Remembering Klaudeen Hansen

Remembering Klaudeen Hansen

The quilt world has lost another pioneer with the passing of Klaudeen Hansen. Klaudeen has spent her whole life sewing and quilting. She started teaching sewing for the Madison Area Technical College in the early 1970’s. Sewing transitioned into quilting and Klaudeen taught thousands to quilt through the College’s program. She was a quilt judge, certified by the National Quilting Association, and judged thousands of quilts every year at quilt shows throughout the country.

Klaudeen Hansen

Klaudeen started the Prairie Heritage Quilt Show in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. It began as a show and tell display in 1974 so her students could see what others were creating. 1977 was the first contest for that quilt show and it drew entries from across the U.S. 

In the early 1980’s, Klaudeen met Bill and Meredith Schroeder at the NQA show in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. The Schroeders thought a quilt show in Paducah was doable and they sought Klaudeen’s help. She helped write the rules and set up the quilt contest for the American Quilter’s Society. Quilts were entered by submitting slides – it is hard to estimate how many thousands of slides Klaudeen logged, reviewed, sorted, and prepared for the jury to view to select the quilts that would hang at the AQS shows. And that was just the beginning of the process. After the quilts were juried, the quilts were shipped to Paducah for judging and the judging room was Klaudeen’s responsibility for many years.

The AQS dogwood ribbon toppers for the winners in the AQS Quilt Contest are prized by quilt contestants. They were originally handmade by the Prairie Heritage Quilters (PHQ), whose members also came to Paducah to help hang quilts for the show.

Klaudeen has been the editor of the AQS Quilt Art Engagement Calendar since it was first published in 1985. This spiral-bound best-selling desk calendar features a different beautiful quilt for each week of the year. The 2024 calendar is the last one edited by Klaudeen and AQS will host its annual Quilt Art Autograph Party during AQS QuiltWeek as a tribute to Klaudeen. It will be held 3:00–5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, 2023 in the Carroll Convention Center.

The quilt world will miss Klaudeen Hansen – her knowledge about quilting and judging, her willingness to teach and answer questions about sewing and quilting, and the many fun times we all have shared with her.