HANNIBAL — At age 91, Mable Cole has no intention of slowing down — she has made 45 quilts in 2010 alone, bringing her lifetime total to 1,045.
"It has been my biggest year," she said.
Although she does not advertise, Cole has sold her quilts to so many people that they are now in every state except three — Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. She also has quilts in several other countries.
"I put labels in the corner of my quilts with my name," she said. "That's been my way of advertising."
She sells all her quilts, Cole said.
"I don't keep any of them. I only have four on hand, and I have 17 waiting for me now to be quilted. People bring me tops or they buy my tops, and I hand quilt them. I always hand quilt."
Her favorite design is "bargella hearts," which has pieces of more than one size. "They are very difficult, but I've made 39 of them," Cole said. "They are so pretty. There are 12 colors of material in them."
Each quilt is slightly different, she said. "I have a great imagination and never make two alike unless they ask for it."
She also helps people who have a problem with their quilt-making. And Cole creates many of her own patterns, such as a palm leaf design she recently made.
Although she lives in Greenfield, Ill. (near Jacksonville), Cole is often in Hannibal, shopping for quilt material at the Hickory Stick Quilt & Gift Shop.
"I get a lot of my material at Hickory Stick," Cole said. "They have the most beautiful material I have ever seen. It has been my main place to get it."