Say Hello to the Quilters Club!

“If there are no Quilting Bees in Heaven, I ain’t going

- Anonymous

The Quilters Club meets every Tuesday in the sewing room at the Hoople Quilting Heritage Museum. Maddy Madison is the de facto leader of the friendly little group. There are only four members – five if you count Maddy’s granddaughter Aggie. Or six when Maddy’s grandson N’yen is in town, not that he pretends to be interested in quilting. And recently they added Aggie’s friend Sissy Jackson. So seven in all.

Founded by Maddy Madison ca. 1999, there were originally more participants in this quilting bee, but over time its membership gradually shrank to this small clique.

Maddy and her pals are admired for their skill in making lovely patchwork quilts – Amish Star Crossed Quilts and Nine-Patches and Double Wedding Rings and Zig Zag Rail Fences and Windblown Tulip and Grandmother’s Flower Garden and Drunkard’s Path and the Dresden Plate, to name a few.

However, in addition to stitching quilts, the four women – Maddy, Lizzie, Cookie, and Bootsie – sometimes get involved in solving crimes. The Burpyville Gazette once described them as “a quartet of Jessica Fletchers” – a reference to the amateur detective played by Angela Lansbury on the Murder, She Wrote TV show. However, unlike Jessica Fletcher, their cases usually involve antique quilts that have been stolen, stuffed with money, or depict clues to a head-scratching mystery. Not so many murders.

Well, some.

Maddy and her friends highly value their ya-ya sisterhood, a friendship that has existed between them since high school. You will admire their loyalty, devotion, and got-each-other’s-back attitude. Their stories are as much about friendship as about mysteries.

You’re invited to join them as they go about making quilts and solving brain-tickling mysteries – historical conundrums, intriguing puzzlers, and cases where the dead body is still warm.

This website will tell you more about the Quilters Club and the little Indiana town they call home.

And the accompanying Blog will let you hear directly from Maddy about the cases they’re working on: The suspicious characters, the odd clues, and the tricky solutions to crimes often centered around quilts and quiltmaking.

But first, let’s introduce you to Maddy Madison and the plucky members of the Quilters Club:

Game On! See if you can identify the movie stars pictured on this page who look like members of the Quilters Club.
(Answers can be found on the Picture Quiz Page.)

The 4 Senior Members of the Quilters Club

Madelyn Agnes Madison (née Taylor) – Known as “Maddy.” A 60ish Midwestern woman, she’s content to be a housewife, overseeing a growing family. She dotes on her grandchildren. Quite pleasant-looking, Maddy’s silver-white hair furls about her face in an efficient bouffant. Maybe she could do without a pound or two, but no one would dare call her overweight. She maintains a steady-as-you-go 140 pounds – this, despite her habit of cooking three square meals a day for her family. Her watermelon upside down cake is to die for. Maddy is married to Beauregard Hollingsworth Madison IV, great-grandson of one of the Town Founders, a prestigious position in local society. Beau is a former mayor of Caruthers Corners. Now their son-in-law Mark Tidemore holds that post. As for the four gals who form the backbone of the Quilters club, Maddy is the most levelheaded and realistic of them all. She possesses what an FBI Special Agent once called “a steel-trap mind especially suited for catching bad guys.” Maddy recently learned that she is an heir to the Hoople Quadruplets fortune.

Elizabeth Kay Ridenour (née Bergamachi) – Known as “Lizzie.” The scrawny-but-glamorous redhead oversees the Hoople Quilting Heritage Museum. Today’s henna-based hair coloring will never be quite as spectacular as the blazing red hair that turned everyone’s head in the twelfth grade. Married to a retired bank president, she is by far the best quiltmaker in the entire town. Records show she has won the Watermelon Days quilting competition five years in a row. Italian by heritage, Lizzie is the heir to the Bergamachi banking fortune. This makes her the largest stockholder of Caruthers Corners Savings & Loans. She thrives on gossip and town scandals.

Katherine Ann Bentley (née Johansson) – Known as “Cookie.” The smart, oft-bespectacled blonde serves as executive director of the Caruthers Corners Historical Society. In high school she had reined as the beautiful homecoming queen, but she let herself go after her first husband died. Now she’s building a new life with retired farmer Ben Bentley, one of the largest landholders in the entire county. Cookie has a freaky eidetic memory that makes her a whiz when playing Trivial Pursuit. She thrives on facts.

Barbara Jo Purdue (née Hofstadter) – Known as “Bootsie.” The plump pixie-haired brunette runs the local no-kill Strays & Rescues Animal Shelter. Bootsie has never been particularly pretty, with her bulbous nose and extra forty pounds, but her outgoing personality more than makes up for it. Bootsie is the person everyone turns to when they want to share a secret, celebrate a new love, or cry on a sympathetic shoulder. No wonder she was voted Most Popular in the 1976 Caruthers High senior yearbook. Today, the nose is the same and that forty extra pounds has grown to sixty, but everybody loves her. Bootsie is wife of Police Chief Jim Purdue. Yes, it irks him when the Quilters Club meddles in police business. But Bootsie keeps him under control. He has a thing for voluptuous women.

The 4 Junior Members of the Quilters Club

Agnes Millicent Tidemore – Known as “Aggie.” Firstborn of Maddy’s daughter Tilly and Mayor Mark Tidemore. A petite blue-eyed blonde, she’s precocious, pretty, and has her Grammy’s knack for solving crimes.

N’yen Madison (born: Nguyễn Văn N’yen) – As “cute as a button,” this is the Vietnamese boy adopted by Maddy’s son Bill and his wife Kathy. With an off-the-measurement-scale high-IQ, he’s a youthful Watson to his cousin Aggie’s Sherlock Holmes. He reads.

Cecilia LaToya Jackson – Known as “Sissy.” She lives with her grandfather, an old war buddy of Beau Madison. New to this little Midwestern town, she has quickly become Aggie’s BFF and N’yen’s tween crush. And she is now their partner in solving crimes.

Leslie Ann Holmes – An “exchange student” from London. Part of the Hands Across the Sea program. She served as a junior member of the Quilters Club the year Aggie was born. Her sleuthing lives up to her famous last name. She promises to return to America one day.

Next: Quilters Club Families

Meet the Friendly People of Caruthers Corners



Picture Quiz Answers


Town History in a Nutshell

Maps of Caruthers Corners
(and Its Environs)