A Friendship Fan Quilt for Flo...AtoZ Letter F

Josephine and I stitched on the Texas Quilt for several hours yesterday.  I had a slew of questions about the whispered 'Legend of the Yellow Rose, but thought better of asking Josephine for more details...especially after several of the other LoneStar Bee members arrived and talk of another project  became the focus of conversation.

"As you all know, Flo will be moving to Fredricksburg later this year to be near her daughter," Alma began with the background of the upcoming project.  "It's been hard for her since Frank died, but she knows it's going to be the best thing for her.   Sue, as a new member, I know you haven't had much time to get to know Flo, but she is one of the founders of The Courthouse Stitchers, and is always the first to pitch in and support every project, fund raiser and whatever else needs doing."

She continued to outline the project by handing out the templates, block dimensions and instructions for piecing blocks for the Signature Scrap Fan Blocks we were each to make.  "Now quickly, before Flo gets here, I want to remind you to make use of the Grand Jury Room Stash.  I've already cut the muslin squares, here's a list of names we want embroidered on the blocks...pick four plus your own which will make five fans for each of our current members to make.  That way everyone who has been a member since the founding will be represented.  Also, very important...this is a secret, " Alma quickly took her seat and gave us the 'Secret Shush Sign' as Flo walked in the room dragging a rolling suitcase stuffed to the gills.

Five Scrap Friendship Fan blocks!!!  Where will I find the time?  No matter, I'll manage somehow.  I can rotary cut the fan pieces ten or twelve at a time, chain piece them to make the half circles and glue baste the raw edges.  It will be the hand applique that will be time consuming.  No matter.  It will become a family heirloom for Flo just as great grandmother Nancy Anne's was for her and now for me.  All this was running through my mind as I tucked the handouts Alma had given each of us into my Quilt Bag while the others gathered around Flo and her overflowing Fabric Shop on wheels.

I joined the group as Alma was saying with an excited voice, "My goodness Flo, what have you been up to with all this fabric?"  Flo unzipped the bag and with a sweeping gesture over the collection of fabrics said, "I've sorted through my Stash and brought this for the Grand Jury Room Stash." 

Everyone was talking at once with exclamations of "Oh, Flo, how very generous," and "You know it will be used and treasured,"  "What a sweetheart you are, Ooooo, I love this one." and lastly from Josephine, "Flo, you know you will find another group in Fredricksburg.  I hope you have saved some of your stash for the quilts you will surely make in your new home."

Flo thought for a moment and with a musical laugh and a wink said, Oh, Jo, I'll be just fine, Frank made sure of that.  Several years ago he gave me a sign for my sewing room that said....
My Husband lets me Buy all the Fabric I can HIDE!
History of Friendship Quilts...The quilts homesteaders brought with them were a comfort to many a Pioneer woman who traded her home, family and friends in the East, for the uncertainty of traveling through vast prairies in the West.  A quilt that held special value to the pioneer women was the Friendship Quilt.  Often done in secret, and then given to the woman as a going away gift.  It usually was a group effort, with each block being sewn by a friend or relative with their name embroidered in the center.  Putting a Friendship quilt on the bed, gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life.  It kept alive the memory of family and friends, providing comfort and company during the difficult days of homesteading.  One woman homesteader said, "When I get lonely, I read the names on my quilt."  Quilt Discovery Experience

See Ya, Monday, April 8th for the Letter G...The Grand Jury Room
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre


  1. Anonymous4/06/2013

    I LOVED reading this post!!!! And I loved the sign Flo's husband made for her sewing room!!

    I know you all will miss her. :(

    HPS...and have a great weekend!


  2. Haha! What a great sign!

    Have a wonderful weekend, friend. ☺

  3. How nice! Visiting from MHC.

  4. Wow! What a story, Sue! My mother is going through half of her fabric stash right now. They are selling their Arizona home and she still intends to sew when they get back to the Northwest. Once a fabric addict, always a fabric addict, I think!
    It's so nice to visit with you, sweet friend.

  5. What a lovely thing to do. Just thinking of all those immigrant and westward-traveling women makes me feel a little sad. Imagine leaving absolutely everything behind!

  6. I don't have near the amount of patience required to quilt! My wife and her mother do it together. :)

  7. hahhaa...a GREAT sign. :)

  8. That one in the picture is amazing! What patience you have to do such thing. And to think if I need something that has to do with needle and thread, I look for the glue.

  9. Reading the quote from the sign made me laugh out loud. Great post; new follower from A to Z!

  10. Loved this post! And what a lovely idea for Flo.

    The sign cracks me up!

    Thanks so much for sharing this story with us this week!


  11. that was a GREAT post...I started to feel as if I was watching this in a movie / you brought it to life very well! :) in other words I loved this post :)

  12. That's interesting about the friendship quilt and a sweet story about Flo. I'm sure you will miss her.

  13. Wonderful quilt and story too. As a quilter myself, I always appreciate the time and talent it takes to make one. I am your newest follower.

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  14. My heart goes out to Flo; I pray for her peace, grace and mercy.

  15. I would imagine that beautiful friendships were forged over many a quilt back in the day..
    Lovely post.

  16. Funny, as an Englishwoman, I have never understood the fascination with quilts. Could have changed in the UK by now of course, but to me, quilts were something housewives made with bits of cloth to while away their winter nights or something. Nothing special about them at all. Once I got to Canada, I was staggered at the attitude displayed towards them.


  17. I think the idea of a friendship quilt is wonderful. My son recently left his job of several years to go to college. Two of his colleagues (who were like mothers to him) made a beautiful signed quilt for him.

  18. My grandma had a phenomenal stash. When she passed, we were able to give the stash to a good friend of hers. I hope she made amazing things with that fabric stash!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  19. What a great idea - a friendship quilt. Such a great way to remember people that were important to you!

  20. Love the quilt and the story! Found you on A Favorite Thing and I'd love to have you stop by and share your post on The Creative HomeAcre Hop today!

  21. I love quilts. They always have an interesting story!

  22. Hi Sue,

    What a wonderful quilt
    and story! Thank you
    for sharing it with us.

    I love to quilt also
    an always have a project

    Have a wonderful day, from
    your new follower.

    Bear Hugs

  23. I love this post, and I love the Fred Fariss quote on your header. I, too, am smitten by the family history bug.

    Visiting via the Creative Homeacre blog hop--and now am your newest follower.

  24. Hi Sue, I enjoyed reading about the friendship quilts and I am so happy you are sharing your group with us. I will definitely stay tuned for your next posts. I have missed you and it is great to be back!!!

    Hug, Jeanne

  25. A friendship quilt sounds like a good idea any time, not just for homesteading pioneers.

  26. We also do Friendship Quilts for our member who are leaving us. I think that it's the love we feel for that person that transfer to the quilt itself that makes it special. Great post. Found your blog on the A to Z Challenge.


  27. Thank you so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! I hope to see you again tomorrow. :)

  28. What a wonderful project, and such a lovely going away gift for Flo. (I love the sign her husband made for her!) Best of luck with the quilting.


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