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1991. I was not in her class, but we heard the constant laughter coming from the classroom. I remember her great sense of humour, and her collection of Cow Items, especially her wonderful earrings. I was again at the Pictou Retreat when I heard of her death, so it will always remain as the place that I said hello and good bye to her. She will be missed.
Linda White :
Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to meet her. I had planned to do so in Houston next month. I have already ordered her new book and it will be even more special to me now. I understand she was a special lady.
Doris :
i see her articles in quilt books, also she gets the cruises up. So sorry, god bless her family.
Dee Rompa :
She lit up the room and was so vibrant.
I grew up in Minn. and it made me homesick
to hear all her stories and listening to
her talk. What a great personnality.
So sorry
Kathy Welch :
This past June at The Minnesota Quilt Show I enjoyed a fun filled cruise on the Mississippi River with Doreen. She was amusing and shared her heart with us all. She's the kind of gal you feel that you have known for years. I'm truly sad she's gone but will always be remembered.
Marcia Tipton :
How she loved fabrics. Was always so
jovial and happy. I just got to see
her through Simply Quilts. I feel a
great loss and never was lucky enough to
meet her, those who have met her please
know I share your loss.
Mata Rolston, Davis, Ca. :
Megan, all of us in the quilting world share your sorrow in the loss of your Mom. She touched the lives of so many of us with such humor, inspiration, and encouragement. We were truly blessed to know her.
Alta Jay :
I was inspired by her humor and knowledge of quilting.
Ruth Barry :
I took the "Nosegay" quilt patch class from Doreen at Golden Needles in Cincinnati, OH in the fall of 1997 and throughly enjoyed Doreen's presentation style and humor. The piecing of the quilt is almost finished now, but it will have even a more precious meaning as I continue to work on it. I am proud to have met her.
m l dawson :
Met Doreen on the elevator in Williamsburg in February. She was so personable, friendly and funny. Attended her lecture while there. She was wonderful - in no hurry to leave. Just sat around and talked to everyone after her presentation.. Will certainly be missed by all.
nancy g :
My introduction to Doreen Speckmann was the "Simply Quilts" show on HGTV. This indeed a shock and the quilt world will be at a loss. Her sense of humor was a great teaching tool. I will remember her "peeky" and "spike" blocks always.
Fran Dennison, Prairie Quilt Guild, Wichita, KS :
Doreen was one of my favorite quilters. I will remember her visit to our guild when she shared her expertise and humor with us. She will be missed!!
Susan Thomas, Cobblestone Quilt Guild :
I will always remember her wonderful sense of colour. Her guilts could sing to you, even if the colours were not "your colours."
Judi Dobbs :
She was so much fun and so talented. My first contact with her was at a quilt conference in Sacramento, CA.
Doreen had the Aloha Spirit. Love from Kauai.
Karen Bennick :
Doreen taught one class that I took at a quilt show in Las Vegas NV in 1992 Instantly addicted to her humor and loving the color and quilts I went on tour with her to Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Norway and on one of her Caribean cruises. I took in her lecture in Houston and drove 1000 miles round trip to say Hi to her at the Pacific International Quilt show. I wanted to go to France, Alaska, Russia and any other place that Doreen went on tour. I often wondered how she found time to do all the things she did and travel to all those places. Her lectures were funny and she was a nice person to be around even when she was not "on." She taught many a quilter more things about life then about quilting. Doreen never said a bad word about anyone that I ever heard. That's why we are reading about her now. She made a big impact on all of us.
Joan Zieger, Madison, WI :
Doreen is the only person I know who turned her hobby, her passion, into a full-time job which supported her. But of course she would be the one person to do so. She always did more than most people, and in a memorable, beguiling manner.

Just 3 weeks ago I was in her home and she said I should always tell people that we've known each other longer than her daughter's age. We were happy we shared a long history. We lived in the same apartment complex while she was knitting, and reading at the same time. I just sat and watched her in amazement that she could knit without watching it.

Then quilting came revealing that rich, deep and wide talent. She soared. I still watched in amazement. Her husband, Pete, worked in the same building I do, (Wisconsin Public Television) so reports were constant of her popularity and success. While other friends and I mumbled about "finding our bliss," Doreen went right after hers. She grabbed the brass ring. I'm so glad it fit her gently and graciously.

It was an irony that her international travels kept her from even more statewide recogntion. She missed the most recent filming of a statewide Wisconsin Public Television "Wisconsin Quilts III" program because she was returning from Scandinavia. She had expanded beyond local, beyond state to an international level and had followers everywhere.

Her generosity was legendary. She loaned one of her sewing machines for the weekend to a funder of a national quilting program. When the funder learned she would be using Doreen's machine, she was more excited about that fact than the workshops she would be attending. Weeks later when I told Doreen of an upcoming trip to Santa Fe to attend the opening of the newest art quilts show at Thirteen Moons Art Gallery, she immediately asked if I had a "fabulous" necklace to wear. Hearing my "no", she took me into her quilting room, pulled open a drawer chock full of fabulous necklaces and insisted on loaning several to me. She wanted me to look good. When I returned those necklaces 3 weeks ago, we indulged in a long talk about life and love and change. Her beautiful daughter, Megan, came in. Both were so happy together. Again, I watched the affectionate interaction of mother and daughter in amazement.

Doreen was so excited about going to Ireland. Her love of life was opulent and contagious. I just heard of her death late today. So, I find it very hard to comprehend that that visit will be the last time I'll see her. She lives in so many memories. But I miss her tremendously already.

Sue Maddox said it best elsewhere on these pages: The Queen is dead.

I'll add: Long live the Queen!

Peggy White of Springfield, MO :
Doreen was my first quilting workshop instructor nearly 10 years ago. I owe my love of quilting to her as she was the first to assure me "You can do it!" and then went on to tell me how with many tips and techniques that I still use nearly every day. She will be greatly missed and I will always remember her and her wonderful sense of humor fondly. My sympathy and prayers are offered to her family and close friends.
Karen in Tracy, CA :
My heart smiles when I think of Doreen. I was fortunate enough to hear her speak twice. The lecture lasted for over an hour...but it felt like only minutes had passed. I laughed & smiled & laughed some more. The inspiration she gave to all of her fellow quilters was incredible. She made me feel good about buying fabric "just because" - even if I didn't know what I was going to do with it! I'm glad Doreen shared herself with all of us. My condolences to her family.
Marc Milani, Yuba City Calif :
Simply Quilts is as close as I got- so I bought the book and the templates I feel that I knew her from her lively book and Was hoping to catch her at Asilomar someday, now it will be in the big quiltstore in Paradise. My condolences go to Megan and family- you are fortunate to have had such great memories. I wonder what Peakey and Spike are doing?
Becky Valcante :
Just wanted to add that she spoke glowingly of her daughter and husband, and made me feel that I had a kindred spirit. I, like Doreen, love to haunt office supply stores. I never walk into one without thinking of her!
Becky Valcante :
Doreen came on almost the spur of the moment to teach in Gainesville, FL a couple of Decembers ago. We were amazed and thrilled to have her, and were equally delighted that her real reason for saying "Yes" so quickly was because she wanted to go to Disney World, and we could get her in! She was wonderful fun and we learned scads. How could someone who loved Disney World not be fun? I'm so glad I was able to learn from her. She will really be missed.
Mary C. Lehrhoff :
I never met her; my mom did once, quite by accident. One of my sisters took mom (an avid quilter) with dad (not),her son, and SO(Significant Other) on a wonderful cruise. Can you imagine my mother's shock to discover that it was a QUILTER's CRUISE!!! Doreen was gracious enough to let mom hang around a bit and soak up quilty "ambiance." I had always hoped to be able to attend one of her cruises and take MOM!! She will be greatly missed!!
karen DalPezzo :
Even though I was unable to work with Doreen and learn from her directly, I'm sure her quilting knowledge will live on for a long time to come, Deepest Sympathy to her family.
Monna Walters :
I never had the privilege of seeing her in person, but her visits to "Simply Quilts" impressed me greatly. From watching her, I learned not to take myself too seriously, put love and fun into my quilting, and not to be afraid of making a mistake. I had hoped one day to take one of her quilting cruises. I will miss her.
Mary Overton :
I remember Doreen from our Mississippi Queen cruise in 1998, from the 1999 Road to California Classes, her "laugh along lectures" and from our trip to Hawaii. What a wonderful person and quilter she was. She will be greatly missed by all quilters. My love and prayers to Megan and Doreen's family and may God be with you during this sad time.
Phyllis O'Connor :
We in Lansing,MI, wish to add our thoughts to those of the thousands who have been touched by Doreen. What incredible gifts she gave to the world--quilting and otherwise. Our heartfelt condolences to Megan and family.
Mary Anne Anderson :
The guild I belonged to had Doreen as a speaker one year and what a terrific and most enjoyable evening I had. I am sadden by her sudden death. My prayers are with her family.
Andrea O'Neil :
I heard Doreen speak at the VT Quilt Festival and a local quilt guild and her sense of humour and warm personality made it seem as if I knew her personally. Much sympathy to her family. She will be sorely missed.

Judy Kamman :
My Mom and I were able to take one of Doreen's Holland Quilt tours. We are both so thankful to of been able to travel with this very special lady. I'm a quilter,I'm so thankful to Doreen and her creative quilting with pattern play, I've been inspired to do some really fun quilts. We have lost a very dear lady who truley loved quilting. My thoughts and prayers are for her family in this time of great sorrow.
God Bless.. Judy
Jacqué J Holmes :
My "Doreen purple chicken" will be even more precious to me now. She was truly an inspiration to all quilters and lovers of life.
Joanne Cuoghi :
I took classes with Doreen at the Princeton (NJ) YWCA and at the Williamsburg Show. Many hours filled with learning and laughter. She taught me to work past my fears and stretch myself. I am a better quilter because of her.
Suzan Paschen :
I had the pleasure of meeting Doreen two times
thru the years. First in 1987 at the Vermont
Quilt Festival, then just this last February
I bumped into her at a small quilt shop on
the island of Kauai. We will all miss her fun
and loving nature.
Cheryl Trostrud-White :
I first knew Doreen at my quilt guild in Arlington Heights Illinois (1980-1985). NO ONE would follow her at show-and-tell because she funniest person in the whole room of 200+ women. I always was filled with so much inspiration after hearing one of Doreen's lectures or attending one of her classes. I met her at the LAX airport for dinner. She was on the way to Australia. We only had time to race to the mini-market for a couple of 6 packs of Diet Coke in case they didn't have any in Australia, but had a was a blast.
Here are some of my notes from one of Doreen’s lectures:

"Creativity - There is a Little in All of Us"
February 13, 1989

Some people feel that creativity is like a "birthmark." You just have it. It's actually more of a process. Quiltmaking is a process which expresses exuberance. For some people, quiltmaking is a way to deal with heart-wrenching experiences. Quilting is what others do at the end of a long, busy workday.
We all look for inspiration in many places: houses, flowers, occupations, family happenings, fantasy, folk tales and our national heritage.
Quilts say so much about our attitudes in life: fat flowers or anorexic flowers may express our feelings about fatness or thinness; color flowing or rhythmns of alternating patterns express our sense of color and harmony. (Doreen has a series of "food quilts" which are inspired by different, provocative aspects of food. )
Sometimes you need to think of a quilt as a learning experience. Every time you take a step, take a risk. Hang in there in the face of disaster. Try the quilt pattern again in different colors and in a different setting. Try your blocks in new positions. Cut your fabric willy-nilly. Make 9" blocks without looking at them. Turn your blocks on point. Make your quilt tell something about yourself, about your sense of innovation, your difference in perspective.
Also, have supplies on hand. You need to have friends with more fabric than you as well as with less than you. Have friends that are supportive and creative, and not just quilters.

Tricia Lane :
It was a pleasure of being with Doreen on at least two occasions. Once when she was our guest speaker and workshop leader here in Thunder Bay Ontario Canada and on the Riverboat Cruise at the Minnesota Quilt Conference in St. Paul last summer.
What a loss to all of us. A wonderfuly person as well as a great inspiration to the quilt community.
Yvonne Barcelona :
For all you gave us, for all you meant to us, we thank you.
For all we learned, for all we were able to share because of you , we thank you.
You have kept our fires burning. You have left with us a footprint of your soul,
for this we will be eternally greatful. Thank you for your warmth, insight, and humor.
I know you will guide all the quilters who have proceeded you into quilters paradise,
keep them warmed up for us, because we all are following behind with all our UFO's.

To your family and close friends my prayers are with you. Only those of us who have
lost one so dear and close know your loss. I pray that all our prayers ease the pain
and the emptiness. Doreen is watching over us, so stick together and make a quilt of love
together. As a Quilt is a quilt by its stiching together of different fabrics,
so you must be stitched together in love, friendship and support. God bless you.

Jo-Ann Gomes :
I am so saddened to hear of Doreen's passing. My friend and I went to see her at the Modesto, Ca. quilt guild last summer. She was so entertaining and I am truly sorry for her family. It must be a tremendous loss for them. She spoke of her daughter often throughout the evening.
She will truly be missed in the quilting world.


Jo-Ann Gomes

Leigh Hay-Martin :
She was my friend.
I will miss her and smile when I think of her.
Betty O'Leary :
I have taken several classes from Doreen and have enjoyed them immensely. She always showed a since of humor, but at times you could see that something was bothering her (problems in her personal life) but she was a professional teacher at all times.

I enjoyed her class on whales and had finished my whales but am looking for a lighthouse pattern to use in the center. I want to be sure that I use the correct whitehouse.

The quilting world will really miss her. Several guild members, who did not take a class from her said that the now wished they had. I am looking forward to Spike and Peaky release sometime next month. I want to be sure to purchase a couple copies.

Elayne Vognild :
She taught at our guild in Birmingham, and we had a good time with her when a group of us took her out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Now that she is gone, we can cherish the memory of having her with us for a short time. She was such fun. Loved seeing her on TV with Alex Anderson, because we "knew" her and she was a friend.
Bonnie Ketterling :
Thank you Doreen, for all your humor, I enjoyed your class and will never forget you or your love for fabric and we quilt lovers, love to your family and I will hope to see you again one day, when we all meet again, in that big sewing room in the sky.
Alison D. :
I bought a copy of her book several years ago, and got intimately acquainted with Peaky and Spike while making a quilt inspired by her book. I loved her imagination and her sense of fun, and I was truly looking forward to attending her lecture next month in Houston and hopefully getting to chat with her afterwards.
The quilting world has lost a true gem.
Sue Fiscalini :

I met Doreen briefly at a quilt guild meeting in a neighboring town and was so inspired by her humor and talent. She was so friendly and easy to talk to. I always admired the beauty of her quilts and hoped one day to be able to take a cruise with her. Now I will make one of her quilts that I loved so much to keep as a constant reminder of the special lady she was! And when I need inspiration for a new
project her books will be the first I will be looking at!
Lisa Taylor of "Quilter in the Glen" :
We in San Diego were very sorry to learn of Doreen's death.
Her sense of humor and great personality were legendary.

Though I never had the pleasure of knowing her personally,
or attending one of her classes or tours, (a lack I regret),
I have heard many wonderful stories of her from quilting friends here.

She will be missed by all. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.


Lisa Taylor

Quilter in the Glen

sandy buss :
kind,sincere,great presentator,a real loss
Joan :
I've seen her so many times on Simply Quilts and just love her sense of humor. My favorite line was when she was explaining how to stick templates onto a rotary ruler and she said she liked using rubber cement for the job - "not because it works so well but because I love the smell". I think it threw Alex Anderson off for a minute. I agree with others who've said ...."an Irish Pub, Line Dancing - what a way to go!"
Connie Jo :
I saw Doreen at the Minnesota Quilt Show this summer and she was fantastic. Her line of fabric was so exciting to see and she was so excited to show it off. She made us feel like we had known her for years and we were all friends. I am very sad at her passing and will think of her everytime I quilt. She was definitely one of a kind.
Kathy :
I remember seeing Doreen on the show
"Simply Quilts". I thoroughly enjoyed
her spirit and humor as well as her
knowledge and expertise in quilting.
Although I didn't ever meet her I
express my deepest thoughts to her
family. She will be missed.
Cathie Sheehan :
I was fortunate enough to take Doreen's Nosgay
course this summer at the Vermont Quilt Festival.
In the course she used my cut squares and sewn triangles
to show us the sewing sequence. I had her sign
this block because she had sewn it together. I will finish
these four blocks as a memory of Doreen and I will have
a signed wall hanging to remember her by.
I heard her lecture at the overcrowded lecture
hall at Norwich. He sense of humor and love
of fabric and quilting and her wonderful
expression of her feelings and love of her daughter,
Megan just shined through. I remember her saying in the
lecture that night to always cut your best fabric first.
Use it up because there is always great fabric just around the corner.

I extend my sympathy to Megan and her family. We in the quilting world will miss
her, but her family will certainly be reminded of her
at every turn. What wonderful memories they have
with her quilts.

Maureen (Mo) Johnson :
" Many lovely things are destined to be with us for only a certain period of time. We know the beauties of nature have their times and their seasons. Flowers come into new bud and reach their glorious bloom, but they must pass out of our lives in the season of frost. Yet we are the richer for having seen them and enjoyed their fragrance. How much more rewarding then is the life of a loved one who leaves us precious and loving memories that can never die. And how truly and wisely it has been said---God gave us MEMORY so we might have roses in December." I found this when my nephew died and I don't know who wrote it but I like it. Doreen had many gifts and she shared them with all. I loved hearing her laugh and having her make me laugh and smile. She will be missed.
Celia Ambrose :
I never met Doreen, but I saw her on the Simply Quilts program and taped the segment she did. I enjoyed her teaching style and her sense of humor. I am thankful I have this on videotape.
May God bless each family mamber and give much comfort and peace as you reflect on Doreen's wonderful life.
PKelley :
When you look up at the sky and see all
of the clouds going into differant patterns, know that Dorreen is giving the Angels directions so that they will look like a beautiful quilt. She will be missed by many but her work lives on
Elva Eilertson, Four County Quilter's Guild, Inc,. MD :
Doreen Speckmann gave a lecture and workshop, sponsored by our quilt guild and open to be public. This was several years ago, and I had hoped to someday go on one of her cruises. When she visited our guild, she delivered a wonderful lecture and we all laughted, and hung on every word. I could relate to her comment of going into the room where her fabric stash was kept and petting it and leaning her head and cheek against the soft cloth. She brought out all the feelings we secretly had for our passsion of quilting. These are feelings that only other quilters would understand. I am so happy that I have a small wall quilt that I finished from her workshop. Now I have a beautiful reminder of Doreen. God bless Doreen Speckman and be with her family in this diffficult time. May they be comforted in the knowledge of all the lives she touched and improved. We'll miss her and remember her always.
wilma goertzen :
I am greatly saddened by our loss of Doreen.It is helping today to read all the comments of the many people she influences.I happened 6 yrs. ago walk into a lecture of hers, not knowning anything about her. As she walked on to the stage and the audiance began to laugh, I knew I liked her. She was brave enough to wear her birks. in public, so she had my heart. I was so ticked by her humor that I have never stopped talking about her.This all happened in Sister,OR. I feel blest to have seen her live. However we here in Lewiston, Id. have never been so fortunate to see her Simply Quilts programs. I hope someone will see that those are shown in the No.West sometime. Also yes, the Heyln's Hoop is the best in the world. Can't live without it. I got my quilt out today made from her wonderful templates and now I shall quilt it in honor of her. I've been praying for her family all day today. I know God will help you threw this. God bless you. wilma
Joanne Hasbrouck :
My first (and sadly last) encounter with
this amazing woman was at the Vermont
Quilt Festival this past July. She had
the audience in stitches with her good
humor and lightning fast wit! She'll
not only be missed by those who knew
her, but by those of us who sat in
hot, dark auditoriums laughing until our sides
sides ached.

Ann in Illinois :
A very down to earth fun person who had a special
knack for teaching and being humerous.
Marolyn Floyd, SC :
I first met Doreen several years ago at North Carolina Quilt Symposium. I attended one of her lectures and laughed so hard that my sides hurt from laughing.
Two years ago, my husband and I went on one of her quilting cruises to the Caribbean. My favorite part of the trip was when Peaky and Spike showed up at dinner on toga night wearing their own personal togas!
My sincere sympathy goes out to her family. She will be greatly missed.
Debbie Jensen - Corvallis, Oregon :
Doreen came to speak at the Marys River Quilt Guild a couple of years ago and had all of us in stitches. She left us with great memories and will be truely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Ellen :
Doreen was always the first one on the dance floor and the last one off. I found her to be diplomatic, gracefull and full of life. She will be missed
Athene Jordan :
Doreen was our speaker/teacher at Cobblestone Quilters last year. I was lucky enought to take her wonderfull class, and we really hit it off. I shared a trick I have for keeping my colored penciles from escaping and she loved it,( tea towel under them), and asked to use it. She was so funny and full of excitement, and it was great to talk to a fellow quilter that understood the how and why of how I quilt. She made the class informative, fun,and a unique experience.Doreen is truely an unreplaceable gift to all of us in the quilting world, and will be remembered with thankfullness and the joy of her creativity.
Janet M. Harris, San Diego :
A truely talented and giving person who was an inspiration to us all. She will be sorely missed.
Sharon F. Burger :
I only saw her one time and that was on Simply Quilts, but had read articles about her and Peeky and Spike my years ago. She seemed to enjoy helping others and I even daydreamed of taking one of her trips.
May her family accept my sincere condolences and prayers
Jean Garnett :
I never had the pleasure of meeting Doreen Speckmann, but enjoyed watching her on the simply quilts. She was truly a delight to watch and absolutely brillant.I'm so thankful she had a means of sharing all her knowledge and wisdom. She has made all ours lives richer as a result. I will enjoy the peaky and spike book and template set i received as a gift all that much more now. Take comfort in knowing heaven will he a much more colorful and much warmer place thanks to her because i'm sure her quilting classes have continued with every available angel attending..My prayers to all her family. She will be grealty missed but will live on in our quilts and color.
Carol :
What a wonderful legacy this incredible woman has left for all to cherish and hold dear! Doreen truly left the world a much better place. We should all try to honor her memory by doing the same. My thoughts and prayers to her family during this difficult loss.
Judy Hanf :
I had the pleasure of accompanying Doreen on two of her Alaskan cruises. My mother and I went on the first one in June, 1997. It was on that cruise that we met Doreen and her daughter. We so enjoyed Doreen's warmth, sense of humor, expertise, that we joined her this past June on the same cruise. This time we took along my sister-in-law. Doreen was truly a remarkable woman. We will all miss her dearly. Megan (I hope I spelled your name correctly), your mom was the greatest. But, you know that. She is still with you and always will be. Take care of yourself.
Mary Kay :
When I was still a beginning quilter I was fortunate to take a class from Doreen at John A. Logan Junior College in Southern Illinois. Her wonderful sense of humor put many of my thoughts into words. The class was a great learning experience for me in many ways. A couple of years later I heard her lecture in Cinncinati. She graciously signed a quilt label for me. Peaky and Spike did too. My wall hanging is at a show this week end in her memory.
Jane St John :
She came several times to Mo. She was humorous and very interesting. Never a dull moment. Her Cow fabric was also funny. She never stopped an audience from laughter. One of the better speakers I have ever had the chance to hear. Truely a huge loss to all and especially her family.
rugratgrm1(marion) :
what a delightful lady who will truly be missed by us all. May GOD bless this family and friends with his love and bring peace to all. my prayers are with you.
Penny Cable :
I am not an avid class-taker but once had an opportunity to take a class from Doreen and I can honestly say it was certainly the highlight of my own quilting experience. She had the same odd, irrepressible humor I have and I felt an immediate kinship. Will never forget her comment about color "I love all long as they have some red in them." Now that sums it up perfectly for me too! Her quilts were an exhuberant display of color and design. And...we got to touch them!
I remember how much she loved her Burkenstock sandals. She completely
endeared herself to me when she said "I have a pair in every color so they go with anything I wear." She spoke so fondly of her family. She had it all - a warm, funny, vibrant woman who appeared to have just the right balnce of self and others. I will truly miss her. Godspeed to her family.
Margaret Peters :
My thoughts, where does one begin when they have had the gift of Doreen's friendship in their life? We go back more than 20 years when Karey Bresenhan had Doreen room with Martie Sandell and me at Doreen's first Houston Quilt Market. We were joined at the hip from that moment on. I had to be the last person she talked to last Thursday night, we talked three times that night, the last time I looked at the clock it was 12:10 AM. She wanted me to speak and teach at a new retreat she was going to do next October in Chatidqua, NY. Need I say I was overjoyed. She was worried about Megan as she had an upset stomach and wanted me to convince her Megan would be OK,in Doreen's life there was no one like Megan her pride and joy. One of the hundreds of memories of Doreen was at that first Quilt Market, she was terrified as she was to give her lecture following Yvonne Porcella as it got closer she got worse so at 3AM we had her give her lecture standing on the bed and we were sitting on the floor, I will treasure that picture I took forever. In the morning I went to Karey and asked if Doreen could go on before Yvonne as she was so scared, Karey said of course---the rest is history, if you are reading this Yvonne it was me that did that and I have never had the courage to tell you. Doreen has spent countless times in our home and we had the joy of having Megan also, she loved my pillows, need I say I am now sleeping on one of them. To go as she did is a blessing for her and a void that will never be filled for us. The Lord just had to cut in and have the last dance. Pete, my hasband, and I will miss you everyday Doreen. I know you have all the angels quilting with Peaky and Spike by day and line dancing all night.
Save a dance for us. We loved you so.
To Doreen's family what a legacy you have so generously given us and to Megan, what a wonderful daughter and woman you are to be so sharing of your Mom with all of us. She was so proud of you we so loved hearing all about you thru the years, you made her glow Megan.
Phyllis Smith :
I took a class with her in Nelson New Zealand 1n 1995, called peaky and Spike and I just loved Doreen.
Sharon Beymer :
She was a very nice, humorous, down to earth person, and a very good teacher.
We will miss her.
Meredith from Tustin CA :
I took a class from Doreen at Camp Watch-A-Patcher and heard her speak several times at guild meetings. My favorite memory of Doreen is hanging out at the laundry room one night at camp...she was in our dorm and just listening to her tell her quilting stories was so funny. I always thought Doreen should have gone into standup along with the quilting! She had such a neat sense of humor and such a wonderful sense of color! I had great hopes of taking one of her cruises someday! Everyone I have talked to thinks that going while dancing in an Irish pub would be #1 on our list...going out doing something you love and being remembered fondly by everyone!

Patricia Cummings :
While I never personally knew Doreen, I really appreciated all of her work and contributions to the quilting world. She seemed to be a genuine person with a very good sense of humor who enjoyed life. I will never forget her comment on "Simply Quilts"- "Buy fabric....reason to live". I am hoping that St. Patrick himself was at the perly gates to welcome her home.
cindy sabo -- alexandria, va :
I just spent a few minutes reading all the tributes to Doreen. I laughed and cried with everyone as they wrote, remembering Doreen and her incredible quilt stories and her fabulous sense of humor!! I will always treasure the memories of her at QHC in Lancaster, PA and at our Quilters Unlimited annual meeting here in VA. My heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends. I know Doreen would want us to celebrate her life and not be sad, but it's so hard not to grieve for her. Like so many others, I had planned to go on one of her quilt cruises, but never found the time. I'm sure she's got the angels in stitches! God bless you, Doreen. Keep on dancing!
Lucy Johnston :
A beautiful smile, an infectious sence of humor, a talent only God gives
and so many other thoughts that could be expressed. I feel your pain as
I lost my daughter in 1997. It was sudden and unexpected and God awfully
painful. It still is but just as Doreen left so much behind to remember
so does all of those loved ones who have gone before their time. Or so it
seems to us it is before there time. God only knows why. I truly enjoyed
her enthusiasm for quilting and wish I could have met her in person. I
felt I knew her while watching her on television. Maybe we can get together
in her quilt mansion in paradise some day. God bless you all while you
journey through your grief.
Delena in Tennessee :
I didn't have the opportunity to be in on any of her cruises or classes - she must have been a wonderful person and know she will be greatly missed in the quilting world.

Louisa L. Smith :
Linr dancing in the parking lot at Quilting by the Lake NY. Waht fun!!!!
Carole Liebzeit :
Wow...never will forget her dancing the Electric Slide at Asilomar and trying to teach those of us who have two left feet! Her use of purple and orange and her enormous talent just blew me away and her humour taught me a lot about teaching and touching student's lives.
Lesly-Claire Greenberg :
July of 1996 many of us at Vermont quilt festival were entertained with Doreen's discription of a Cemetery that she had "Discovered". We all made the journey to see these "Great" monuments.
Lindsay Woodside :
I'll never forget the seminar I attended where she was the speaker. Marvelous, delightful and oh, so funmy. She was one in a million and will be missed by millions!
christine massey :
she was a great lady and quiltler we have learned a lot from her. she will always live in are quilts
Una Ross :
I only heard her talk one time, last year at Flint, Michigan. I loved her. She made us laugh, and inspired us so much. Like so many, I had always planned to take one of her crusies, but just never did it. I always thought that there was plenty of time. I will miss her very much.
Kathy Jerzewski :
I remember seeing her on Simply Quilts and was delighted to put a real person to name on quilt books. She brought humor and interest to her instructions. I am very sorry I will not be able to enjoy her wit again.
Kathy :
I lost count a long time ago of the number of times I saw Doreen speak, actually, you never saw Doreen speak, you aprticipated in it. I have never laughed so hard. I will never forget the Peaky and Spike class I took with her about 10 years ago at Quilting By The Lake. Doreen was not just very funny, and a terrific, imaginative quilter, but she was warm and caring and incredibly REAL. I too was there for the line dancing at QBL, and that night will never be forgotten. My heart and sympathy goes out to Doreen's family and all who were close to her; if the quilters who knew Doreen feel this loss so profoundly, it is hard to imagine what it means to them.
Debbi Fair :
I took some classes with Doreen when she was at our Guild. What a geat teacher. I learn so much. She spoke several times at our Guild and each evening we laughed till the tears rolled down our cheeks. My sympathy to her family.
Jean Loken :
I heard her lecture this summer, with slides of an Alaskan cruise. When some of the quilters became cold, she shared her stash of quilts and everyone wrapped up. A delightful picture, and a warm gesture!
Sher Stiles :
Doreen came to the Santa Clarita Quilt Guild to speak, she was such a funny lady and so full of life. She made you feel like you were her best friend and could just make you feel loved with everything she said and did through her teaching. She was so warm and loving, we will truely miss such a great lady.
Sharon Chambers :
She was my first teacher at Houston Quilt Festival in 1985 I think and she opened my eyes to so many opportunities that have made my life as a quilter worthwhile.
Norma Zabel :
I have been on four trips with Doreen and A-1 Tours, the most recent in Scandanavia this summer. We shared many good times together, and it astounds me to think of any future travel without her. I can't think of anyone else with so many "best friends" who feel the loss so greatly. Life is less bright today. Farewell, good friend.
Nancy Clarke :
It is touching to read all these testimonials to Doreen. She touched so many of our lives. I am grateful to have known her, through going on six of her quilting tours. What wonderful fun! Bon voyage, Doreen!
Valerie Yeaton :
I was attending the Empty Spools Seminar in Asilomar, CA. After her presentation in the evening program, Doreen came down to the main floor and taught us all how to do the "Electric Slide." I will never forget that.

We will all miss Doreen.

Charlotte Freeman :
I had the pleasure of hearing Doreen speak last year at Road To California. What an incredible lady!!! Her passing at such an early age, should be a lesson to us all....NEVER POSTPONE JOY. My sincere sympathy to her personal family, as well as her huge extended family of fellow quilters.
KathleenA. :
Althought i never met Doreen in person, i did see her from time to time on tv. She had such a great sense of humor & seemed to live life to the fullest. Her approach to quilting will be missed. I'd like to think that heaven is now covered with Peeky & Spike quilts & everyone is quilting. My deepest sympathies to her family & close friends.
Elizabeth :
What a terrible loss to all who loved her wit and great teaching. At a time when I needed a kind word, she was there. She was a terrific caring woman. Wish I could express more in my sorrow.
Sally Ashbacher, Dallas Texas :
I met Doreen thru our mutual friend, Rita Runquist, it was in Kalona Iowa where she was shopping at Sarah Millers, Kolona Kountry Kuilts. She came back to the Puller Inn, took off her shoes, hopped up on the bed and said, "so show me what you are doing". I showed her one of my earlier efforts which was a pink and blue Lady of the Lake probably 95" x 95". She told me in order to be successful I needed to quilt every little piece of it. I often think of that day and that conversation when I put that quilt on my bed, because she was right, I did need to quilt every little bit of it and it was wonderful when finished. I wouldn't have gone the extra mile if it hadn't been for Doreen's encouragement.
Barbara Sales, Nebraska :
Took a class from Doreen back in the 80's. It was so much fun. She was very entertaining and uninhibited which was an inspiration. She made learning a play experience. Peaky and Spike will live on in her memory.
Kitty Cole :
Just over a year ago, I attended a lecture by Doreen and took a class on Peaky and Spike. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard and so much and enjoyed myself more.

Doreen and I had an instant connection, when I asked her "when was the last time you danced the funky chicken?" she knew I was a Badger. I lived right around the corner from her in Madison, but of course never knew it.

I enjoyed her humor and her positive sense of self.

Gone, but not forgotten.

the other Rita :
I met Doreen at the MN Quilt show in Duluth three years ago.
We shared a table at lunch and got to know each other.
She made you feel you as if you'd known her for years.
We were amazed that our lives paralleled each others so closely.
She was the featured speaker at the Banquet and despite
problems with the slide projector she put on a great show.
She was in the "fashion" show too. I laughed so hard I almost
peed my pants. I met up with her again in St Paul this summer
and she greeted me like an old friend. That was Doreen's style.
I will miss her creativity. She set the example to live life to the
fullest. We should all follow in her footsteps.
Goodbye Doreen...You were the greatest!!
Marci :
I am a close friend of Doreen's parents. I am putting as many of these memories of Doreen as I can to put in an album to give to her mom and dad. I know they really truly appreciate reading and knowing how loved Doreen was by quilters all over the world. If you would like to email me with and memories, thoughts, etc. my email address is Doreen's parents live in Green Bay, WI near me.
Thank you.
Caryl Bryer Fallert :
I have lost a good friend, and the quilt world has lost one of it's brightest lights.
The best laughs I've ever had came from Doreen's lectures at quilt conferences. I've seen every lecture at least three or four times, and I always went back again. Laughed so hard I almost fell off my chair.
I've been laughing and crying at the same time all week. My mind is full of visions of her:
leading line dancing in front of the domitory at Quilting by the Lake
pulling out one quilt after another on stage, then casually tossing them in
a pile
Peaky and Spike
Our skit for the Australian quilters conference, when she played the statue
of Liberty, and Catherine Anthony and I just had to carry her train to
bring the house down.
The world will be much less fun without Doreen.
I will miss her terribly
Caryl Bryer Fallert
Janice :
I really enjoyed watching Doreen when she appeared on Simply Quilts. Her laugh and enthusiam were so contagious.
She will be missed.
Krista Prout :
I wish I meant her. A month ago I called her and I ordered for the quilt shop her chicken pin cushion pattern. She was so funny. She said I wrote your order on a sticky note and this is how I do business and we laughted over that. I loved her since of humor I sensed over the phone. May the Lord be with her family.
Linda Cover CA :
I had the wonderful privledge of learning beautiful precision piecing skills from Doreen and sharing lots of good times with her. She taught me to dance the Electric Slide while at Asilomar. Recently she sent me a 1/2 yard of walnut fabric as she has spent time on my family ranch where we raise walnuts. She told me she could picture the whole Cover family dressed head-to-toe in this fabric and it wasn't a pretty sight! What a delightful sense of humor. What a caring, thoughtful and talented woman. Oh, how we will miss her!!
Pat Taylor :
Our September 1994 quilters tour to Australia - a trip of dreams come true filled with memories of Doreen and all our laughter and quest for fabric - she knew all the best places! I also remember the times when she was a guest instructor at our Guild in Central Wisconsin - always a highly anticipated event. Everyone who knew her will forever hold her in their hearts. My deepest sympathy to both Megan and Pete.
Carol Simpson :
My friends and I had the pleasure of meeting Doreen in Sisters, Oregon during the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show. She showed up at the sliding glass door of our motel room after entertaining the group in the hot tub. Dressed in her bathing suit and T-shirt, with her hair slicked back, we thought she was a Peeping Tom!! In reality, she was looking for her friend Margaret Peters in the room next door. Once we figured out who she was, we invited her in and spent a quilt evening we still talk about to this day. She talked and we laughed for an hour or so. We were looking forward to spending another evening with her in Redding, California when she came up this way to visit the Redding Quilters Sewciety in November. We still can't believe that her wonderful sense of humor and quilting talent has been silenced. I agree with another quilter who stated that our loss is heaven's gain!!
Carol Orona, Morro Bay, California :
Talented, funny, caring and an absolutely great teacher. She never put any pressure on her students and we all went home knowing more and enjoying the entire process.I learned more about her state than I could ever imagine by being in her classes.....even motivated me to visit. I'll cherish her memory and that fabric cow she gave me in one of her classes.
Gloria Hansen :
When I think of Doreen, I think of laughter. I remember one night, many years ago in Houston, she and I and several others laughed so hard we were in tears. And I remember taking a class with her and again laughing at her stories and feeling the grace of her infectious enthusiasm and zest for life. It's hard to believe she is gone. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
Ina Ayers :
Doreen was on our cruise with our entire family of seven on the trip to the Virgin Islands. We truly enjoyed the trip. This summer I was priviledged to take classes from her here in Alaska. She will be greatly missed by all of us.
Georgia J. Bonesteel :
The first time I interviewed Doreen for my lap quilting show was the first time I really got to know her. She was great, funny, happy and turned patchwork into "patchfun" When we ended she handed me a chrocheted pot holder...something she had just finished on a plane ride. Our friendship went on from there and she was a true friend when I came to Madison, WI on the coldest day in winter in 1985 to undergo some therapy after brain surgery. She supported me and gave me encouragement. Then our my second Quilt Cruise she stole the show and was the first quitler I ever knew to quilt with dreadlocks (sp?) and teach for the whole week...after we left Jamaica or one of those ports. Our hearts go out to the family. She will be missed. Georgia
Pat Holston :
Her humor and graciousness in sharing her knowledge will long be remembered.
She seemed to be a warm and down to earth lady and I'm sure all that knew her
loved her. My deepest sympathy to the family.
Suzanne Carter :
A few years back she came to Moline Il. to speak at the Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild and I was one of the lucky Members that was able to attend and class and go to lunch with her before the meeting She was very done to Earth and full of good humor. The Quilting world will miss her and her God given talents May she rest in peace Suzanee Carter
Diane Freeburg :
I can't stop thinking about much fun we had meeting with quilters in Sydney when some tourists took pictures of US through the window because we were laughing so hard...whale watching in Eden...drinking wine in her hotel room in for fabric at the markets of Provence...dancing the hula on Kauai...the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau...and talking late into the night in Anchorage....I thought that we had many more of these times ahead of us.
Linda from Sunny St Petersburg :
where the sun is shinning at half mast in honor of Doreen. I never had the opportunity of meeting her personally, but she brought me to quilting and I will be forever grateful. I had HGTV on and had not turned it off. Doreen came as Alex Anderson's guest with her Deck of Cards show. I was warmed by her humor and intrigued by what she was doing with the wonderful peices of fabric. Until then, I thought quilting was a dumb thing, but she hooked me. I bought everything to make that Deck of Cards, but it still sits in my drawers. Many other quilts have left my machine and now I will finish those cards. Completing this task and watching Doreen on the tape will be healing and I can again have my sunshine high in the sky. That is where Doreen would want it. High and with a big smile!
Ellen Koga Rosenberg :
Your life has touched many all over the world. You will be greatly missed. May your friends and family smile when you are thought of. You will never be forgotten. Thanks for being a special Star in our World. Peace to You.
Edna :
Peaky and Spike just about says it all.
Susan Grancio :
After seeing Doreen on Simply Quilts a couple of times, I bought her book and learned to love playing with designing on graph paper. I jumped at the chance to take "Piece a Pod of Whales" last year in Philadelphia - her wonderful sense of humor and relaxed but expert teaching left me feeling I had know here forever. And to actually get to see all those fabulous quilts up close! Was able to show her the quilt I started in that class last spring in Lancaster - it hangs in a place of honor in my living room. I will miss having her in the quilt world in the time to come - good thing we'll have Peaky and Spike and her terrific new fabrics to remember her by. Sincere condolences to her family.
Gale Pemberton, SC :
The Quilters of South Carolina were looking forward to hosting Doreen in the spring of 2001 as the guest speaker at our annual meeting. As Vice President of this group I had enjoyed my e-mail messages from Doreen and Megan, as I made my contacts with her. I am so sorry I will not get to meet her. I was really looking forward to her visit. My sincere sympathy to her family.
Anne DeSimone :
My memories of Doreen are of course her talent and ability to make anything look easy...My favorite memory is that of the Hawaiian trip 1999. She was one AWESOME LADY...We shared all the aspects of our lives while sitting by the pool...And then in the next moment acting like school girls laughing and carrying on...She had qualities that are very rare and never forgotten..."Some people come into our lives and quietly go..Others stay awhile and leave foot prints on our hearts...And we are never the same" I think that says it all....With Love and Much gratitude for knowing her...Anne from Boston MA
Gabriele Fusee :
Her wonderful funny lecture and her great
sense of humor in the class.

She was very giving - and will be greatly

-gabriele in NH

Ginger from Ma. :
my deepest symphathy to her family,i did not know her but did see her on Simply Quilts program, i thought she was such a charming woman.
Diane Freeburg, Juneau Alaska :
Many memories....I feel so fortunate that I was able to travel with Doreen on several of her tours, and spend time with her on her trips to Alaska. She renewed my interest in quilting, making me feel so creative when using her design methods. This is such a terrible loss for Megan and all of us. I'm happy that she'd had a wonderful evening when it happened. She often talked about all the fun she'd had in an Irish pub. And just wait until you all see the picture of Doreen in her bathing suit in her new book. Love it!! Oh, how I'll miss her.
Laurie Fagen, Phoenix :
I was fortunate enough to have met Doreen on a couple of occasions, at quilt workshops, and found her to be funny and very down-to-earth. I mentioned that the only way my husband would get me to Alaska would be on one of her quilt tours, which he actually agreed to! Now, I'm disappointed I'll not get to travel it with her. My sympathies to her family...
David Peha :
I have gotten to know Doreen very well this past year and half since we had the opportunity to work together while she was designing fabric for my company, CLOTHWORKS.

I truly enjoyed the time I spent with Doreen and since much of it took place in numerous phone conversations, I can never remember a time when she didn't have me laughing. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a great appreciation for people, and she was truly dedicated to her great love, quilting.

I spoke to her last week before she left for her trip to Ireland. We talked about how anxious she was to see the artwork for her new line of fabric when she returned.

As a professional, she took her work very seriously whether she was writing a book, designing a new line of fabric, or preparing for a class or a special presentation.

Doreen was serious about quilting but she knew how to enjoy people and she loved life.

Doreen has made her own mark on the quilting industry and it is very easy to understand why people liked her, respected her, and enjoyed being with her.

I truly feel the loss of a friend.

Doreen died with a lot of beautiful music still in her.

Sharon in Sacramento, California :
I received an e-mail from Doreen last week in response to my e-mail to her thanking her for designing her wonderful Provence line of fabric. A friend gave me fabric from her Provence line for my birthday in September so I had to let Doreen know how it made my birthday. My husband went on a tour with her to France in May 1996 and she was such a kick. I took a class from her at Asilomar in 1992. She will really be missed. My husband and I were hoping to go on another quilting tour with her. He really liked her, too.
Pat in Florida :
She put the word FUN in quilting.
Jeanne,massachusetts :
MY sympathy to all the Speckman family.doreen was a funny lady and I also thank Alex Anderson of Simply Quilts for having introduced her to so many "wannabe quilters'.
Jeanne,massachusetts :
MY sympathy to all the Speckman family.doreen was a funny lady and I also thank Alex Anderson of Simply Quilts for having introduced her to so many "wannabe quilters'.
Bev :
She brought joy!
Lois White :
Doreen Speckman showed us how to use Spike and Peak. She was our innovator with wild color and triangle piecing. I will remember her gentle humor and great talent.
Stephanie Ruetten :
Doreen- Thank you for all you have been to all fellow quilters and travelers. Our thoughts and prayers are there for your family and friends.
Stephanie Ruetten :
Doreen- Thank you for all you have been to all fellow quilters and travelers. Our thoughts and prayers are there for your family and friends.
Paula Lee :
I will always regret not taking a class with Doreen.
Her enthusiasm and unique outlook inspired one to
make that quilt. Enjoyed her on Simply Quilts.
When I need inspiration for a new quilt her book is one
that I frequantly use.
I am saddened for her family.
Diane Surber :
I first heard about Doreen Speckmann on the HGTV's Simply Quilts. Her "Peaky & Spike" and the fun that she had in quilting is what inspired me to start quilting. She will always be a world great in quilters and I am very sad that she is gone. There was just so much more for us to learn from her. I loved her sense of humor and I will miss her
Heddie Lee :
My prayers are for her family for strength.
Gail :
Only "knew" her from Simply Quilts, magazine articles and like that. But her Peaky and Spike led me to make a wonderful quilt for the youngest son using them. My son treasures his quilt, his friends are all in awe of it and I am thankful for Peaky and Spike because now I'm not afraid of making stars - Thanks Doreen -

To her family I say treasure each and every memory you have of her! She will live in your hearts as long as you are on this earth - they you can join her in heaven and she will be waiting - with that wondrful laugh and her cow earrings!

Gail :
Only "knew" her from Simply Quilts, magazine articles and like that. But her Peaky and Spike led me to make a wonderful quilt for the youngest son using them. My son treasures his quilt, his friends are all in awe of it and I am thankful for Peaky and Spike because now I'm not afraid of making stars - Thanks Doreen -

To her family I say treasure each and every memory you have of her! She will live in your hearts as long as you are on this earth - they you can join her in heaven and she will be waiting - with that wondrful laugh and her cow earrings!

Shirley Knutson :
I loved her on Simply Quilts and was looking forward to some day meeting her. just loved her sense of humor
Tracy Massie :
I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of learning Peaky and Spike from Doreen at Road to California. I wanted Megan to know how much her mother spoke of you and how wonderful and beautiful you are--your mom's face would just light up and she'd smile a great big smile everytime your name was brought up. She was a marvelous person.
mfrose :
I enjoyed her sense of humor and liked her on Simply Quilts. She would have been someone fun to hang out with.
Marilyn Owendoff :
How I wish I had gone on a tour with Doreen! That was dream ever since I attended one of her lectures. I was privileged to go to several lectures and so enjoyed her on a "Simply Quilts" segment. She was so much fun, so refreshing and so inspirational. She left us too soon - but what a way to go! Her sudden passing should teach all of us that life is so precious and to grab every moment "Doreen style."
Connie :
age 48, passed away suddenly on Saturday, September 18, 1999, in Ireland,
while leading a quilting tour. Doreen was born in October 18, 1950 in
Monroe, Wisconsin, on a beautiful fall day, the loving daughter of David and
Doris (Higbee) Punzell. She graduated from Beloit Memorial High School in
1968 and attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. On November 27,
1971 she married Peter Speckmann. Doreen worked for the Madison Public
Library for several years. Doreen created her first quilt with the
anticipation of the birth of her daughter Megan. From there she began a
career in quilting which included: authoring two books in quilting, teaching
quilting classes for thousands of people over the years and gaining
worldwide fame for her off beat sense of humor and entertaining style. She
led quilting tours and cruises to all corners of the world, touching the
hearts and inspiring quilters along the way. Doreen is survived by her
parents of Green Bay; her husband; her daughter, Megan; three brothers,
Dwight (Renee) Punzell of Castro Valley, CA, Dennis (Beverly) Punzell of
Fitchburg, Douglas (Carla) Punzell of Green Bay: two sisters, Debra (Gerald)
Falzone of Alameda, CA, and Diana (Jeff) Dreger of Manitowoc;13 nieces and
nephews; and many other friends and relatives. Funeral services will be held
on Saturday, September 25, 1999 at Fitch-Lawrence-Sanfillippo-Cress Funeral
Home, 6021 University Ave., Madison at 12:00pm. Friends may call on the
family from 10:00am until the time of the service on Saturday at the funeral
home. The family requests memorials to be made to the scholarship fund for
the Sievers School of Fiber Arts*. Funeral Home Phone # (608) 238-8406."
[*Note: The Sievers School of Fiber Arts is located on an island on the tip
of Wisconsin's 'thumb' of Door County and holds wonderful summer and fall
classes in the fiber arts.]
Linda DePerro :
I first met Doreen at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt festival in Williamsburg and shared conversation and laughter with her there several times after. Just this year I oohed and ahhed with her as she shared the special portrait quilt (given to her by a friend) which depicted her dancing. What a wonderful likeness of Doreen doing something she truly enjoyed. It captivates, for all time, her energetic and fun-loving spirit. When the rest of us follow in her footsteps, I'm sure we'll be greeted at the pearly gates by Doreen leading a merry band of angels in the Electric Slide. Gosh how we will miss her until then...Linda DePerro, Newport News, VA
Linda Thomas :
I took several classes with her and will
always appreciate her homor and funny
ways. I got out two precious pictures
I had taken of me with her at the last
Quilt Symposium in Oshkosh. I loved her
class. What drew me to her first of all
when I saw her on public television was
her cow earrings. I have since purchased
a pair that I wear frequestly. Now when
I wear them I will be remembering Doreen
and her love of Wisconsin, my home.
Ann Carras :
I had the joy and privilege of meeting Doreen at Quilting By The Lake a couple of years ago. Her talk on "Going anywhere for a Fat Quarter" had the audience in tears from laughing so hard. Her classes, with her one and only quilting rule about No Quilting In The Nude were both fun and inspirational. I had the incredible luck of getting to know her and to have her look through my design ideas for quilts using the Peaky & Spike block - her enthusiasm, support, and encouragement were and are an inspiration to me. When I remember to laugh out loud, to cut into the "good stuff", to take FUN quilting breaks (she said life was more than quilting - you had to dance some too,) I always think of her. Her joy of life, of dancing, of quilting, and in people will always be the things I remember about her. She will be missed.
Ann Carras :
I had the joy and privilege of meeting Doreen at Quilting By The Lake a couple of years ago. Her talk on "Going anywhere for a Fat Quarter" had the audience in tears from laughing so hard. Her classes, with her one and only quilting rule about No Quilting In The Nude were both fun and inspirational. I had the incredible luck of getting to know her and to have her look through my design ideas for quilts using the Peaky & Spike block - her enthusiasm, support, and encouragement were and are an inspiration to me. When I remember to laugh out loud, to cut into the "good stuff", to take FUN quilting breaks (she said life was more than quilting - you had to dance some too,) I always think of her. Her joy of life, of dancing, of quilting, and in people will always be the things I remember about her. She will be missed.
Jamie Jones aka TxsRed :
I never had the privilege of meeting Doreen. Undoubtedly that is my misfortune! In 1993, I was at PIQF II in San Francisco and she and Roxanne McElroy were among the many teacher/lecturers. Thankfully, I was able to get into one of Roxanne's lectures but Doreen's sessions were all filled. As luck would have it, I was in another group in the room next door to Doreen's and her group was having such a good time we could hardly hear our speaker!!! I have always regretted not being able to hear about Peaky and Spike that night. Reading about them will certainly not be the same!
Lynn Lewis Young :
Doreen Speckmann first entered my life about 20 years ago when she taught Storm at Sea to the Houston guild and I took one of the first, and most important workshops in my quilting career. She opened my eyes to the possibilities of color and value in design with that wonderful quilt pattern. It was just too much fun and the quilt actually got finished. I was turned loose to design original quilts, but more importantly I formed a great friendship which grew over the years as Doreen and I met at quilt show after quilt show.
Doreen truly loved to make quilts, all types of quilts. To her it was sheer joy to see the fabrics turning into shapes and then to work the wonder that the quilting wroght. She loved to share her knowledge and skills and her love of life. She gave and gave, and touched all of us deeply.
On several occasions when we were together at quilt events we’d talk of the quilter’s retirement home and how we’d spend our days when we no longer could drag ourselves and 500 lbs of quilts to teach. We’d have to have a special home, as nowhere else would they let us have all our fabrics. And of course there would be the tour bus to take us to shows, quilt shops and great restaurants, although Doreen thought that by then we really should have a limo. We were depending on Doreen to be our tour guide, keeping us all laughing and moving, and to make sure we all got back on the bus.
No one can take Doreen’s place. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She joins a growing quilt group in the sky and will be watching over us, I’m sure, sending inspiration and jokes through a slightly different way. Her memory will live with all of us – we were blessed to know her.
Jan Krentz -- San Diego :
Doreen has been a guest speaker in so many of the guilds where I've been a member.

She was a tremendously generous, funny, sincere, and kind woman. I remember spending the day as her hostess, walking the streets of Carmel-by-the-Sea (CA), and hearing her comments about the lovely gifts and fabrics displayed in the shops.

I'll never forget her "cow quilt" with the udder border shapes with 3 teats -- And her stories about living at home in a large family, with not enough chairs, and her fond memories of playing cards and working puzzles.

We all felt that Doreen was a part of us -- a part of our family. I want to thank her husband and daughter for sharing her with all of us. The joyful excursions we all spent with Doreen were times away from her home, and we thank you for supporting her endeavors.

Doreen had a gusto for life & people that couldn't be hidden! We'll miss Doreen forever!

Sally Dwyer :
So happy to have met Doreen on her 3 trips to Alaska. I was lucky to teach on her 2nd cruise to our wonderful state in 1997. Al and I both send our sympathy to Megan. There is a star shining a little brighter over Alaska with her passing.
Sue Riley :
As I read everyone's comments about Doreen,
I can't help but think how lucky she was
to have so many people love her.
Over the past two years I had the pleasure
of attending two of her week-long classes at
Sievers on Washington Island, WI. Her classes
were a joy - her humor and love of quilting
encompassed everything she did. She made
you feel like the quilt you were working
on would turn out just beautiful - and with
her guidance it did.
When I come across a problem in quilting,
I stop and say what Doreen said so often,
"I'm a smart girl, I can figure this out."
My deepest sympathy goes out to her daughter, Meagan,
and all of her family.
My deepest sympathy
Carol M. :
I just learned of Doreen's passing. My condolences and sympathy go out to her family. Please remember when God closes one door, He always opens another.
Barbara Tricarico :
I was president of my guild, Quilters Unlimited, in No. Va., and had the pleasure of getting to know Doreen. She was the speaker at our annual meeting. Wasn't I surprised when she decided to lead the group of over 200 in the Electric Slide, complete with boom box & casette tape! Her workshops were equally as fun, with her two zany friends Peaky & Spike. A friend once said, "Quilters sometimes take things too's not like we're trying to find a cure for cancer." I have no doubt that Doreen invented the phrase, "Lighten up!" Even the most serious student of the art walked away beaming after Doreen got through with her. She will be missed around the world. I know she's up there now, throwing back her head laughing; kicking up her heels!
Pati Shambaugh :
I am in shock. Doreen was such a dear and crazy (in the fun way) character. One of my first personal interactions with her happened in Denver, CO at their Quilt Colorado '88. Doreen was teaching at this conference and Mom & I had our border hoops there in the Merchant's Mall.

The first day of the show Doreen walked quickly sheilding her eyes from seeing our hoops every time she had to pass our booth. The second day seemed like it was more of the same except the first time she passed she leaned in and whispered "damn you" to us and quickly left. Mom & I were at a loss and despretly trying to figure out what we had done to upset Doreen. We each asked the other "ok, did I do something to insult her or did you?"

Finally on the third day we were able to stop Doreen and appologize for whatever we had unknowingly done. As it turns out, Mom had given a border hoop to be included in the door prizes and it was proudly displayed with the rest of the door prizes.

Doreen explained, "I swore I would NEVER buy another hoop. I have them all! I have the Q-Snaps. I have the huge oval. I have the one on the stand that lookes like a broken girraff's neck. You name it I bought it and I told myself 'I'M NOT GOING TO BUY ANOTHER HOOP!' Anyway I got back to the classroom after a bite to eat and they had locked it with my hoops inside. I saw yours on the door prize table and since I only had the border left to quilt I wrote a note saying 'Borrowed by Doreen Speckman' and finished the quilt last night... and now I have to buy one. It is the best thing I've tried."

That's exactly what she did, she bought our border hoop. That instance was before Mom invented the Cinch Hoop. So several years later (July 1993) we went on her tour to England. It was 11 days of non-stop shananigans and wonderful places to see. We arrived at the hotel in London and Doreen gave us all a huge hug to welcome us to the tour. We gave her the "new" hoop (a couple years old and still pat.pend. at that time). She looked at the Cinch Hoop and asked "so where's the other ring of wood, do I have to buy that?" So we demonstrated how the bungee in the groove with the heart fastener held the quilt without the second ring of wood. She replied "Gay, you've done it again. So what are you going to think up next?" We all laughed when Mom answered, "I don't know, I haven't thought of it yet."

My heart goes out to Doreen's husband, Pete, the rest of her family and all of her friends at the loss of such a great treasure. She will indeed be missed by all of us.

Keep the "Piece"
Pati Shambaugh and Gay Dell
Picking Up The Pieces/Helyn's Hoops
911 City Park Ave.
Columbus, OH 43206

Berit Holck, Bergen, Norway :
I met Doreen this summer here in Bergen. Members of Bergen QuiltGuild get together every thursday at on of the quiltshops in Bergen. And there she was in person with her laughter and funny stories. She was bringing som of the ladies from the tour. We planned that next summer we would do something together. And now she's gone.
Diane :
My friends and I had the pleasure of meeting Doreen in Port Huron, Mighigan. It was an evening that we have talked about ever since. Doreen was a wonderful person who had such a great outlook on life. The thing that we remembered the most was how she talked about using all of your best fabrics first because when you die, your friends will get all of the good "stuff" or it will go to a garage sale and will end up being torn into strips and braided into a rag rug. Every time I have cut into the special fabrics, I could hear Doreen tell her story. The world of quilting will certainly miss you Doreen but I'm sure you will keep all of the angels in heaven in stitches.
Evelyn Barber :
I had the pleasure of getting to know
Doreen. When she was the main speaker for
the New England Quilt Guild at a meeting
in Amherst, MA in early 1980 I had the
pleasure of driving her around Amherst
since she wanted to see Emily Dickinson's
house. Also, she had read a book called
"The House" which was written about what
a couple went through in the process of
building their home. "The House" happened
to be in Amherst.

I have taken many classes from Doreen. The
most recent this summer at the Vermont
Quilt Festival. Without seeing my name
tag, she has always remembered my name -
which I find incredible with the number
of people she meets every year.

Barbara Smith :
I have only experienced Doreen Speckman's work on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson! What a hoot she was to watch and oh those beautiful quilts. How sad and shocked I am. My prayers go out to her family during their time of sorrow. Barbara Smith, Canton, Ohio
Diann Smith Quiltymama :
Doreen spoke to the TN Valley Quilters a few years ago. I have never in my life seen so much fabric and so many quilts. She had us in stitches of another kind with all her comments. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. The thing that I love about quilts is that they leave messages behind from their makers. That's how we can remember Doreen through her quilts and Peaky and Spike.
Barbara McKie :
I attended a Quilting By The Lake workshop,
not Doreen's, but was able to experience her wonderful
personality and love for life. One evening she got everyone
out together to learn and dance the Macarena. What a loss,
but I am happy to see she was dancing at the end. I'm
sure she is dancing where she is now and leading a group of
happy people
Karen Sharp :
I had been quilting for a good 3 months in 1990 when I was introduced to Doreen.
I was amazed at her precision and that pieces so tiny could be peaced with such ease (by her). I remember her sitting in the lobby of the hotel, feet encased in Berkenstocks, chatting away, sharing, answering our questions, while all the while, doing exquisite quilting on one of her creations. It was years before I recognized that she had educated me to the wonder of making smaller sized, art type quilts, (every quilt I made was going on a bed!)and the realization that my quilts could reflect my everyday life and hopefully my humor. In short, in one lecture, she impacted my entire quilt career. I've never seen her again, but everytime I see her photo, a big, huge smile comes to my face, remembering fondly that spring 10 years ago.
Yvonna Hays :
I enjoyed so much seeing her on "Simply Quilts" that I was registered for her lecture at the IQA Festival in Houston next month. I'm truly sorry that I'll never meet her.
peachykeen :
Just watching her on HGTV, she was a joy, so pleasant and so knowledgable... I will miss her.... Hopefully there will be some books out in her memorie... So her talent lives on.
I will be looking for her books to be able to hang on to her memory. I loved her on "Simply Quilts" I wish I had met her!
Terry Brodeur :
Doreen, we will all miss you so much! I was privileged to have both studied and traveled with this wonderfully talented and funny lady. As luck would have it, she was my very first quilting teacher, and, with that kind of inspiration, it's little wonder that quilting has become a major focus in my life. Still later, I was in one of the very first groups that she led to England for A-1 Tours and I have been studying British textiles ever since. Rarely has anyone impacted as happily on my life as Doreen did, and what a joy it was to know her in the process!

I have been in touch with Stephen Schy of A-1 Tours. As mentioned previously, cards, notes and contributions to Doreen's family and daughter, Megan, can be sent to A-1 Tours, or to Doreen's home at 3118 Cross St., Madison WI 53711. Flowers can be sent to 6021 University Ave., Madison WI 53705, where, according to Steve, a service will be held on Saturday. Perhaps someone from Madison can furnish more information.

Debby Lee :
It was our 20th wedding anniversay and we wanted to go to Alaska. I saw that Doreen and George S. were taking a quilting cruise to Alaska! My Husband and I had a wonderful time going on "special" tours with Doreen in each port. She knew everyone. She and I taught the Electric Slide everynight. She in the front and me in the back. She looked me straight in the eye (we are the same height.)

The next year I saw her doing Show and Tell in Houston. She saw me in the audience and talked to me from the stage and into the microphone. I blew her a kiss and she blew one back!

I saw her many times over the years at various shows and she never failed to stop and chat.

We all love you, Doreen and miss you.

BethAnn Millman :
I mourn the loss of a funny and very
talented woman, who will be missed by
all who's lives she touched. When we
look at a quilt with spike on it we will
remember her.
Willie Loudermilk :
I so enjoyed seeing Doreen on Simply Quilts,and we were looking forward to seeing her in Ga in the year 2000.Quilting has lost a great lady.

Holly :
Doreen came up to Maine to do a lecture and workshop. I had on my new tshirt with fireflies on it. When the lights went down for the slide show Doreen was staring at me. (It was quite apparent to me because I wasn't in the center of the theatre. I looked down and the fireflies were glowing! That's how I found out my shirt glowed in the dark.
Anne :
I have seen Doreen lecture three times & taken classes with her & I am heart broken that such a wonderful person has left us so soon. When I was at the N.C. Symposium in 98 she sat next to me at an outdoor pig pickin & i will never forget her digging in her bra for her cigarettes & lighter! She said they got sweaty but she always knew where they were! We'll all miss you Doreen.
Donna Rentschler :
Had many classes from Doreen and loved her wit and enthusiasm. Regret that I didn't take one of her tours.
I will miss her very much.
Nora :
I will miss her sense of humor, her use of color in her quilts, and will always be grateful for her introduction of Peaky and Spike to the quilting world.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for her daughter and family.
mary ann :
I took my MIL to the fabric store with me and I was picking out fabrics. Every time I put a bolt of fabric on my pile, my MIL would say,"What are you going to do with that one?". It was very annoying. I saw Doreen Speckmann on Simply Quilts a few days later and she said to tell people who are asking you, "What are you going to do with that fabric?" is to say, "Right now I am going to hold it, fondle it and play with it and then I am going to take it home.". I wish I had said that to my MIL. What a great response that would have been! ttfn :)
Barbara Vlack :
My first memory of Doreen was when she exited a bathroom at the Continental Quilt Congress in 1980 and announced,"There's no toilet paper, so don't plan anything big." That was a few years before she was "discovered" and her humor highlighted as she launched a career as a lecturer and teacher for the world of quilting. I mourn her loss yet I celebrate her ability to live life to the fullest up to the very end. How would any of us choose to die? My vote is while dancing in an Irish pub surrounded by many friends. God bless you, Doreen.
Mary Gorfine :
Doreen, wherever you are, I will always be grateful for the following piece of advice you gave me in a class at a Road to California workshop about 10 years ago: "Don't be afraid to cut the fabric!" Thank you.
Rita, Ma. :
After reading everyone's thoughts, I
don't think I have much more to add. As
a beginner quilter and seeing Doreen on
Simply Quilts, I thought to myself what
a special person this woman must be!! I
am grateful to Alex Anderson for introduc-
ing her to her tv audience. However, I do
wish I had the opportunity to meet her. My
deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
She will be surely missed by all!
Alex Anderson :
Memories of many to recall in one sitting. Through out the course of this week I find different flashes of Doreen crossing my mind. We were just hanging out together at Ceivors School of Fiber Arts in Door County Wis. I greatly appreciated Doreens sense of humor and style, her view of quilting and life was always candid and to the point. "Straight up Doreen, tell us like it is!" She was a friend to me both professionally and personally. How fortunate I am to have had the privilage to know her. We loved you girlfriend!
Judy Wentz :
I've never met Doreen, but always enjoys watching her on Simply Quilts. I loved her stories and methods of quilting. She seemed like such a fun loving person. I've heard mention of her doing the "electric slide" and have vision of that, although I don't really know what it is.

Sue Foster :
What a great loss. My deepest sympathies go to her daughter and family. I took several of her classes and went with her tour groups to Alaska and to Australia. I never worry if my quilts are too bright now- I just call them "Festive". It didn't matter that I didn't know anyone on the trips because I knew Doreen would be there and everyone would end up laughing and having a great time no matter what happened. I hope Doreen has all the fabric she could possibly want up in heaven. She made the world a funnier and friendlier place by her presence.
Janice Epp :
I had the privilege of meeting Doreen in June of this year in Minneapolis. She provided hundreds of quilters with her wonderful entertainment while teaching us about quilting. We were on a river boat cruising up and down the river and I recall Doreen decked out in this beautiful black sequined dress. She said well that is how she dresses for any cruise that she goes on even if it is just a little old river cruise. What a wonderful classy lady. We will surely miss her in the quilting world.
Ingrid DeCook, California :
Isn't it amazing that so many of us feel like we've lost such a close and special friend? She had very special gifts of laughter and warmth. My memory of Doreen is that every class I took from her she always began with one rule (because she figured as a teacher she really needed a rule), and that rule was "no sewing in the nude in this classroom". Everything else was OK.
Pat Piniazek Lenihan :
Trish Katz, Director of Publicity at C&T Publishing, Doreen's Publishers, asked me if I would post the following information. " fund that's being set up to benefit Doreen's family. This is the travel agency that arranged all of Doreen's quilters cruises and trips. Donations can be sent to: Doreen Speckmann Fund c/o A-1 Specialty Trous, 2701 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater, FL 33759 (Any questions should be addressed to Stephen Schy at 727-796-7555) Also, any sympathy cards can be sent to this address - they are gathering on behalf of the family."

Like many of you, I didn't know what to do, so I called C&T.

Edwina - Springfield, PA :
Doreen was a guest speaker at our guild several years ago. She touched me by her fondness for life - she lived each day to the fullest! Even though the quilting world has lost a great lady what she left behind will be treasured forever.
Joanne Colgate :
I was fortunate to have taken a class earlier this year taught by Doreen. Her talent and ability to communicate showed. She had a willingness to share her knowledge of quilting and of life. She taught with a very non-judgmental style and wanted quilters to experiment and develop their own style - not just do a copy of her work. I will miss her.
Betty Perkins :
Fantastic person, so full of life and enormous talent. We quilters have truly suufered a hugh loss. While at QBL in Morrisville, NY, she had us all in stitches, I will not forget her
Wendy Smith-Clark, Pennsylvania :
I was fortunate to have taken several classes and lectures with Doreen. Even in repeat classes, she was as wonderfully funny and informative as the first time I heard her. Peaky and Spike will live on forever as she will in our thoughts and memories.
Peggy Cruz - Lancaster, California :
Doreen, came to our guild as a guest lecturer some time ago. She was inspiring, funny, and talented...
I'm sure the whole quilting community will miss her greatly.
My sincere sympathy to her family.
Diane in Tn :
I really enjoyed seeing Doreen on Simply Quilts and loved her terrfic sense of humor. She went out singing and dancing and what a way to go...doing what she enjoyed....traveling and seeing the world with quilters!!! Rest in Peace Dear Lady!
Leigh Anne Dabbs, Georgia :
Thoughts and prayers are going up for Doreen, her family, and friends during this sad
time. We, here in Georgia, are especially sad that we are going to miss Doreen
speaking and teaching next year at our Council convention. this is truly a great
loss to all of us in the quilting world.
Leigh Anne Dabbs
Newsletter Editor, Georgia Quilt Council
Mary Stori :
Doreen was my best friend in the quilt world.....and my mentor. We taught together on her quilting cruise to Alaska in June where I was pestering her about her smoking. She laughed and told me one lives forever. She said her goal was to have as much fun in life as possible....that when she was gone she wanted people to remember her by saying.....hey, that Doreen Speckmann really knew how to have fun. I know we all wish the fun would have continued but she was wrong about one thing.....Doreen will live in our hearts and memories forever!
Diane Glick-Waco, Texas :
Several years ago, my friend and I were so very fortunate to be able to take a workshop in Dallas on Doreen's "Wild Lily Rag." Her knowledge, friendliness, and above all...wit and humor will always be remembered and appreciated. My thoughts and prayer go out to her family.
Tracy Hempner :
She was one of the funniest people i have ever had the pleasure to meet.
Althought i only met her once she seemed to have touch me in some very special way.
My deepest respect to her family and loved ones.

With Love,
Tracey Hempner

K :
This site has some details of Doreen's last trip.
Ruth Simpson :
Doreen was a great quilter, teacher and a
fun person besides! Love her fabric line, too!

Judith Newman, Fairfax, VA :
I had the privilege of attending Doreen's trunk show and lecture at the PA Quilt Extravganza a couple of years ago. She was full of fun and humor. She was also a wonderful quilter and teacher. My quilting life is better for having met her.
Carolyn V. Peters :
I remember Doreen in Duluth, 1997 when she left the building for a smoke and the guards wouldn't let her back in because she didn't have her arm band - she laughed so hard -- then at the banquet the next night, the remote control didn't work so well and she tried everything - an over the head shot, under the arm, behind the back - the audience howled. She was so good-natured about it -- Later that year, she came back to Duluth and she gave us a slide show of her many trips -- we had a blast. My good friend, Claudia and I made the road trip from MN to Flint, MI and was able to see Doreen's exhibit and once again renewed our friendship with Doreen. Then only this past June, she was in St. Paul, cruising on the Mississippi, doing what she loved to do - lecturing on a cruise. She had many friends in Minnesota, that during the banquet, she sat with some of her buds, rather than sit with the other faculty (not that this was a problem - it was just that she usually saw them more often then her buds from Minnesota). Damn! I hate that she is gone! but hopefully, she's doing the Electric Glide up in heaven.
Sue Peterson :
I had the honor of seeing Doreen twice at Camp Watch-a-Patcher, and also taking a class with her. She had a wonderful sense of humor and creativity. I loved her cows and whales. I am so sad that I will not be able to travel with her.
Nancy G :
I had the pleasure of hearing Doreen lecture twice as well as take one of her workshops. We always had our highest attendance at our guild meetings when she came to speak. She was a wonderful person and will be missed by all.
Sharon Morton :
I saw Doreen speak at Pacific International in Oct. 97 It was during the World Series, Go Tribe!, an dit was hard to be away from Cleveland at such an exciting time! Doreen was the funniest and most down to earth quilter we met during our 4 days at the show. My sister and I sat in the front row for her lecture. Doreen sailed in, threw her purse and slides at us and announced that since we were in front we had to watch her stuff and fold quilts after the lecture. We did so gladly!
Pat Piniazek Lenihan :
I am grateful I finally got the opportunity at VQF 99 to thank Doreen for inadvertently & unknowingly teaching me how to hand quilt while she was teaching a piecing class (what she is known for!) several years ago. During the class she had said, "while you're doing your classs work, I'll be over here working on a quilt I have to get quilted. Anyone can come over & watch." Which I did. And during that time Doreen said something about realizing how important using her thumb was in the whole hand quilting process, and that's when the light bulb went off over my head!
While at VQF this year we went swimming, and Doreen was there. Yes, she really did use that swim suit at VQF and I'm glad I had the chance to speak with her and thank her.
How lucky we all are that she shared her talents with us! Her fabric line is out now and a new book coming out; we will have Peaky & Spike forever because she here.
Betty Jo Bethke :
I am just devestated to think such lively, funny terrific lady should be gone. Her classes were always filled with her groupies who took every class of hers they could. And I was one of them. It didn't matter what she taught, I just like to hang out with her.
Anne Marie Ramirez :
I recently sent Doreen an email message having heard her lecture at the Vermont Quilt Festival this past July. As I am less than 5' tall, I requested that she stash me away in her matching luggage for the next cruise. She responded to my email on September 9th. Looks like it would have been fun stowing away with her. I'd like to think that all of the rain we've been having here on the east coast is actually tears for her passing.
Beth Donaldson :
I met Doreen when she was a teacher at my Northern Michigan Quilter's Getaway. How lucky we all were. I never laughed so hard the entire weekend!!! Joie de vie, Doreen knew how to live. She was a great teacher, but an even better stand up comic. Even though I only met her when she arrived at the retreat and she stayed for 3 days I felt I had made a great friend and a kindred spirit. We went shopping at a very exclusive clothing store and she bought a beautiful navy, trench coat. Between my sister, Doreen and I, I still don't think the sales lady has recovered. One night after dinner, she organized the whole retreat for line dancing in the dining room. My prayers go out to her family, especially her daughter. You had one heck of a mom and even though she left way too early her spirit will be with many people and her humor will live with her quilts and her students forever.
Libby DuBois Pettit :
The last time I saw Doreen was in Lancaster, Pa this past April. I know she was going through many changes in her life. It was a very special time to be with her. My sympathy goes to her family, especially her daughter, whom she loved very much.
Loving memories of Doreen Speckmann
Libby DuBois Pettit
Missoula, Montana
Jean, Madison, WI :
Memorials are to be given to Sievers School of
Fiber Arts, Washington Island, WI. This was the
request of the family in the local paper today.

I knew Doreen 20+ years ago when she did
occassional child care for my son. Megan
was about the same age as my son. We lived in the
same apartment complex in Madison, WI. I was
sadden to hear the news. She was the one
who got me hooked on quilting.

Kathy B, Palmer, Alaska :
I was privileged to take a class with Doreen just a few months ago. She had us in 'stitches', literally and figuratively. Whenever I see a quilt that is maybe a little too bright and colorful, I'll remember her saying that her much-loved daughter described one such quilt of Doreen's as "festive". Doreen was an absolute delight, and a down-to-Earth lady. I'm saddened by her passing, and I echo the request for more information about her passing.
Louise Murphy, CA :
I never met Doreen. I heard so many comments from her students about how she made people laugh. Laughter is so important in life. How amazing that she touched so many lives. I will definitely now have to make a Peaky and Spike. My prayers are with her loved ones.
Ille Waters, S.C. :
About 9 years ago, I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Doreen sponsored by the Charlotte, N.C.Quilt Guild. What a wonderful, fun time we had giggling and stitching with Doreen. Her quilts were glorious and her personality showed itself in them.
I'll never forget the story she told about basting her quilts. Since she had little floor space and no large table, she said she would lie back in her recliner, grasping the three layers of her quilt with her feet while she stretched out and basted her quilt by hand. That mental image has stayed with me ever since. Was she just joshing? I always believed her and it makes me smile to think of it now. I remember too that her daughter, Megan, was just about the same age as my oldest, and I pray now for God's comfort to be with her. I mourn her loss with fellow quilters and her family.
Charlotte :
Doreen was a very special person. Do you know if she had a favorite charity where we could send a donation in her name?
Lonna Field :
I never met Doreen but I saw her on "Simply Quilts" and felt I know her for her stories while she showed her pecky and spick patterns. She was to met at our quilt guild next month and it would've been nice to see her and hear her speak. When it was announced at the meeting she passed away there was a gasp as I'm sure came from all mouths of all who knew her personally and didn't. She'll be missed on the quilting world.
Sue from Tennessee :
How we laughed at our Assembly Day when you were our featured speaker! I am glad I had a chance to take one of your workshops. Thanks for being an inspiration to all quilters.
Deb Kauffunger :
I never met Doreen, but my one memory of her is just this past summer at Vermont Quilt Festival.
She had the side show of "Go anywhere for a quarter yard"...somehow, someone had missed getting
the slide projector...Doreen stood on stage and did a "show and tell" of all her quilts without
a pause while we waited fro the projector to arrive. She had everyone in stitches...and completely
forgetting that it was over 90-degrees in the auditorium. I regret never having had to opportunity
to take a class with her...the quilting world has lost a wonderful teacher and friend.
Jackie Robinson :
Doreen was such a vibrant, incredibly alive person! She had a knack for making everyone feel included, appreciated, and special. We will truly miss her!
Merlene Tirone :
I still chuckle when I think of the nosegay class I took at Images from Doreen. We got to the subject of age, and when I found she was 15 or so years younger than I, I remember saying to her, "My God, I could almost be your mother, and see how much smarter you are than me!" She laughed, pulled her glasses down to look over them at me and said "Put on a good act, and everyone will think you're smart" I'll never forget that answer, so Doreen-like! I shall make a label for that nosegay quilt in memory of her, putting her picture on it, the one I took in class that day (wearing her two pair of glasses!)
Our world of quilting has lost one of it's greatest. God Bless her and prayers be with her family. She joins a very close friend of mine, Peggy, in heaven this month, I know they're making heavenly quilts together!
Linda MacLennan-Syr NY :
watching her on Simply Quilts a few
years ago made me think even I could
do and I can ... thanks Doreen I love
my new hobby .... you are missed.......
Shirlee :
First met Doreen in Wichita,Kansas in 1988 or 89
when she came to our guild to do a lecture and workshop.
Was really upset when I could not take her workshop after
hearing her lecture. Finally about 5 or 6 years ago I got
to take her for 3 days at Winchester,Va. She sewed on my Pfaff
and even kissed it because that was the machine she was
familiar with. Doreen and I shared the nasty smoking habit and'
would meet many times in the great outdoors and indulged in our habit.
I will treasure the times that I got to spend with her
and the inspiration that she has given me. Not only has the quilting
world lost a great quilter,the world has lost a wonderful person.
Sandi Irish :
I met Doreen this past summer at the Minn quilt show and I've heard her speak a couple of times. I think one the funniest things about her was that every time she went on a diet, all of her quilts ended up with a food related name! Loved Peaky and Spike. I will miss her and regret not being able to take one of her trips.
Julie :
I never met Doreen, but saw her on "Simply Quilts". She was so fun and I loved Peaky and Spike, and everything they turn into, including fish! Her quilts are beautiful, as wonderful as her personality. Not only has the quilting world lost someone incredible, but the entire world.
Kathleen Kikkert-Brannan :
I've never seen Doreen Speckmann, but I know that it is always a lost if one of the quilting-people is gone.
A TV Viewer :
I enjoyed watching her teach on Alex Anderson's quilting TV show. She will be missed tremendously.
connie r. :
If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then let us all honor Doreen best by not taking ourselves too seriously...then her special humor will live on. May God's comfort be abundant for all her family.
Jane McKenzie :
Had a wonderful trip to the South of France with Doreen and want to say she was a great leader and mentor. So sad that she had such a short life. I enjoyed everything about her and will help keep her spirit alive. My prayers to the family.

Jane McKenzie :
Had a wonderful trip to the South of France with Doreen and want to say she was leader. So sad that she had such a short life. I enjoyed everything about her and will help keep her spirit alive. My prayers to the family.

susieqz56 :
I was at a retreat,and she was one of the lecturers,she had us all in tears,we were laughing so hard!from telling us about her teenager/daughter to her "mootisse border,on a cow quilt she designed.Her wit was unstoppable-I thought she would have done well as a comedian.I will miss her.
elba l :
Even though I didn't know her, it saddens me to think that someone so young is gone. My prayers are with her family. May they find peace and comfort.
Ann :
I will sorely miss the sense of humor.. the funny stories and the quilts. She touched everyone. My sincerest sympathy to her family.
Bev Custer :
I attended a lecture that Doreen gave at the Vermont Quilt Fest this past July. I enjoyed her talk so much, and this is why I am having a difficult time believing that we have lost her. She brough humor and a casual grace to the art of quilting.
Ron Smith :
I first ran into Doreen, when we had just started the ARDCO template business. It was at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium at Peace College, in Raleigh. I was just outside the quilt and vendor area, and I saw this large woman struggling with a sewing machine and all the attached stuff, and trying to lift it up a set of stairs, while trying to rapidly smoke a cigarette. I helped her up the stairs and introduced myself as the new ARDCO owner. She was trying to squeeze in a few minutes, shopping , between classes. We talked about the original owner, Anthony DiChesire, and her forthcoming trip to Armidale, Australia.
We were fortunate to visit that symposium , where my wife and I enjoyed the Aussie ladies and the few Yanks at the University of New England, in New South Wales. Doreen was on our floor at the dorms, and we enjoyed a number of visits during the symposium.
We toured part of the outback in a bus with Carol Bryert-Fallert, and a few other Yanks. Doreen commented that the only Kanga's she had seen were "crispy critters" on the highway. I found a few nights later that they were nocturnal, like deer, and were actually at the College at "Deer Park", the whole time!
We visited briefly, over the years, with Doreen at many shows around the country and joked about our latest trips and adventures throughout the quilting world. She was an adventurous spirit and loved the quilting life. She will be greatly missed by thousands.
Our deepest condolences to her family and friends. She is in heaven's fabric store finding the truly best colors imaginable.
loon :
always tragic to loose someone like doreen,,
she left so many the better for having known her or were touched in any way by her
doreen was often referred to on the bull board,,,and will be missed by many
we are blessed with what time she was with us
Kelly :
I remember the first time I saw Doreen in real life. My friend and I were walking down the street at the Sisters quilt show. I grabbed my friends arm and started blabbling "it's HER, it's HER" I felt thrilled just to see her. I later had the privilege of hearing her at my guild. My dream was to someday get to travel with her. So sad.
Emily Burns :
While I have never personaly met Doreen, I enjoyed her greatly on her appearances on "Simply Quilts". Her humor and common sence approach to quilting and to life are an inspiration to us all. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.
Emily Burns :
While I have never personaly met Doreen, I enjoyed her greatly on her appearances on "Simply Quilts". Her humor and common sence approach to quilting and to life are an inspiration to us all. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.
Bobbie D. & Donna W. Chicago :
We both had the pleasure of taking a class with Doreen at Washington Island many, many years ago. We were both beginner quilters. What a great teach and an inspiration. Peaky and Spike were infants at that time. What memories we have. We will miss her greatly. We conned Doreen into keeping the classroom open late at night by promising to braid her hair. Our deepist sympathies to her family.
Julie Chah :
My memory of Doreen is her smiling face and her wonderful, WONDERFUL quilts. Though I never met her, I felt I knew her in a way through her television appearances and books. I was very saddened to hear of her passing.
Linda J in AL :
I had the pleasure of taking a quilt workshop with Doreen in the late 80's. I had also lived in Wisconsin for a time and remember her cow earrings and Birkenstocks vividly. What a loss for the quilting world and her family as well. She will be missed
Pat Nordmark :
Doreen came to our guild several years ago and did a lecture and workshops. I remember loving her sense of humor and her attitude about quilting and life. I am so sorry we won't be able to enjoy her insights anymore.
Sue Maddox :
I was shocked to read it when I went to WWQP toay, and saddened. More info available?

The Queen is dead, long live Peaky and Spike.

Roni :
I remember when she spoke at our guild meeting. Her slides of Peaky and Spike were so funny. It was the first guild meeting I remember laughing at.
We will miss you Doreen, I hope there is a Bernina in heaven for you.
piecemaker :
I only know her by her reputation...but hearing that she died while in Ireland singing and dancing to wonderful Irish tunes. I can hear her Birkenstocks hitting the floor in time to the music. Her tune will never die!
lynda laroche :
I was fascinated with peaky and spike and her book pattern play. These gave me lots of pleasure and she will always be remembered when l use them, What a sad thing to have lost her.
jan :
I had the pleasure of hearing one of Doreen's lectures tis summer and laughed for a long time. i still quote her amoung my quilting friends and they laugh along with me. I promise to use my "good stuff" as she advised with wit and a grin. I will keep her and her family in my prayers and thoughts.
Gail G in Ontario :
The first time I took a class with Doreen was in 1989 on a quilt cruise hosted by Georgia Bonesteele. She wore her bikini in the form of outrageous earrings and we all had a wonderful time learning about peaky and spike. My wallhanging from that workshop contains a piece of her fabric stash. Her passing leaves a large gap in the quilting world.
Lyn :
I was so very fortunate to hear Doreen Specman speak this past summer at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I had been hearing about her delightful humor and her wonderful teaching style. She was truly delightful, witty, upbeat and entertaining. My sincere sympahties to her family - and to those of us in the quilting world who will feel her loss deeply.
Janice Tardiff :
I first saw Doreen at the Vt. Quilt Festival. You KNOW it is always hot at that show!!! But this particular year, we had a cool rain. Well, Doreen was the guest speaker and she came prepared for the hot weather. But, she had included a pair of pink knee socks in her suitcase (or she borrowed them from a local quilter). Well she wore her sundress over a t-shirt and those pink knee socks with her sandles. With her wonderful sense of humor, she made us all laugh at her "get-up".

I took a whole weekend of classes here in Maine with that wonderful lady. The world will be a little less funny with her passing. Jan in Maine

Karen McCleary :
I have seen Doreen lecture a couple of times at the Vermont Quilt Festival - as well as taken classes with her. She was warm, generous, humorous and made you feel like a somebody. A couple of years ago she hosted the Show and Tell at VQF in her bathingsuit and a cover-up - nobody could have gotten away with it but her!! The world is greatly diminished by her passing - I feel as if a good friend has died! In fact, she has!!
Susan Eickermann :
The world lost a great person. Doreen you will be missed. God Bless your family.
Karin McElvein :
I first met Doreen last February at The Williamsburg Quilt Festival and was able to take a class with her. It was wonderful. Her humor at talants will be missed by all quilters. I was looking forward to getting to know her better next spring when she stayed with me while teaching in VA BCH. She was a wonderful woman and this is indeed a great shock to everyone.

Linda Warren :
I loved watching her on 'Simply Quilts'. Her enthusiam for 'peaky and spike' and the adventure of another quilt, gave me the greatest joy, and encouragement to try something new. We shall miss the joy and talent of such a fine quilting friend. My sympathies to her family on the loss of such a dear woman.
nancy vase :
Doreen was special in many ways. i first heard her speak at the Nebraska State Quilt convention in Valentine. She had the whole auditorium laughing. I will never forget "Posies on Poop."
The last time I saw her was at Quilting in the Tetons two years ago. After a wonderful all-day class filled with inspiration and giggles, I packed up my stuff to head back to the motel. While driving across the huge parking lot there I saw her come out of the convenience store at the bottom of the hill with her purchases. I offered her a ride up the hill to her hotel and along the way we giggled about the problems of walking uphill in that altitude. She was obviously tired after a long day of teaching but she still had the same wonderful humor and delightful insights on human nature.
I'll never forget that short ride and her gentle and lively approach to everything.
JoAn Drake :
Will somebody clue me in!! What happened to Doreen? I just loved that woman...and what a woman she was. I loved her sense of humor, her acceptance of her shortcomings (some that I identify with) and her energy and the enthusiasm she instilled in all those who've had the pleasure of taking a class with her or hearing her speak. I have had the honor of hearing her speak at the Vermont Quilt Festival in July and she had the whole auditorium LOLROFL throughout the one hour or more she was talking. For anyone out there who knows more about her passing, please let us quilters know. Thanks.
ML :
I am saddened at the sudden loss of Doreen
Speckmann. I had taken a class with her
this summer and was looking forward to
taking one of her cruises to Alaska in
the future. She was a bright, funny, talented
teacher and she will be missed by all. My
deepest sympathies to her family.
Mignon Feldstein :
I will miss Doreen Speckmanns' presence in the quilting world.
She and Peaky and Spike always made me want to tackle something new.
She was a great motivater.
Bertie Durham :
Doreen was the person you just met whom you felt like you had known all your life. She was a unique and very talented lady who shared her love of quilting in a way anyone could understand and relate to. We will miss her!
judith haliasz :
The quilting world has lost a special lady in Doreen Speckmen. I still can hear her telling the stories of her first quilt, I laught till I cried, I will always remember her for her quilts and her sharing of her stories.
Sharon Holliday :
I have been an avid fan of Doreen Speckman for the last 10 years. I had the opportunity to take a class from her here in Dallas about 3 years ago and was ecstatic to meet her. I cherish the photographs I have of that class and, in particular, the photo of the two of us together. I was just discussing her last evening in a class I was teaching, hoping to introduce her to another group of "newbies." Though I hardly knew her on a personal level, she definitely influenced my quilting and I will miss her. My sympathies to her family.
Sandy Pihlgren :
I was fortunate to take the Nosegay class with Doreen in Omaha 2 years ago. she was a delight. My sympathy to Meghan and Doreen's husband, extended family and friends.
mary jo scandin :
Doreen will be greatly missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. Her zest for life impacted everyone that she met along the way. She gave me many happy memories, many wonderful laughing moments, and her absence is leaving a great void in my heart. I will wrap myself in my Speckmann quilt and cherish my memories forever.
Timi :
What a great loss of an artist to ourquilt world
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