Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My First Quilt

My first quilt took me nearly 30 years to complete because it kept growing with every move that I made. It ended up being 101 inches square. I don't use this quilt often because it is so large. It is large enough to be a bedspread for my double bed.

It all began in the 1960s. I ironed the transfers of state flowers on bleached muslin and then sent the blocks to relatives, neighbors, etc. for signatures. They could embroider the flower and their signature themselves or send them back for me to embroider.

I have signatures from all but one of my aunts, and of course, my mother, sisters, and nieces. A few close neighbors and family friends' signatures were also gathered in the 60s.

I also have signatures from my colleagues from three schools. In the 70s, I was in Wheatland, WY, in the early 80s, I was in Japan, and by the mid-80s I was back in Wyoming. I embroidered all of the blocks from my teaching years because no one knew how to embroider.

My sisters assembled the quilt in 1994 while I was in the hospital recovering from a surgery. I had to rip out the row that contained the block shown above because they had sewn it upside down. I don't know why I didn't have it quilted until 1998. Of course, in those days, it was not easy to find a longarm quilter. I wish she had done more quilting on it. Most of the quilting is "stitch in the ditch" with some meandering in the plain blocks. It was quilted by Hazel Hatcher in 1998.

Sadly, so many of the people have passed away, but I am glad that I have preserved a small remnant of their lives on my Friendship Quilt.


  1. What a wonderful way to be able to remember so many you've crossed paths with.

  2. All the signatures make this one a treasure!

  3. What a wonderful idea. Wish I had started something like this years ago. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I made a signature quilt for my daughter's wedding. Collected signatures from friends, relatives, even the minister. It's so much fun to go back and look at it. sometimes sad, as I know a few of those people aren't around anymore. Makes it that much more precious.

  5. Nancy, This is a beautiful quilt! What a treasure! :)


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