A Crafter's Life

The Ladies Friendship Circle (1931)

This is post is actually a “re-sharing” of a story from December 2013, I had in my Textile Adventures page. I am moving it out of that page and into this post.

Attending the Trends Show today and listening to the keynote speaker, the wonderful Mary Fons (www.maryfons.com), speak about “The Great American Quilt Revival”, made me think of a special memory related an antique quilt: when I got to be part of something special related to an antique quilt top.

I facilitated the completion of a quilt started in the 1930s and given as a gift to someone 80 years later (who was alive when the quilt was first started!!!)


82 years ago (in 1931) my friend’s Marla’s grandmother and her group of friends made a quilt top for Marla’s mother (the new baby in 1931). The quilt was never finished. Marla wanted to finish this quilt for her 82 year old mother who had kept it packed away in a chest for 80+ years and surprise her for Christmas.

After searching several quilt shops, Marla and I found the perfect backing and binding fabric at Quilt Works, one of our wonderful Central Oregon quilt shops.  Then we had Guadalupe Designs, professionally quilt it.

Marla and I spent an evening sewing down the quilt binding to finish it. Now Marla plans to surprise her 82 year Mother with the mind blowing Christmas gift of a lifetime – a quilt top put away since 1931 that has been turned into a quilt!

Something very special about this quilt: Marla’s mom is the only person living from this time period of this dear group of family and family friends – so when she gets the surprise quilt for Christmas she will see the names of the long-passed very dear people she grew up with.

As I told Marla – when you hand your Mom the quilt at Christmas, it is going to be a “blow out the tear ducts moment”!


UPDATE: Marla presented her mother with the quilt for Christmas in December 2013 and yes there were many tears of joy.

Imagine receiving a completed quilt that was started and nearly finished when you were a child, by people who loved you and are now are long gone.

Quilts are love (as most quilters know) and this quilt contained the “spirits” of the departed loved ones entwined in the quilt’s hand embroidered stitches.

I liked to imagine these “spirits” being very pleased that their quilt was finally finished and given to the intended…even if it took 82 years…


More on the Trends show I attended in Portland, Oregon today:

In addition to spending time with one of my wonderful Washington State based Quilt Sister, Joan, I got to visit with Mary Fons (yes the very talented offspring of the “Fons” of Fons & Porter) and Marie Bostwick, NY Times bestselling author of quilting related fiction such as the Cobbled Court Series (A Single Thread, Threading the Needle, Apart at the Seams).


In addition to a wonderful Keynote presentation on “The Great American Quilt Revival”, I also attended a mini workshop with Mary Fons on “A Lesson in Contrast”. This workshop focused on an excellent way to select fabrics for a quilt and was an alternative to getting hung up on looking for “light”, “medium” and “dark” fabrics in a vacuum.

In addition to Mary Fons and Marie Bostwick, I also got to visit with Violet Craft (www.violetcraft.com) who is a fantastic pattern designer; and Annie Unrein of ByAnnie.com who is also a fantastic pattern designer (see my post iCase on a piece I made with one of her patterns) focusing on bags, cases and carryalls.


It was an amazing day meeting extremely talented individuals!

9 thoughts on “The Ladies Friendship Circle (1931)”

  1. The quilt is beautiful! I think it is lovely to make the longest UFO I have ever heard of come to fruition for the love of another. A wonderfully romantic quilt story! I love a quilty story with so much meaning behind it. Thank you for sharing! This idea could be easily turned into a book

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  2. What an amazing story! I stumbled across it from the link party over at Bern Bakes and I’ve loved poking around on your site and seeing all of your beautiful projects. Can’t wait to see more in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

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